Electronic Educational Environment
The utilization of electronic devices and internet in education and learning has gained popularity over the years following the desire to improve the quality of education through the integration of technological innovation. There has been debate regarding the relevance of these electronic devices and the internet to students with some arguing that they should be abolished since they have negative impact on the learners. Parents and educators in objection believe technology especially the internet is contributing to loss of focus in class work and moral degradation, a negative outcome attributed to abuse of information gained from the internet and can be mitigated with appropriate guidance. Research has however revealed that electronic devices including computers and mobile phones as well as the internet are great assets to education since they aid in realization of better performance students. Technology is believed to enhance learning as it offers improved learning opportunities for a variety of students, those with special needs like the deaf inclusive, through the application of various computer programs and applications available. Through the technology, learners have been able to engage in vital learning activities that would not have been possible through the use classical learning materials. Therefore, this paper looks at the role of electronic devices and the internet in enhancing the quality of education.
Pulman, Scammell, & Martin (2009) states that the internet is very vital for learners since it offers a reliable platform where students can access a wide range of information concerning the subjects of their interests thus is extremely significant. This gives the students the opportunity to read extensively hence learn more important stuff beyond their classroom work. Internet also helps saves time since the information provided by the internet is normally narrowed down with the main points clearly stated unlike in textbooks- students only have to search their desired topic to know as the internet provide instant answers. It also offers the students different sections of instructional materials faster compared to textbooks. The explanation provided in the internet is always simplified thus easily comprehended by students compared to the textbooks that often use complex vocabulary texts complicated. The internet also acts as an unlimited source of reference materials like books, journals, newspapers and maps as well as revision materials that supplement classroom reading thus aiding to better performance as affirmed by Smith (2012).
In addition, electronic devices and the internet are significant tools in education since they can establish learning opportunities for students with different abilities. In that through their utilization, none of the students have been disadvantaged regardless of their difference in abilities and capabilities ranging from those with low concentration level to the ones with special needs. For instance, there are computer applications like the DynaVox that has enabled students with hearing and talking abilities to communicate effectively during class with their instructor hence eliminating their major barrier to learning as explicated by Smith (2012).
Moreover, electronic devices and the internet also aid better education and learning by enhancing communication among students, teachers as well as parents. Communication is very crucial in solving daily learning challenges hence helping to eliminate barriers to learning consequently improving performance. The internet has enabled students to engage in discussions via emails, chat rooms and social media as stated by Gikas & Grant (2013). For instance, mobile phones such aid in the faster relaying of urgent information to parents concerning various school issues pertaining to improvement of learning facilitating faster response unlike the convectional communication methods like letters that could take ages to reach the recipient. Social media also serves as a means of faster communication among students which may help in carrying out simple class group discussions that may eventually boost performance. Emails also forms a reliable media of communication in school that teachers could use to give directions to students even after class and send study notes as well as revision materials in order to strengthen elements learned in the classroom hence validating the relevance of computers and the internet to learners as echoed by Apel (2000).
Electronic devices such computers also enable learners with difficulty in taking notes using them easily take notes. Electronic devices are also less bulky compared to books since they are able to store a lot of information and easily portable in comparison to a heavy bag full of books that often discourages students. The information stored on the electronic devices do not easily get lost compared to books which disappear all the time forcing the affected students to postpone their studies in such of their books that contribute to failure. Electronic devices also have planning tools like calendars; clock, alarms as well as reminders that help students effectively organize themselves in terms of their studies always reminding them of major school events as explained by McCafferty (2014).
Electronic devices and the internet has also promoted e-learning that has enabled distance learning and reduced classroom congestion. Modern media of communications like emails and chat rooms have greatly influence the establishment of e-learning that has given students with the desire to school in certain colleges hindered by the distant a chance to study in their dream colleges online thus has enhanced learning. The students with dislike for attending classes have also been assisted by this system as implied by Boling, Hough, Krinsky, Saleem, & Stevens, M. (2012).
Ji, Michaels, & Waterman (2014) claims that recording devices like video and audio have also improved learning since they have enabled students to record lessons and listen to later. This has helped students with difficulty in taking notes learn effectively as well as those who were absent during the lesson. The use of video in teaching also helps students better understand the subject and makes learning interesting as well as memorable. Therefore, using multimedia presentations enhance students’ memory thus improving performance. Electronic devices also help in improving comprehensibility as they allow control learning. For instance, videos can be improved to enable the reader to comprehend easily through speech slowdown and multimedia annotations like full caption and key-word caption.
Furthermore, Henning (2015) says that electronic devices and the internet have made learning more interesting thus aiding to lower the number of school drop-outs and improving class attendance. These devices have enabled students to develop the zeal to learn as well as helping them perceive education as a significant step in life instead of viewing it as a punishment that has been the case in the past. For instance, the use of projectors to display visual aids by teachers has made learning more enjoyable, less complicated and saves time since it moves from the conventional teaching method of writing on the blackboard that was disadvantageous for some students since in most occasion the writings were invisible. This way the students are able to make clear notes with minimal mistakes thus enhancing learning. Some computer applications like games also provide a fan way of learning and revising. For example, games like Candy Crush have been known to help students revise arithmetic thus tend to aid boost students, concentration level, confidence and desire to better their classwork consequently the desire to go through to college as described by Gikas & Grant (2013).
In conclusion, electronic devices and the internet are very beneficial in education and learning since their use has made learning easier and simpler. In addition, they have been helpful in motivating students, improving personal knowledge, minimized classroom congestion, decreasing the number of school drop outs, improved attitude toward learning and increased class attendance that have been in the past a major concern by educators. They also help in the development of self-esteem and confidence in one’s ability to learn and perform well as well as in the establishment of their sense of responsibility regarding their own learning. Various computer programs can minimize discrimination in classrooms by teachers since it enables teachers to accommodate learners with different learning styles and level of understanding as well as concentrations which could not be made possible via the convention learning methods. Technology has also put a smile on students with special needs due to the invention of programs that eliminates their main barriers to learning as it provide a means for them to communicate effectively. Electronic devices and the internet through the use of recording devices like video play a key role in improving students’ performance since they aid students memorize the text. Therefore, parents and educators should not be reluctant to authorize the use of electronic devices and the internet since they have a remarkable impact on learning and education but they ought to be careful to offer guidance in order for their full potential to be realized.
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Boling, E., Hough, M., Krinsky, H., Saleem, H., & Stevens, M. (2012). Cutting the distance in distance education: Perspectives on what promotes positive, online learning experiences. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(2), 118-126. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.11.006
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Henning, M. (2015). Student motivation and quality of life in higher education. London: Routledge.
Ji, S. W., Michaels, S., & Waterman, D. (2014). Print vs. electronic readings in college courses: Cost-efficiency and perceived learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 21, 17-24. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2013.10.004
McCafferty, J. (2014). Positioning for Success in the Higher Education Online Learning Environment. IL. doi:10.18278/il.3.2.2
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Smith, A. (2012). Development of a simulated Internet for education. Research in Learning Technology, 19(1). doi:10.3402/rlt.v19s1/7777