Firstly, I hope that you guys are enjoying me putting some more opinion articles out there. Technology is such an integral part of life nowadays, that it seems to have infiltrated all aspects of life. It has enabled things that were never even possible before, and allowed a continual sort of learning. I believe that many people struggle to even take advantage of the tools that they have at their immediate disposal – such as YouTube or just Google for example.
Us millennials fail to utilise this instant library of knowledge that we possess at our fingertips, knowledge which would have taken a large amount of time to obtain in the past. In the past people would have to go to a library and search for the correct book in able to learn something. Not anymore.
There are a number of ways in which I believe that technology has changed education, for both better and worse (however majorly for the better), these include:
- Remote Learning
- Less use of paper
- Ability to research
- Re-watching lectures/ clarifying informtion
I will try to cover these as concisely as possible, as I know that your time is extremely valuable.
During Covid-19 we have all realised one thing – that remote learning is extremely possible. The development of technology has allowed us to take our classes or lectures from the comfort of our own home. It has allowed us to have interactive classes through Zoom, which has proved to be rather effective. While it requires more discipline and diligence to show up to the classes and complete the work, it enables you to be anywhere and take a class rather easily.
In addition to the fact that you can take classes anywhere, you also cut down the actual time required to do your work as there is no travel time. If you study in a capital city most people have to live on the outskirts and then commute in to university or school, which can total up to a few hours of travel time in a lot of situations. Time is the one commodity that you can’t get more of, and so saving this time allows you to focus on other projects and side hustles that you otherwise may have been unable to.
Lastly, something that goes somewhat unspoken of, is the ability to actually see what is happening in the class. On a zoom call it may be possible to get distracted, but everyone is able to see exactly what is going on clearly. In many large classes pupils get stuck at the back, leaving them unable/making it difficult to engage in the class – which thus hinders their learning.
Less Use of Paper
This is a rather minor point, as the world was already heading into the digital age (at least in the West), however still an important one. In schools, many of the sheets are still handed out on paper which is an unnecessary use of paper. Everyone knows that students will inevitably end up discarding their handouts at some point anyway, so we might as well use PDFs now.
As a result of everything being online, it is impossible to use anything other than a PDF to send sheets that students need for their learning. Most pupils use the dynamic duo of Zoom and OneNote to take all of their class notes, which works flawlessly for reference purposes. Furthermore, if you are one of those people that enjoys paper, then just print off your OneNote Notebook – as this is far better for the environment. Handwriting is far larger than typed text, and so by printing your notebooks instead, you save vast quantities of vital trees.
Ability to Research
This is my favourite impact that technology has had on education, and it is definitely the most undervalued. In this day and age many people take it for granted that you can easily google literally ANYTHING. You want to learn about how to do calculus, then there will be some sort of tutorial on Youtube. You want something explained to you in layman’s terms? Then check out ELI5 (Explain Like I’m 5) on Reddit. You can even access the opinion of Experts through websites like Quora. This knowledge would have taken years to access in the past (or in many cases be completely inaccessible).
Don’t waste this opportunity to be able to learn anything online. You have the ability to continually improve yourself, and if you take it, then you will end up doing pretty well in life. Writing academic papers for university is easier than it ever has been with Google Scholar and Jstor. Technology has created an almost infinite and accessible library, which has changed education forever. I am going to be extremely bold right now and say that this is the age of learning and information.
Re-watching lectures/clarifying information
Previously if you missed something in a lecture you would have to wait to see your professor or one of your friends to clarify a concept or answer. Technology has enabled the recording of lectures and emailing has made asking any questions easier than ever. You can skip through all the useless stuff that your lecturer says and just go to the important parts to clarify that information. Heck, if it is still confusing you can even find a different teacher to teach the concept to you on YouTube. Emailing also makes everyone you know accessible at the tip of your fingers too (this is great for a student but awful for a teacher though…).
Furthermore, you are able to develop so many skills as a result of online learning platforms. Take SkillShare for example, you can pay $10 per month and get access to all of their classes (of which they have an extremely extensive library). Through this link you will also be able to try premium for 2 months for FREE to see if it’s for you – and you can cancel if needs be. As it isn’t for everyone, and depends on how you as an individual like to learn.
Technology has made our lives easier in so many ways, but this has also lead to the increased intelligence of people. Elon Musk famously said “You can learn literally any skill you want for free on Youtube. You can become a person of value in a matter of months. A few years ago, this wasn’t possible. If you were lucky enough to be born in this era, take full advantage of it”. I stand by these words (which are far better than mine as, well, I’m a student and he’s a billionaire haha).
Technology has enabled remote learning and the ability to make us as smart as we want to be. The internet doesn’t discriminate with private or public education, if you have a connection then the only barrier to learning is YOU. Overcome this barrier and you will be on the path to success. Education is more than just school or university, it’s about constantly learning. I hope that all of you realise how fortunate we are to have this. If you have any interesting points or contradictions then let me know in the comments below, and if you wish to receive updates about any new posts then join the email list below.