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Technology in education: an overview of the latest resources in teaching and learning

Posted on: January 26, 2024
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The world of education has come a long way since the use of blackboards and textbooks. Today, technology in education has become indispensable, and from primary school to higher education institutions, learners are benefiting from the integration of digital technologies into the learning process.

The evolution of technology in education

The integration of technology into education has undergone a profound transformation over the last couple of decades. What once started as a novel approach has now become an essential part of the education system, and the use of technology such as digital tools and resources has become commonplace in classrooms. And in a relatively short length of time, the education technology (EdTech) landscape has changed dramatically. 

Encyclopaedias have been replaced by online resources. Chalkboards have become interactive whiteboards or SMARTboards. Classrooms – or whole schools – that may have had just a handful of desktop computers now have tablets, iPads, and laptops for the majority of learners. 

One of the key drivers behind this transformation to information and communication technology (commonly known as ICT) in education is the recognition that technology enhances the learning process and can be a catalyst for improved learning outcomes. 

For example, recent educational research published in the International Journal of Higher Education noted that technology integration in teaching methods has resulted in enhanced competencies among learners, particularly in areas such as problem-solving and critical thinking.

Popular technology resources for teaching and learning

Learning tools and apps

The availability of learning applications and similar tools has, in many ways, revolutionised the way educators facilitate student learning. From interactive math apps for primary school pupils to advanced coding platforms for secondary school and high school pupils, these resources are helping learners engage with content in a more interactive and accessible way. For example, children can develop skills in coding languages, such as HTML, but they can also explore more traditional subjects, such as English and social sciences, in dynamic new ways. There are also advanced platforms that have enabled students in higher education to better facilitate their qualitative and quantitative research and development activities.

Laptops and online learning systems

The COVID-19 pandemic made online learning mainstream. Today, laptops and digital devices are essential tools for learners of all ages, and learning management systems (LMS) – such as Moodle and Canvas – have become central to the e-learning methodology. These platforms enable learners to access resources, submit assignments, and engage in discussions virtually.

Mobile phones and social media

While mobile phones were once considered distractions in the classroom, many educators are now harnessing their potential for educational purposes. More and more, people are recognising that mobile applications and social media platforms have proven to be powerful tools for communication and collaboration. For example, WhatsApp groups enable pupils to discuss course material, share resources, and seek help from their peers, all on a platform that they’re likely already using in their personal lives.

The role of technology in changing teaching pedagogy

The infusion of technological tools into education has prompted many educators worldwide to rethink traditional teaching practices. The days of one-size-fits-all lesson plans are giving way to personalised learning experiences, and with the help of data analysis, teachers can even identify each learners’ strengths and weaknesses and then tailor their teaching to individual needs.

Teachers and educators are also increasingly shifting their lessons to incorporate multimedia resources, such as interactive simulations and virtual field trips, into their learning environments to cater to different learning styles and aid in the conceptual understanding of complex topics. For instance, a physics lesson can come to life with the use of simulations and 3D models. And these online interventions are great for sustainability as they mean less reliance on printed or physical resources.

Meanwhile, teachers are also integrating technology into their own learning and professional development. According to the UK’s Department of Education, teachers, lecturers, and education leaders can use technology in their CPD (continuing professional development) so that “they can develop more flexibly.” 

Challenges in educational technology

While there are many benefits to using learning technology in education, it’s worth noting that not all learners have equal access to digital resources. For example, if a pupil doesn’t have internet access at home, they may not be able to complete their homework to the same standard as their peers – if it all. This so-called digital divide can exacerbate inequalities in the education system, although initiatives aimed at bridging this divide – such the Creative Commons Open Education Programme – can help connect underserved communities to educational resources.

Another challenge in educational technology is getting the right balance between face-to-face learning and online learning. Technology is powerful, but it can’t always replace the human connection or social interaction that traditional classroom environments can provide students and pupils. With this in mind, it’s essential that educators carefully consider how to blend technology resources with face-to-face teacher education in order to create the best-possible learning outcomes.

The future of technology in education

Technology in education is more than just a trend – it’s had a transformational impact on learning spaces, and will only continue to evolve. 

According to a report from the UK government, Future opportunities for education technology in England, there is scope to integrate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality (VAR), blockchain, and social reports in education. 

The report also suggests that EdTech has the potential to further support other areas of education, such as:

  • Improving pupil attainment.
  • Reducing teacher workload.
  • Saving timing on school management activities.
  • Completing teaching-related tasks.
  • Supporting pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
  • Offering enhanced online learning.
  • Planning curriculum content.
  • Tracking pupil progress.

Transform learners’ lives through the power of technology

Discover how technology can revolutionise how people teach and learn by studying the 100% online MA Education Technology at Keele University. This flexible, part-time programme has been designed to build the skills and knowledge of teachers, lecturers, administrators, managers, e-learning developers, and trainers, and is suitable for anyone with a keen interest in education and technology integration in learning strategies.

You’ll gain the skills and expertise to apply tech innovations to full effect across a diverse range of educational settings and for a diverse range of purposes. You will also explore how new technologies can unlock a new dimension of teaching and learning, revolutionising your professional practice and addressing critical issues in wider global education.

Key areas of study include:

  • rethinking teaching and learning with digital technologies
  • global education issues
  • online and blended learning design
  • educational technologies in practice
  • education, employment, and professional identity.
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