Education has changed in many ways over the decades and even centuries. It used to be only offered to the very rich and elite but now is offered to everyone. For many years, children of every age would gather in schoolhouses and learn in one large room together from one teacher. Where we are now is much different. Education has evolved in many ways, including how technology plays a part. Education has never been more technologically advanced or accessible. Here are some of the main ways that technology has changed education as we know it.
If the Covid-19 pandemic had happened even a decade ago, millions of children around the world would not have gotten any sort of education while schools were closed. Universities and colleges would have shut down until it was safe to reopen, with all of those students left to wait until they could return. However, since it happened in 2020, students have the ability to continue their education, whether it’s learning the alphabet in grade school or pursuing an MHA degree. Technology has made it so that everyone can learn remotely as long as they have internet access. You could attend your college lectures from across the world if you wanted to.
Unprecedented Access to Information
Before the internet, if you wanted to research something, you had to go to the library and read books. You could make notations on information, and write down important quotes and passages. It was incredibly time-consuming, and you were never certain to find the information you were looking for. You could spend hours reading through one book, only to realize that it had nothing relevant for your project.
Now, essentially the entirety of the world’s knowledge is available on a device you can hold in the palm of your hand. There’s no need to be at the whim of how good your school or local library is. You can do research, find scholarly articles, even buy and download textbooks right onto your phone or computer without having to leave your home. Sure, there are probably still certain degrees and courses that require looking up actual books, but they are getting fewer and farther between. Even if you are taking one of those courses, you can still look up what’s in each before reading them, so you will know which ones have relevant information for you.
In-person college lectures and seminars tend to mostly be made up of people from the same part of the world, or even of the country. Yes, there may be international students, but the vast majority will have geography in common. That means that many of the viewpoints being shared come from the same place. However, now the sharing of ideas and viewpoints can be broader. You can ask people from all over the world about their perspective and how living somewhere else might make it different from yours. The social learning environment is a powerful way to expand knowledge of the world beyond our borders and take a higher-level view of the issues that we face every day.
The days of opening up a textbook and reading from it as a class is going by the wayside. There has always been an understanding that not every student learns and works in the same ways, but education systems forced those students to either adapt or fall through the cracks. Now, a curriculum and course materials can be adapted to the learner. They can be text-based as well as audio and video-based, for instance. The curriculum can be adapted as per the skill level of each learner. This allows them to work at their own pace as opposed to trying to keep up with the class.
Flexible Learning Schedules
Let’s say that you want to make a change in your career, but it involves returning to school. That can be difficult since you still need to work and make money. In the past, if you were lucky, courses for the degree or diploma you wanted were offered at night and you could go to school during your off time. This meant a longer time period before you could get your degree since you were at the mercy of the course schedule.
However, now there are courses available whenever you want them to be. With online degrees, many of the courses are completely flexible. You learn when you have time to learn, and you submit assignments either by due dates or when it’s convenient. Not only that, but mentoring is much easier since you can send an email, start a chat, or even text to discuss things with your professor and get the help you need.
When you stop and think about it, it is truly amazing how education has changed and evolved over time. Students are no longer learning with chalkboards and reams of paper. With developments in technology, education is more accessible than ever before, and more students of all ages are being exposed to new worlds of possibilities.