This post was last Updated on by Himanshu Tyagi to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
Recent years have brought several technologically driven changes to society. From changing how humans communicate to altering how many businesses function, technology deeply affects life in all societal sectors.
One area of society that technology has significantly impacted is education and, specifically, how children learn. While many hope these technological changes benefit the education system, others are worried about the unforeseen consequences of these shifts.
Looking at the different positive and negative ways the tech industry is changing the educational landscape is critical to developing an accurate perspective on education today.
Here is unveiling the impact of the tech industry on children’s education.
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How the Tech Industry Is Changing Education
Over the last decade, the adoption of technology by society has been swift and significant. The case is no different in the education sector, with many schools making digital technology an essential facet of their educational processes.
However, in addition to an increasing prioritization of technology in the education sector, the COVID-19 pandemic marked a massive shift in the importance of technology in educating students.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools didn’t allow students or faculty to attend school in person. Instead, to ensure that they were keeping students and staff safe from the risk of contracting COVID-19, schools took advantage of digital technology to make lessons remote.
This forced teachers and students alike to develop an understanding of and comfort with using various technology to engage in learning. This included utilizing various online educational platforms, video calls, email, and other digital tools.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the traditional classroom to evolve significantly by incorporating digital tools. In today’s day and age, though most schools have reopened their doors, many refuse to return to entirely traditional teaching methods. Instead, most schools have permanently incorporated digital technology into their teaching approaches.
Ultimately, the tech industry enabled schools to pivot quickly during the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and enabled education to be remote through digital tools.
Though the lockdown has ended, the tech industry still provides schools with the tools to teach students through digital means and usher education into the new age.
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The Benefits of Utilizing Digital Technology in Classrooms
While the layout of classrooms and the types of lessons conducted in them stayed more or less static for the better part of a century, the tech industry and COVID-19 have radically altered the educational paradigm. Instead of relying primarily on analog teaching methods, the modern classroom now features many digital resources for students and teachers.
In particular, distance learning — made possible by using digital tools such as computers and applications — has brought several benefits for both students and teachers.
For students, distance learning made it easier for different pupils to learn at their own pace. As a result, many students could benefit by learning and internalizing information at their speed rather than being forced to engage in a one-size-fits-all approach to learning.
In addition to taking some lessons at their own pace, distance learning, made possible by the tech industry, allowed students to gain more insight into their unique individual learning styles.
While this may seem insignificant, understanding how one learns can make tackling complex subjects easier, staying motivated in learning pursuits, and accomplishing lofty educational goals.
Though students enjoyed various benefits from incorporating digital technology into classrooms, teachers also critically benefited from this societal change. One specific way that teachers benefit from utilizing technology in the classroom is better use of time.
Rather than wasting time on many different tasks, distance learning made it easier for teachers to schedule lessons and utilize their time most effectively.
Beyond the ability to use time more effectively, digital technology has made it easier for teachers to keep students engaged, specifically by fusing in-person instruction with stimulating digital tools and resources, such as videos and interactive digital spaces.
As a result of these increased levels of engagement, teachers can be more effective in their roles while also making learning more enjoyable for the students they instruct.
Ultimately, many of the changes that incorporating digital technology in the classroom has brought have been beneficial. As a result, many are hopeful that even more benefits will soon become apparent as schools become better at using digital technology in instruction and the tech industry produces more classroom-specific technology.
However, while the tech industry has benefited many classrooms, some glaring concerns have arisen due to these significant changes that are hard to ignore.
The Cons of Using Digital Technology in the Classroom
As many have experienced, the effect of the tech industry on education has been significant. Unfortunately, not all of the impacts made by this seismic societal shift have been positive. Several critical negative repercussions have arisen from children utilizing digital technology significantly in their educational pursuits.
One of the most glaring negative impacts of the tech industry on children is their increased time spent staring at screens. While many parents do their best to take precautions against their children spending too much time on computers, smartphones, and tablets, it is becoming increasingly difficult.
As a result of this already significant problem, many are worried about students having to utilize digital technology in their educational pursuits and recreational activities. Furthermore, it makes it difficult for parents to distinguish between their children making good use of their time with digital technology and them misusing it.
Beyond the problem of students spending too much time in front of screens, the required use of technology in the classroom — and outside of it — have made it abundantly clear that not all students have the same access to technology.
Engaging in remote and digital learning activities is relatively easy for students with internet connections and digital devices. However, engaging in normal educational activities can significantly challenge students without these resources.
