With the current trend towards globalization, new approaches must be adopted in the way people learn and share the skills and knowledge learnt. Technological media amplifies the resources available to learners and reduces dependence on the textbooks, these reference materials can always be updated and can easily be accessed via internet. As the pressures builds up for learners to adopt new technological media, classrooms are incorporating powerful intervention tools to assist in collection of data, link up with colleagues, table and analyze their findings. This has brought about a high level of self reliance and confidence in the part of the students that promotes creativity. Technological media enables learners to manipulate data in a way that accelerates their understanding and the progression to high – level thinking skills. As the learner finds more advanced information in the areas of their study, avenues are always open to share their findings with the world thus broadening their role from that of researchers of other people products to authors of their own work.
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The integration of technological media in the market place has by far redefined knowledge, skills, attitude and the expectations about what it means to be an educated person. This wind of change has blown through more classrooms, forcing them to adopt the new technology to help them meet these obvious challenges. The use of computers and Internet especially Youtube, Facebook and Skype has greatly reduced the time that the information takes from the source to millions of consumers around the globe. Important webnars, auctions, sales advertisement, world leaders’ meetings are done with participants sitting in different podiums around the world. All these intervention of technology outside the class dictates the expectations that the outside world has for the graduates from a modern classroom.
Today the adverse effect of environment and global warming has forced many nations to consider and adopt “green” methods that are environmentally friendly in every sphere of life including teaching and learning process. Within this process the teacher and the learner are required to drive (or fly) less to reduce green gas emissions to the environment. Use of technological media, TV and Internet as medium of learning is considered “green” and therefore more appropriate.
Unlike in the normal face-to-face learning it is difficult to control or filter what learners may expose themselves to, as they interact with technological media. It is however paramount to ensure that the learner only get timely and specific resource materials relating to the professional aspects and particular content of the lesson. It is therefore recommended that the teacher use the following guidelines.
Guidelines in the use of Technological media in learner
Set Positive perception
Successful use of technological media by a learner entails right perception towards successful use of the technological medium through which learning is performed. This crucial point is the basic principal for without the elementary skills of the technology, the perception on the workability of that technology media can be dented. Options such as that customize the display of information, alternatives for auditory information and those that provide alternatives for visual information should be made clear.
Engagement in technological media pre disposes the work of the teacher or learner to a large community who would apparently contribute towards the development of that particular work. The exercise to engage with large communities brings about the need to acquiring appropriate knowledge of the professional language and practices. Teacher’s guidance is paramount at this stage, to guarantee successful support and planning of engagements with such community.
Preparation for physical action
The teacher should provide for Models and Demos broken down into small steps for daily practice to help learners advance both in their speed and their accuracy. Various Technology media offers diverse formats for such practice.
Skills and Fluency
The inability to retrieve what has been learnt quickly and accurately creates fluency problems for many learners. There is need to identify the problem areas and link the known skills of the learner to those that are unknown.
The teacher should develop an appropriate and working method to instill sustained interest to learners on the subject and methodologies of the lesson. This reduces effort in the accomplishment of the class work requirement and enhances self – discipline.
Benefits of Technology in Learning
Improves student achievement
Traditional learning method restricted the learner to the teachers’ instructional resources and textbooks. Technological media opens a larger window from which the learners can source for inexhaustible resource materials. This therefore eliminates limitations of the extent to which the learners can achieve.
Improves school efficiency and productivity
The technological media is fast and easily accessible hence the learning process can be done from any where at any time. The teaching learning process is also not limited to a classroom environment but a single lesson can reach thousands of learners at the same time.
Helps teachers meet professional requirements
With technology advancing very fast there is always a need to have the teacher kept up to date with the emerging issues. This is made easy with the technological media for the teacher can get in touch with such issues as they emerge. Technological media also sets stage for teachers to discuss and find solutions relating to areas of their expertise. Such discussions set higher levels in teachers’ experience and professionalism.
Improves learning skills
Technology sets a platform for world wide forums in which pertinent learning skills are discussed among experts and learners. Involvement in such forums boosts ones knowledge and skills in the topic of discussion. Learners get the opportunity to interact with other students with similar challenges and together come up with advanced ways of facing such challenges.
Helps schools meet all students’ needs
Schools can have students with varying needs based on their levels of ability. Sometimes it is difficult to go down and satisfy the needs of each particular student in a group. However, with technological media it is possible for students to learn at their own pace, consulting their teacher at different points and levels as they advance in the skills learnt. Fast paced learners will always find their matches outside their classroom and therefore avoid being dragged behind by the average and slow learners.
Promotes equity and access in education
Disabled students are always challenged from accessing services and resources that other students are exposed to. For example such students may not be able to access libraries services situated in raised floors unless special access ways are installed in such buildings. Other students may be disadvantaged by the virtue of their distance from appropriate resource stations. Technological media comes handy to eliminate such barriers and give each learner equal opportunity to access education at any given time.
Improves workforce skills
It is easy to link the classroom and the market place through technology. This aspect greatly informs the learners of the requirement at the work place and therefore can be able to prepare accordingly. Feed back from the work place can also be exchanged and shared easily between the learner, the teacher and the work place.
Challenges in Technological Media
Teachers always express their concern about not having enough time to perfect and update the relevant skills to use technological media effectively. School administrators find it challenging to fully integrate a variety of tools into the syllabi while maintaining the broad curriculum goals. These factors require extra time and budget which are consistently lacking to many. Technology media without experienced teachers’ guidance may result in more harm than good for learners. For technology to fulfill its mandate, teachers must establish environments that allow reflection and discussions aimed at problem solving.
Over reliance on technological media has resulted to many learners abandoning books and other learning materials such as maps which are valuable real world tools. This has caused harm to learners as they have developed single learning styles that may limit their curriculum goals. The introduction of technological media in schools demands tremendous amount of physical and organizational restructuring for all the key institutional players. This can sometimes be expensive and only the established institutions can afford.
It can be concluded that infusion and integration of technology in schools is a worthwhile project that should be implemented in all learning environments. However the use of technology should not substitute the use of books and other valuable real world tools of learning, but it should rather compliment them. In addition technology should not only be integrated as a separate subject but as a tool to enhance and promote learning on a day to day basis.
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