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With an increasingly digital world, one of the facts of life today is rapid technological change, an issue that is not solely limited to business but can also have a massive impact on data safety, the digital footprints of kids and education.

There is little that can counter the effects of technological change, but one thing that those in the education system can do is to try to understand those changes better. 

Teachers are thinking like designers

A false dichotomy can be created in education for those who are in favor of and against the use of technology by such rapid change.

Naysayers may sometimes seem justified given the short shelf-life of technology in education as well as the mess that results from fragmentation and proliferation. There is no doubt that rushing to embrace new tech just for the sake of trendiness is wasteful and inadequate.

However, rather than just ignoring all new technology, the best solution would be to find ways of designing teaching and learning in light of new tech and social contexts. 

The cost issue

Adopting new technology that comes at such a rapid rate inevitably brings with it increased costs – both financial and intellectual.

It will obviously be expensive to replace hardware and software that has now become obsolete, but educators are also being presented with a moving target trying to implement the original and the innovative. 

Educators often need to be experts not just in learning but also in purveying new technology, being pioneers for early adopters and finally becoming masters of managing the entire process for many different students over the course of a semester or year. 

Focusing on the function

Technology is always aging as well as being fragmented over different generations of hardware and is available in many dynamic forms, but this can be as much an advantage as a frustration. 

After moving past the spectacle of new technology, the challenge becomes to re-center the learner and the design of the curriculum and assessments that are there to give support to that learner. 

No single platform can be completely trusted given the fluid and elusive nature of technology, but the good thing about this is that this very rapid change deemphasizes the importance of the technology itself and puts the focus more onto why technology is used and how it can be used. 

The need to think differently

Rapid technological change makes it difficult for institutions of formal learning famed for their inertia to 

keep up. 

The rate of change leaves tech policies, plans for teacher growth and even the structures of departments impotent and in danger of fragmenting. 

Yet educators are expected to be at the top of their game by society and by academic standards, making the educators’ own professional diligence and curiosity a vital factor supplanting any ideas about professional development coming from the top down. 

Educators must also change their own thinking habits in order to deemphasize the constantly morphing tech itself. 

Educators need to learn not to jump to conclusions or draw erroneous inferences based on insufficient data as well as refraining from trumpeting their own biases and refusing to think about other solutions. 

Regardless of the objectivity of the educators, technology remains a cultural and personal construct first and foremost. 

With hardware and software undergoing continual change, similar change must be present with regards to the implementation of these tools, which will first necessitate an adjustment in educators’ cognitive blind spots and overall dogma. 

If this does not happen, then institutions are at risk of falling into old patterns in which the same small number of charismatic or influential thinkers lead them blindly along. 

Rapid technological change results in the continual creation of new situations that require the best thinking to make sure that technology is serving the people rather than the other way around. 

The positive impact of technology on education

Technology can be helpful or distracting, good or bad, depending on how it is used. 

In education, media creation, coding and Artificial Intelligence are tools that can be used by teachers to motivate students and help them to understand new ideas.

It is vital for modern students to keep abreast of everyday technology and there are several ways in which technology is having a positive impact on education. 

Channeling creativity

Digital software provides students with the necessary tools for turning ideas into reality.

Some of this tech will be encountered in the classroom for the very first time by students as they make use of software to crunch statistics or plan bridges, and design software can be an enormous boon due to the fact that it enables students to learn and experiment in a classroom environment at minimal cost and time. 

Creative students will encounter all manner of possibilities in digital platforms, with online programs able to be used for music composition, fundraising for student charities, or to practice their marketing skills in an internship.

Other students meanwhile may prefer to learn to code so that they can create their own platforms, with both using and creating such platforms pushing students to develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills. 

Increasing opportunity

Online learning platforms have increased the accessibility of higher education for millions of people all over the world.

Many adults have gained degrees by taking internet courses that have the flexibility for them to learn outside of work hours, while a student in India only needs an internet connection and a computer to earn a degree from a college in the United Kingdom, such as an online Master’s of Computer Science

As well as accredited college courses, there is also a considerable amount of educational material that is available online free of charge.

Modern technology has highlighted the reality that learning goes beyond the classroom to include almost any skill people wish to gain. 

Technology is changing the world of education by increasing opportunities and channeling the creativity of students, while giving teachers the ability to streamline educational processes.

New technology connects the real world to the world of education while sharpening critical thinking. 

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