When engaging in-class work, these students are limited to public devices, such as computers at libraries and schools. As a result, the increasing utilization of digital technology in schools has alienated many students without the resources to benefit appropriately from these educational changes.
The increasingly apparent digital divide has made many people antagonistic to incorporating more digital tools into classroom activities. Shortly, many hope there will be more initiatives to make access to digital technology more equitable for all students, thereby making education more equitable.
How Parents Can Help Their Children Navigate an Increasingly Digital World
Regardless of one’s attitude about incorporating tech-focused tools in the classroom, this alteration in the educational system is likely here to stay. In addition, it is more than likely that digital technology will continue to play a significant role in the recreational pursuits of most children throughout the country.
While there may not be much that one can do to alter this societal trend, one can help guide one’s children in the right direction. For those attempting to do this, it can help to see some examples of tactics and techniques for helping one’s children navigate an increasingly digital and tech-driven world.
Here are some ways parents can help children avoid the negative aspects of utilizing digital technology inside and outside school.
Limit Screen Time
Though it may seem like a complex and possibly problematic rule to enforce, limiting children’s screen time can be incredibly beneficial. Without setting firm boundaries about the amount of time that one’s children can use digital technology, the likelihood of one’s children developing an addiction to digital technology is significantly higher.
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Explain Cyberbullying and How to Avoid It
Today, cyberbullying is a global problem that affects children all over the world. Children who spend a significant amount of time in front of screens have a great chance of encountering cyberbullying and must understand ways to combat this disheartening phenomenon.
Some key tactics that one can teach children to combat cyberbullying include:
- Never respond to cyberbullies
- Always notify an adult about instances of cyberbullying
- Refrain from forwarding or reposting any cyberbullying messages
- Take a screenshot for evidence if possible
Help Children Understand the Negative Consequences of Digital Technology
For many children, it can be difficult to see anything negative about using digital technology — mainly if it’s utilized in the classroom.
To help one’s children healthily use digital technology, it’s imperative to expose them to the negative consequences of digital technology.
The more they understand the repercussions of overusing digital technology, the less likely they will engage in this behavior.
Encourage Children to Be Open
When one’s children feel the need to be secretive about their time utilizing digital technology, it can be incredibly harmful. Not only can this make it easier for them to have too much screen time, but it can also encourage risky online behavior.
To ensure that one’s children are acting safely online, one must set a precedent that one’s children should be open with them. This means being careful not to chastise children for coming to one with problems or challenges revolving around digital devices.
If children feel comfortable coming to their parents with problems, they’ll be more likely to open up about their challenges with digital technology.
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The Future of Tech in Education
Though the tech industry has already significantly impacted children’s education, it seems highly likely that more consequential changes will soon impact education everywhere.
Gaining an awareness of some of the incoming tech-driven changes to classrooms and learning can give one a deeper understanding of how education is evolving in today’s modern era.
Here are some ways that the tech industry will impact education shortly.
Tech Will Allow Gaming to Take a More Central Role in Education
For many students, school can be a tedious affair that doesn’t stimulate or excite them. As a result of these experiences, many students don’t apply themselves to educational pursuits and end up falling behind. Tech, however, is offering schools and teachers a way to make learning more stimulating for students.
Introducing games into classrooms can help students feel excited to learn while making it easier to focus on lessons and apply themselves. Though this may seem like a novel and inconsequential change, this shift in teaching methods enabled by tech could improve the learning experience for many students.
Virtual Reality Will Enable Lessons to Be More Interactive
Virtual reality, which seemed like futuristic technology from a sci-fi novel just a few years ago, is steadily becoming a more viable tool for educational settings. By being able to immerse students in stimulating ways, this tech will soon be a tool every teacher will be able to use to get students more interested and engaged in lessons.
Artificial Intelligence Will Help Teachers Personalize Learning for Students
One of the most significant critiques school systems face is their largely one-size-fits-all approach. In this learning paradigm, students more advanced in their understanding are held back, while struggling students are left behind.
Thankfully, artificial intelligence software will likely soon be capable of measuring the specific learning needs of each student, thereby allowing teachers to personalize education. This can have a dramatic impact on education as we know it and improve educational experiences for students across the world.
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The Tech Industry is Changing Education Forever
While there have been both beneficial and harmful consequences on students from the tech industry’s impact on education, no one can deny that these changes have been immense.
From making distance learning a viable option for millions of students to changing how children learn by making lessons more interactive, the tech industry radically alters education.
Though tech-related concerns should be addressed in the educational sector, many hope to see innovations that improve children’s learning shortly.