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how important is technology in education

So how important is technology in education?
In the past, learning and education simply meant face-to-face lectures, reading books or printed handouts, taking notes and completing assignments generally in the form of answering questions or writing essays. In short; education, learning and teaching were considered impossible without a teacher, books and chalkboards. Today, education and training have taken on a whole new meaning. Computers are an essential part of every classroom and teachers are using DVDs, CD-ROMs and videos to show students how things work and operate. Students can interact with the subject matters through the use of such web based tools and CD-ROMs. Moreover, each student can progress at his/her own pace.

How important is technology in education?

The role of technology in the field of education is four-fold: it is included as a part of the curriculum, as an instructional delivery system, as a means of aiding instructions and also as a tool to enhance the entire learning process. Thanks to technology; education has gone from passive and reactive to interactive and aggressive.

Education is essential in corporate and academic settings. In the former, education or training is used to help workers do things differently than they did before. In the latter; education is geared towards creating curiosity in the minds of students. In either case, the use of technology can help students understand and retain concepts better.

Factors that help students learn better

Research has shown, time and again, that students learn best when they are engaged. Through the use of technology, students can become active participants as opposed to passive ones where they simply receive instructions or information. Trust is another factor that enhances the learning ability of students. With the help of technology, teachers can establish credibility in what they are teaching. Web based tools can be used for providing demonstrations and examples that can help students establish credence in what they are learning.


Technology allows distance learning

Perhaps the greatest impact of technology in the field of learning is its ability to help several people learn simultaneously from different locations. Learners are not required to gather at a predetermined time or place in order to learn and receive instructions and information. All one needs is a computer connected to a modem (or with a CD drive); these tools can literally deliver a ‘classroom’ in the homes and offices of people.

Technology allows group Learning

There are naysayers who argue that distance learning of this sort cannot help students receive the support of traditional group-based learning. For proving this theory wrong, technology has helped provide distance learners with online communities, live chat rooms and bulletin boards. All these allow students to collaborate and communicate even though they are isolated in their own space.

Technology allows individual pacing

Multimedia tools, on-line and CD-ROM based training have helped eliminate the need for an instructor-based lesson plans. Students who grasp concepts faster proceed and move along, without being held back by ones who need more time and help for learning. Such individual pacing is beneficial to all.

Technology helps lower training costs and increases productivity

Another benefit of using technology to reach many students in shorter time is lowering training costs. Corporate and academic Institutions can reduce their costs of delivering lessons to students on a per-student basis. Moreover, technology produces quantifiable results and allows students to put into practice this information quickly and with better results. Through the use of technology, students can considerably save time and increase their productivity. Both these points justify the higher costs of advanced technological tools.

Roadblocks in the use of technology in learning

Naturally, for education technology to have a positive impact on students, it should be designed and prepared well. Tools used for disseminating information must be developed with students in mind. There are also factors like lack of computer/technology literacy to be considered. Schools and businesses must bear in mind that education technology is simply a tool and its success depends largely on the amount of planning that goes into it. Using education technology can be a right choice as long as all such factors are considered.

Summary

When used properly, technology in the field of education can be a powerful tool that can help:

  1. engage and challenge learners
  2. provide students with practice
  3. Include demos, feedback and avenues that can help students reflect on what they have learned.

It is evident that technology has changed classroom training in myriad ways. It has also helped enhance learning experience as well as a student’s perception of what he/she can do. Over the years it became obvious for us,
how important is technology in education.


future of cell phone technologyOver the past decade, we have seen dramatic, path-breaking innovations in cell phone technology. The cell phone has already transformed from a device to make and receive calls, to a smart phone that can do a lot of things. It has grown into an all-in-one device that you carry in your pocket, replacing cameras, video recorders, music players, personal data assistants, mini PC, GPS systems, gaming devices and lots more.

If the current trend continues, what will be the future of the cell phone? What new paradigms will be shattered in the coming years? What new frontiers will technology conquer? While research is going on under covers and strict secrecy, some trends are clearly emerging. Let us look at some of the likely areas of focus.

The cell phones of the future are likely to have smarter, intelligent screens. Advanced touch-screens may give way to new devices that can understand voice commands or human gestures. The phone will become a personalized device, customized to its owner. This will enable swift reaction from the device in response to the needs and urges of the user.

In the recent years, mobile devices are available in a variety of screen sizes. Apart from the pocket-size screens, we have notebooks, tablets and bigger screens available for all occasions. The cell phone of the future may combine all these devices into one and offer a flexible screen. The user may be able to expand or contract the phone screen on-demand. Thus, the phone can be expanded into a projector during a presentation, and then shrink back into a pocket-size device. It may also get molded into other shapes such as a wrist-watch.

The cell phone is fast growing as an essential device carried by everyone. This has attracted the attention of the fashion industry. In the coming years, it will not be surprising if the cell phones are used as fashion accessories. Bracelets, necklace pendants and many such ornaments may have cell phones embedded in them.


Holographic 3D screens may also be a reality very soon. The messages (and the messenger) may ‘step out’ into the real world and provide a realistic experience. This technology will also expand the use of the cell phone as a device to watch 3D movies, television shows and interactive games.

