The COVID-19 reality has triggered some profound changes in all spheres of life: how people think, work, do business, and, of course, how they study. Yes, the role of technology in education has never been this significant. Without Zoom, Skype, Google Classroom, and similar applications, it would not be possible to continue studying.
Although online education was used as a crisis-management tool, its full potential is yet to be exposed. Integrating technology and helpful platforms, such as write my essay online service or Moodle, into the current curriculum can be a definite educational game changer.
But how does technology influence students and their productivity? Is it possible to graduate online? What consequences can digital education have in the future? Let’s try and answer these and other questions.
The Influence of Technology on Students
As stated by MÑKinsey, the impact of technology on students and their productivity depends on a wide array of factors. The PISA study has shown that data projectors, Internet-connected computers, laptops, and tablets influence learners differently.
The individuals who use tablets or laptops in classrooms have worse results than those who do not. Yet, it is only valid for the students that are physically present during classes. Their attention is split between a teacher who explains the study material and their laptop.
Still, the results also vary between subjects. Laptops have a more significant impact on math results than they do on results in science, for instance.
At the same time, other sources, including SH!FT, claim that by studying online, students can get a 25-60% learning retention rate, compared to 8-10% provided by offline learning. And this statistic also has its logic: online learners can keep their own pace and review the material as many times as they need to.
No matter how technology influences students’ performance, it is impossible to imagine studying without using it. Besides, the vast majority of helping tools and platforms are only available online.
Is It Possible to Graduate Online?
Even before the pandemic, some colleges offered online programs. Naturally, in the current reality, a growing number of institutions develop such curriculums to fit in. So, yes, it is possible to graduate online. However, this approach entails both benefits and challenges.
Benefits of Online Studying
The first and foremost benefit of online education is its flexibility. To be present in your classes, you just need your suitable device and Internet access. What’s more, it is possible to create a curriculum according to your own needs and requirements in some universities. Thus, you can study at your pace, which will only enhance your results.
Moreover, flexibility brings along the other benefit of online education, namely the increased class attendance. As students can join the class from any location, there is a lower chance that they will miss it.
Enhanced teacher performance is also a nice outcome of using technology in education. Teachers can implement useful digital tools to broaden learning opportunities and achieve maximum student engagement. It also allows teachers to improve their instruction methods and personalize learning.
Challenges of Online Studying
A strong need for self-discipline is the main drawback of such learning. Online courses require even more discipline and time management skills than regular ones. So, if you are prone to procrastination, online studying can trigger it even more.
Now, let’s consider tuition fees. It is still a rare case when tuition fees for online studies are different (more affordable) than offline. One could tell that if you get the same material both ways, why should the prices differ?
Yet, in prestigious HEIs like Harvard and Oxford, students also pay for networking while studying. Networking is of great importance after graduation. Your fellow students could be your potential colleagues or even employers. So, considering that networking opportunities are rather limited online, tuition fees may be too high in some cases.
Many students claim that they struggle to focus on the screen for a long time. It is also easier for them to be distracted by social media or other sites. Thus, teachers must make their online classes engaging and interactive for learners to stay focused.
The real impact of online learning and technology on students and their academic performance is yet to be carefully studied. Technology can significantly enhance the studying experience. Yet, we need to ensure that both teachers and students have to stick to some rules and best practices.
For instance, teachers should prepare engaging materials that students will revisit later for better retention. Students, in turn, should not use tablets during math classes, as it is proven to decrease their performance in the field.
All in all, technology plays a critical part in modern education, and this importance will only increase in the years to come. So, educational systems in all the countries should be adjusted to this growing trend.