How Does Technology Affect Education?

Technology affects education through providing students with more information, supporting an active role in the classroom for students, increasing student motivation and providing new tools to use in the production of information. Computers, the Web and related technologies have not only changed everyday life and work immeasurably, they have also altered the way in which students are educated.

In contrast to the days in which students had to go to a library to look up information in dusty reference books, today’s students can access almost any type of needed information instantaneously at any time. This alters the need, for example, for students to memorize things that can be looked up; instead this time would be better spent on helping students to discern good information from bad. Technology also changes what students do in the classroom. “Flipped” classrooms in which students study information that used to be in lecture format as homework and then use class time to understand and apply that information, move students from passively listening to lectures and into teaching themselves and actively applying what they learn. Technology also increases student motivation for learning in part because of the “cool” factor inherent to using computers, the Web and other digital tools for learning and also because students generally appreciate having a more active role in what they learn. Finally, technology makes a lot of new tools available to students and their teachers. For example, in the past, to make a video required an expensive camera and film. Now, many students can make videos using their cellphones. Technology has had a positive effect on student learning and it also changes how teachers conceptualize teaching.