The Colliers Dictionary defines technology as the application of scientific knowledge and advances to practical purposes. The application of this definition to the educational system, means that technology can and will only seek to improve the educational system. There are numerous reason why this is so, there is the boost it will give to students self esteem, it helps them to prepare for the world of work, the educational opportunities it presents for students whether they are physically challenged or not.
The use of technology in the classroom will improve students' motivation and attitudes about themselves and about learning. Students are found to be challenged, engaged, and more independent when using technology. By encouraging experimentation and exploration of the numerous things they can learn on their own through the use of technology, students will gain a greater sense of responsibility for their work, creating better assignments that will reflect the increase in knowledge and talent through the use of this technology.
Some students will find it hard to retain information thorough oral presentation; technology will make this process a lot easier through the use of graphics and interaction. Technology presents lots of educational opportunities and possibilities for the student. There is no limit to the amount of information you can get through the use of technology, one the many great opportunities lies in correspondence courses. By using this type of educational system, students who find it difficult to learn in the classroom environment could learn at their own pace, while tailoring the courses to the their specific needs.
The educational system of the physically challenged can also be enhanced, making learning easier for them, while giving them a sense of independence. The many devices that can assist in this area of education could be voice recognition software for the visually impaired, this will allow them to give voice commands to machinery to perform task for them, for example, dictating an assignment for school. Students who have limited hand mobility could use a key-guard on a keyboard, which will help to guide the pointing device they will use to help select a single key on the keyboard at a time.
Technology in the educational system can also help to prepare our students for the world of work. The business sector whether it is private or public, is highly computerized.
Without the familiarity of technology and what it does, our students will be lost in the business world. We need to help make our students computer literate at an early age as possible, doing this will make their transition into the world of work easier.
Technology can be used as an administrative and management tool, this will enable principals and vice-principals to streamline the operation of the educational system. They could monitor students’ progress, which will help them to be more aware of the those students who are having problems in school, dealing with them on an individual level, and finding appropriate ways of dealing with the students particular problems, so they would not get lost in the system.
In Barbados today we are moving in the right direction by introducing the use of technology in the form of our ‘Edutech Program’. This leads me to believe, that our government is seeing the importance of technology within our education system and is making all efforts to introduce it in the education of our youth.
Technology is not going to fix the problems associated with education, but, at the same time, the problems that plague our educational system are not going to be remedied without the presence of technology.