How Has Technology Changed Education

HTo mark the 25th anniversary of the Internet, the Pew Research Centerhas published a report on America’s use of the internet. According to the survey, 90% of Americans believe that the internet has been a good thing for them personally, while 76% believe it has been a good thing for society. Read more here.

The internet and digital technology have also changed education. An overview of some of the new technologies considered to have an impact on education is available here and a list of devices that may impact education in the near future can be found here. Watch university students talk about the technologies they feel they cannot manage without for their learning here.

Technology continues to change the role of the teacher, particularly when it comes to information acquisition. According to the American teacher William Clark , students now live in a ‘tsunami of information’ which they often find difficult to navigate. The role of the teacher in this context, it is argued, is to guide the student and to teach the skills necessary to eventually navigate this information alone. Read more about this here and here.

 Devices currently having the biggest impact in schools around the world are Tablets, however their use is not always viewed positively. According to the educational blog EmergingEdTech, social media use, excessive gaming, breakages and issues around personal data are some of the challenges that are likely to occur when schools introduce mobile devices such as Tablets. Read more here.

 Image courtesy of Morten Oddvik – CC License 

BYOD as an Alternative to Lack of Funding for Implementing Tablets in Schools

For schools that wish to introduce Tablets, but lack the funding to do so, Bring Your Own Device Schemes (BYOD) can offer an alternative solution. Professor Peter Twining from the Open University compares BYOD schemes in Australia and the UK and argues that many schools have misconceptions about students’ access to technology at home. This can lead to inequality in terms of what devices students own. In order to address this, Professor Twining and colleagues have developed the Your Own Technology survey which allows schools to assess what technology students own, and enables students to tell their school what devices they like using.

Children Exposure to Advertising and  In-app Purchasing 

Concerns over children’s exposure to marketing messages and encouragement to buy in app-based or online games led to an investigation last year by The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in the UK. The OFT published its guidelines for online and app-based games in January. Similar investigations are currently being carried out in Australia. In the US Apple has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission which commits the company to refunding parents whose children have made in-app purchases without parental permission. In this article Joanne Orlando, a senior lecturer in technology at the University of Western Sydney, outlines the concerns around in-app purchasing and argues that regulators must strengthen the regulatory framework to protect families.