Discussion 3

Technology & Education

Technology has played a great role in enhancing the way schools operate. It has enhanced how we as students receive our education and how our teachers present the information to us. I chose to focus on education instead of the other two topics because it really plays a big role in my life at this moment. I have also witnessed first-hand how much technology has really improved the process of teaching and learning. The topic that I will be focusing on is MOOCS and how the method of taking a credit in school and learning something new has been made much easier.

Sheridan College offers their courses in many ways; in class, hybrid and online. However despite the type of class you take, technology is used in some aspect of either the learning or delivering process. For example our online class Cybernation is a great example of how we all are able to take a credit, learn something new, in a convenient and accessible way. An online course combines many forms of technology to deliver a class including SLATE which is our main source of information and communication center between student and teacher. The devices we use like our computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices in order to complete quizzes, discussions, readings and homework. The trend of online classes is on the rise and according to the readings “Technology will also bring future students an array of new choices about how to build and customize their educations.” (Harden, 2012) MOOCs allows students to study a class from a distance, usually at no cost. We are not forced anymore to learn in the same generic form we once were subjected to years ago in elementary/high school. The advancements in technology allow the students to choose what courses they want to take and how they will receive their education. MOOCs are now making their way into every school and every grade. “In addition to advanced biology, the students are also taking justice and Greek mythology courses not typically offered in high schools because of limited resources and interest.” (Jackson, n.d) Another benefit to MOOCs is that there is simply not the time, space or resources to teach every class in school, therefore an online class appeals to a bigger audience and allows students to learn at their own time and pace. It is a way for a teacher to broaden the audience to which they teach. A class at Stanford would normally enroll a few hundred students, an online course however has the capability of enrolling 100, 000 students. The professor noted that “I would have had to teach my normal Stanford class for 250 years.” (Harden, 2012) The amount of people that are receiving an education and the time that is being saved is one of the many remarkable benefits of MOOCs. “In India illiteracy is one of the biggest problems. Lack of easy access, lack of teachers, lack of interest, poverty, gender differentiation, lack of infrastructure, common curricula are few of the reasons which are holding back the progress in rural education. But with the use of technology mass education can be given and situation can be changed.”(Kaur, 2013) This is another example of how technology could really enhance the access to education and how MOOCs could benefit the people of India. In a country where education is hard to come by, technology would increase the opportunity for many citizens to receive an education.

This example is unique to my society as I am a part of the Sheridan and Mississauga community. I have been to high school and now college in the same city and have seen how the improvements have changed the way I learn. Sheridan is also one of the colleges at the forefront of utilizing technology to improve their schools and education offerings. India is the country where I come from and therefore I wanted to talk about how changes both in Canada and India make a difference. Technological advancement to education is an important topic to me because I appreciate having the ability to choose the structure of my education as opposed to having it imposed on me. I have already witnessed how school can be without the advancement and improvements that come with technology and am happy that technology is continuously improving our educational system. Learning is definitely limited without technology both in which the form it is offered and the tools available to help you learn. Technology is not limited to MOOCS in education, many things at Sheridan are have been enhanced by modern day technology. Our Sheridan student pass cards allow us access to our classrooms, printing is available on every floor either wirelessly through our laptops or on the computers in the library. Our classrooms are controlled by one electronic device which is unused for the lights, microphone, blinds and projectors. All these improvements allow for an easier transfer of knowledge from the teacher to student. Many argue that online learning cannot compare to in school classes “But researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative, who’ve been experimenting with computer-based learning for years, have found that when machine-guided learning is combined with traditional classroom instruction, students can learn material in half the time.”

In conclusion technology has played a major role in education starting at the campus. How we operate, how we learn, how we submit our work is all dependent on technology. Going beyond the campus online classes allow the teacher to reach more students and educate more people. It allows students the flexibility and independence of choosing which class to study and learning at their own pace. Lastly I believe that MOOCs are definitely the future of education and technology has once again gives us the tools to teach and learn much more efficiently. I decided to present my discussion on tackk because it is a tool I have never used before and it was a creative way to utilize technology as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

References:

Audette, J. (2012, December 20). Infographic: Rise of the MOOCs. NerdScholar. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/nerdscholar/2012/infographic-rise-moocs/

Harden, N. (2012, December 11). The End of the University as We Know It - The American Interest. Features The End of the University as We Know It Comments. Retrieved February 22, 2014, from http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2012/12/11/the-end-of-the-university-as-we-know-it/

Jackson, N. M. (n.d.). MOOCs go to K12: Higher ed trend expands to high schools. District Administration Magazine. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://www.districtadministration.com/article/moocs-go-k12-higher-ed-trend-expands-high-schools

Kaur, R. (2012, December 23). Use of technology in rural education of India. Use of technology in rural education of India. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://www.mapsofindia.com/my-india/education/use-of-technology-in-rural-education-of-india

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