Educational technology is the process of integrating technology into education in a positive manner that promotes a more diverse learning environment and a way for students to learn how to use technology as well as their common assignments. Learning technologies do not always have a bright side.
The following is a list of just some of the advantages and disadvantages of using learning technologies in class.
- Interactive – it can give feedback and evaluation and, unlike a teacher, never tires of giving feedback repeatedly
- Multimedia – it provides a combination of media (text, graphics, sound, and video) in one place
- IT skills acquired – students learn IT skills
- Student paced – students can work through the material at their own speed Variety = Fun! – novel and entertaining, and can add variety to courses Presentation quality – work on the computer is often neat
- Authentic – content of CD-ROMs and the Internet is often written by native speakers
- Real communication – lots of ‘community’ functions on the Internet such as forums, email etc.
- Storage – you can save work for future access and sharing
- Motivating – for all the above reasons
- Technical issues – if technical support is not easily available, teachers may need more training, or be confident enough to ask their learners if they know how to solve the problem
- IT skills required – for software and the Internet
- Mixed ability and degrees of comfort with technology – both learners and teachers
- Student objections – students may have had bad learning experiences in the past, they may use computers excessively in other subjects
- Can seduce teachers – “I’ll get a coffee while they get on with it”, “I haven’t had time to plan a lesson – I’ll take them into the computer room” etc. Need to be careful about technology leading pedagogy, and using technology as an easy option
- Integration problems – teachers don’t use the equipment and software available
- Classroom management – teachers may have to change their classroom management techniques
- Accuracy of language and appropriacy of content on the Internet may not always be suitable
- Distraction – many Internet sites have a lot of distracting advertisements, and it’s easy for learners to get lost