Impact of new technology on teaching and learning in technology education
online resourceposted on 15.02.2008, 08:37 by K.L. Kumar
The paper commences by way of some general comments on the potential of technology in education. It recalls the characteristics of the early technologies, i.e. paper and printing press and post-war technologies, i.e. telephone, radio, photographic film, slides and audio recordings, overhead projector, film, video and mixed media and transmission through satellite networks. It examines the ever growing interest and ‘needs felt’ to employ the ‘new technology’, for education in general and for technology education in particular. It briefly explains the transient concepts of mass education, individualised learning and group learning, which occurred in quick succession. Research findings on the effectiveness of different educational technologies are briefly stated in terms of the real benefits of technology in technology education. The next part of the paper is devoted to examining the phenomena of learning, retention, recall and critical thinking from the point of view of behaviourist and cognitive psychologies and to look at the concepts of higherorder learning. An attempt is made to show how human learning curves improve with the infusion of educational technology and variety in learning. It is proposed to adopt a graphical observation form, which includes the effective use of educational technology for classroom activity analysis. Salient features of technology education in the context of design and technology are highlighted. An attempt is made to discuss the technology-propelled paradigm-shift and to identify the extent of software and hardware of technology required to create better learning through teaching-learning processes based upon new technology. Critical issues for evaluating the effectiveness of new technology are identified. Facts and figures on technology integration in the teaching-learning process are quoted from different parts of the world. Finally, the paper dwells on the last decade of the turn of the millennium and the scenario with the onset of video conferencing, Internet conferencing, e-learning, etc. with regard to their outreach and relative effectiveness. Possible impact of the one-computer classroom is taken up to show how the availability of minimum infrastructure can be used in the developing world. Criteria for selection of appropriate technology is spelt out in some detail. A case is made for greater investment in staff development in the integration of new technology. The paper concludes by enumerating the ways in which the impact of new technology is made visible and by envisioning the not-so-distant future.
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