Technology (noun)

/tɛkˈnɒlədʒi/

inventions and useful things for solving problems.

Technology alone isn’t going to improve students achievement. The best combination is great teachers working with technology to engage students in the pursuit of  the learning they need”  

Arne Duncan


Greg Toppo (a National Education & Demographics Writer at USA TODAY) on TED Talks put up a quote by an anonymous school principal. He left out two blanks in the quote. It read:

Naturally, any person today, who is not familiar with the quote, would fill in the blanks to read something like this:

Surprisingly, he filled in the missing words and the statement read:

We can see from Mr. Principal 1815’s statement that technology, in whatever form, hasn’t always been welcome without criticism, technology in education particularly as in this case.

Technology Unlocks Educational Boundaries

Technology is broadly used to describe innovations designed to make work faster and simpler, get to places faster, communicate more effectively, generally things that make life easier. There are a lot of well written articles showing how the use of technology improves education and it can be generally agreed that technology is constantly finding ways to make education more better.

The use of devices (from calculators to computers and tablets) in education makes the process less tedious and more enjoyable. Even more so, the internet has unlimited information under several subject matters and it is almost always guaranteed that you will find what you are looking for on the internet. There are several tools and learning aids; documents, graphs, tables, slides, images and audiovisuals, that can help understand concepts fully. There are also several learning options and you can decide to stick to the most convenient and interesting one(s) for you.

The effect of technology on education is undeniably superb however the problems of this day technology should not be overlooked, there are possibilities of misinformation (which is addressed under our ‘searching the internet’ course on educate.ng) and distractions using the internet. Nonetheless, if properly supervised and counseled, it’s safe to say that using technology in education will yield amazing results.

When analysing the effects of technology on education, it is typical to discuss benefits and downsides of technology on the students. There isn’t enough talk about how technology can be adapted to the teaching process as a whole. Perhaps this is why the concept of technology in education hasn’t been fully embraced. There is the belief that technology can replace teachers and with courses available online, people may even stop going to schools altogether.

History has shown that the direction of technological advancement is always progressive. It’s pretty clear that technology would continue to be a key tool in education and the sooner we restructure our education system to include technology, the better. Educators need to be up to date with technology, schools need to provide their students with access to gadgets and devices that facilitate the learning process. Students need to be exposed to technology to be able to compete with their peers globally and there is no better place for that than school. That way, they can be monitored and properly supervised and the negatives can be curtailed.

The key is to conform. Prestigious universities already have courses online and they are giving certificates for a fee too. In Nigeria, there is still so much to be done. In restructuring our education system and teaching processes, we need to adapt teaching aids and other educational resources available to our own curriculum and environment. The good news is that technology also makes the teaching process easier and more enjoyable. There are available resources and teaching aids all over the internet. We simply need to take these resources and adapt them to our curriculum. Our preschool kids watch nursery rhymes and cartoons on the internet and/or TV. Most of these shows are based on foreign about ‘the four seasons’ or ‘London bridge’ but we haven’t done well to introduce them to our landmarks, environment and culture using these engaging technologies.

If we can properly reassess the roles that teachers and educators have to play in integrating technology to the Nigerian education system, we will see that technology doesn’t make the teacher any less important. Teachers can not be replaced with technology. Teachers who are constantly adjusting their teaching patterns in line with technological advancements, primarily to inspire learning, will always have their place in the educational system, which strongly needs them.

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