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The emergence of new technologies into society created a paradigm of changes within educational circles as many began to understand its significance. This significance was not only realised for the purpose of teachers in schools but more importantly for the future of the students. It became quite clear that the society of today was going to be greatly different to that of the past and so change was needed if educational institutions were to stand up to their name-sake and prepare students for the future. Put it simply, a new society demanded new skills and this meant that technology could play an important role in education.
See: Teacher ICT skills
The society of today and inevitably in the future is and will be one primarily based on technological development. technology continues to increasingly pervade into our daily lives and this is clear in our students’ uses of technology today. With such an availability and access to an abundant amount of technologies, the transformation of society is what now is being recognised as the Knowledge or Information Society.
Since its induction into education, the benefits of technology in education has been vastly established in the minds of educators. Another reason why technology is important in education is its ability to enhance productivity for both teacher and students. Although there have been many debates as to what is believed to be the right pedagogical practices with technology, there is one truth that we all can agree on – that it has transformed pedagogies within schools. The advantage is that it leads to quality teaching within educational institutions as it not only helps in classrooms but also in staffrooms. Productivity can be enhanced throughout preparation for teachers as well.
When it comes to students though, the benefits of technology in education is two-fold. Technology when used in classrooms can indeed be used as a productive tool for students as they do work on their assignments or tasks. Technology is a good productive tool but that also nowadays there is emphasis on technology as a valuable constructive tool in education. Such a change comes with positive connotations attached as it results in quality learning. Mindtools (educational technology) within education are increasingly being included in classrooms as a learning tool for students as it aids in the learning development of literacy and numeracy.
There are also societal reasons why technology is understood as a relevant and important tool in education. The changes within society are not only evident for educators but also for the public. And as schools depend to a certain extent on the public’s perception of it, they recognise the potential for growth. The public perceives that a ‘good’ school is a school that has technology.
Finally, as schools are recognised and understood as a provider of skilled and knowledgeable people for the workforce, there are strong economic reasons why technology is significant. This is because it is widely used throughout the workforce not just in the technology industry itself. Finger et al (2007) believes that technology is an “essential strategic component for creating competitive, increasingly productive economies” (p.5). The industry itself relies on the skills that an educational institution teaches its students for preparation for the workforce. However, that is exactly the problem these days as although the numbers are steadily increasing in technology classes, there are still not enough skilled people entering the workforce.
There are many benefits of technology in education and as technology evolves, so will schools to ensure that teachers continually work to prepare students for their future in society.