Thursday, January 6, 2011

Technology that Augments the Use of Technology by Educators...


I recently had a discussion with a friend about the relative merits and demerits of technology, and before you jump in to claim that the pros outweigh the cons, let me iterate that the topic under debate was the value of (or lack of it) technology for those who are either scared to use technology or have no clue about it. The tech savvy may find this hard to understand, but there are still those who refuse to embrace technology or do so under considerable duress.

There’s no doubt that technology offers many advantages in the world of education; however, if educators are reluctant to utilize it to the fullest, then its benefits do not reach those it is supposed to help. The best way to get around this hurdle is to find the right kind of technology that would entice even the most reluctant of educators to adopt technology in their teaching methods, and for this to happen, technology must be:
      
      1) - Easy to use – the easier it is to use technology, the more likely the non tech savvy are to use it regularly.      
      
      2) - Relatively inexpensive or preferably free – who wants to pay for expensive technology when they don’t even like it in the first place?
      
      3) - Addictive - the lure of most forms of technology is that they’re addictive once you start using them, and this is what allows you to tap the technology to derive the most of its potential. 

      4) - Interactive – so that results can be measured in real time. 

      5) - Capable of producing results – the best kind of technology is that which is effective in the world of education, and educators who realize this are quick to adopt its use. 

      6) - Restrictive – in the sense that educators are able to retain control and prevent students from misusing or abusing it.

Perhaps the best form of technology that satisfies all these factors is the Internet – it allows educators to come up with innovative ways to teach and provide their students with an education. It makes it easy for students to learn much more than their textbooks contain, and in more interesting ways. And it provides access to a variety of tools that make education more fun and much more interesting.

However, on the downside, the Internet can lead to dubious learning practices, one of which is plagiarism. Other negatives include the fact that students who are not committed could end up wasting a whole lot of time with all the distractions that the Internet provides. But, with the right kind of supervision and the right kind of restrictions in place, educators could make the best possible use of the Internet to foster the use of other kinds of technology in the processes of teaching and learning.

By-line:
This guest post is contributed by Cathy Thomas, she writes on the topic of Computer Technician Online Degrees . She welcomes your comments at her email id: cathy83.thomas@gmail.com