Research in projection technology will allow phone owners to use any surface as a projector. The keyboard as well as the display screens will be flexible and can be projected anywhere. This has tremendous potential benefits to the users. The keyboard can be projected on a wall and an email can be drafted easily using the large holographic images of the keys.

With the advances in sensor technology, the future cell phones may be embedded with several intelligent sensors. This technology will empower the devices to read the surrounding data and analyze it for the benefit of its user. For example – a cell phone can take live reading of the surrounding weather conditions, temperature and pressure. It can compare it with the meteorological reports for the region and issue warnings. Another example is a sensor that can be used as a diagnostic tool. Such sensors will go a long way in improving the versatility of the cell phone. This will lead to thousands of new apps that will leverage this technology and provide useful information.

The cell phones of tomorrow will also be better devices as compared to the current models. Research is also being carried out in improving the essential features of today’s phone models. For instance, the battery life of the phone will be a critical feature. A longer battery life is essential to use the phone for all the various functions and more. The challenge will be to invent batteries with longer life and lighter weight. Phones that can charge themselves using solar or other source of power may also usher in a green revolution. The touch-screen is another area of improvement. Bigger, better resolution will be an area of focus in the phones of tomorrow. Similarly, we will see improvements in other features and functions in the cell phones of tomorrow.

To summarize – the innovations in the mobile space will grow rapidly in the years to come. Interactive devices that can understand and react to inputs better; flexible screens that can be changed to suit the needs of the occasion; projection technology that can turn any surface into a keyboard or a screen; advanced sensors using nanotechnology; and better and powerful features and functions will continue to improve the entire mobile experience. In the years to come, the cell phone will grow in its versatility and replace several other devices such as cameras, music players and other complex devices.

 

 


What are the latest trends in information technology?

The current world is techno- centric more than ever. The rapidly expanding information sector has left a huge disparity between where the world is heading and the approaches businesses are employing to run their operations. The challenges to businesses are therefore phenomenal especially considering the fact the IT industry is undergoing a tectonic shift in technology. Different aspects of the computing landscape are changing at the same time including communication, delivery platforms and collaboration channels. With the information technology sector, technological innovations are short- lived as they are frequently changing with time. Nothing lasts forever.

So what are the latest trends in information technology? Next generation mobile devices and mobile apps: They are the smart phones and tablets. The different varieties of smart mobile devices incorporate mobile applications such as iOS, Androids, Symbian OS, webos, Windows Phone and the Blackberry OS/QNX. Their usage is already increasing globally and is quickly replacing traditional handsets. The next generation mobile devices are slowly gaining momentum with the sale of PCs. Within few years time, the sales will have leveled. Mobile applications are increasingly being used in marketing strategies such as mobile affiliate marketing.

Social media
The world is increasingly using social networking sites to stay in touch and communicate. The focus of enterprise marketing has now shifted to the use of social media for promotion of products and services. Organizations are now becoming social enterprises. Social media has provided a platform for business to directly access a global audience. Businesses are employing social media marketing due to its affordability compared to traditional marketing strategies. Social network is quickly shaping the direction of society and business.


Cloud computing
It is certainly one of the most sophisticated of the latest trends in information technology. Cloud computing provides services such as software, computation, data access and storage services without the end- user knowing the knowledge of the physical location and the configuration of the system that provides the service. It is especially effective in cutting running costs for business for data storage and other operation costs. Data- centers are now being down- sized to pave way for cloud storage. Cloud computing also has in- built scalability and elasticity features which can efficiently guide the growth of businesses.

Consumerization of Information Technology
Technological innovation is actually driven by the consumer world. More mobile applications are increasingly being built for the purpose of mobile users but not for the replacement of computer applications. The days of monolithic suits are slowly fading away and are being taken over by applications meant specifically for mobile tablets and smart phones.

Big data/ analytics and patterns
As companies continue to drown in unstructured data which they hardly access, innovations like the SLDF are being incorporated in order to manage data. There are different kinds of SLDF which include waterfall and the Agile Development Methodology. Some of the features of ADM include continuous integration of data, pair programming, offering spike solutions and refactoring. The waterfall is more traditional but is being fast replaced by the Agile Development Methodology systems. Other effective systems of data management include technologies such as in- line duplication, flash or solid- state drives and automated tiering of data.

Resource management
servers are being virtualized which benefits businesses in reducing work load management. Data centers are moving towards smaller sizes but with greater density for data storage, i.e. creation of infinite data centers. Virtualization enables the improvement of vertically scale data centers. Its use optimizes server performance hence creating more floor space and saving on energy. New scripting languages: They include Java and .NET. Some of the features and benefits of .NET include a fast turnaround time, a simpler AJAX implementation, and a single framework that handles a variety of operations. There is therefore no need for multiple frameworks from different vendors in order to perform different functionalities. It is also better funded thus, enabling new features to come out at the fastest pace possible. Some of the features integrated into the platform include LINQ, AJAX, the Unit Testing Framework, Performance Profiler, and Client Side Reporting among various other features. Java is quite similar to .NET in features and benefits.

Fabrics
This is the vertical integration of server systems, network and storage systems along with components that have element- level management software which lays the foundation that can optimize shared data resources effectively and dynamically. Systems that are incorporating this feature are Cisco and HP which use it to unify network control.

These are the latest trends in in information technology.