A new report released by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, found that technology has improved the overall quality of life for citizens and has had a generally positive impact on the world.
Specifically in regards to education, the report identified three areas where technology has made significant improvements in learning:
* Improved learning outcomes
* A variety of different instructional methods to meet different learner’s needs
* Increased access to education
Technology, and specifically the Internet, has made it possible for more people to access information they would never have been able to get otherwise, said the report. Also, online learning was touted as a major technological breakthrough for education because it enables distance-learning and greatly expands the amount of education available to each individual.
The study didn’t deliver all good news for ed-tech, though. Closing the digital divide and making sure everyone has equal access to new technology was identified as one of the technological challenges moving forward.
I tend to agree with a lot of what the report said. The improvements in technology have opened the door to greater educational opportunities for many people, although I do think that we have a long way to go before the educational potential of the Internet and other technologies are fully realized. Technology can provide tons of solutions for some of the problems we see in our classrooms, but if it isn’t understood or implemented properly, those solutions can sometimes do more harm than good.
What do you think? Did this report paint an accurate picture of the way that technology has affected education? Or is it too much of an optimistic view?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.