I often write about the benefits of using technology to supplement learning, be it in a classroom setting or a professional context.
Studies have shown that leveraging ed tech can be quite beneficial, but is it always a good thing?
I suspect the answer to this is pretty subjective. I personally believe that overall it is positive to include technology in the classroom, especially when it’s implemented correctly.
Which I suppose brings me to a rather important point. Ed tech isn’t always a good thing if the execution is poor. In fact, it can be counterproductive.
Most teachers and trainers are aware of this, but there are likely circumstances where relying too heavily upon the technology to do the teaching results in poor learning comprehension.
Another challenge in using technology heavily in classroom settings is that it can quickly become a crutch for students; they rely upon the technology to give them “the answers” instead of actually learning the content. In a world where every answer is just a Google search away, students may lack the patience and practice it takes to fully understand course content.
This isn’t a new occurrence. I can recall the teacher allowing us to use calculators for our math homework, but not during the exam. Suddenly when the technology was removed, I had to approach math in an entirely different way. My “safety net” was gone.
Technology should be used to enhance learning, but we need to be careful that it doesn’t become the focal point. As much as I am a proponent for online education and all the tools that go along with it, it is hardly a substitute for live teacher-student interaction.
Still, ed tech is here to stay – as is evident by the infographic below (created by ISTE).