Technology and Digital Media in Education

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The global future is developing through innovation, communication, and collaboration, all of which depend on technology and digital media. Today, the internet forms a global meeting place, a global marketplace, and a global workplace that provides a broad range of opportunities to interact with and learn about the world (Apte, 2012). Besides, digital media literacy today allows for easy participation in complicated global experiences, as well as the performance of sophisticated activities, including data processing, information retrieval, presentation, as well as one-to-one communication (Rawlings, 2010). Much has previously been studied regarding the impact of technology and digital media on education and economic growth. This paper explores the various effects of technology and digital media on learning and development.

Effect of Technology and Digital Media on Learning

            Technology and digital media help in broadening student's exposure to opinions regarding various global issues through the use of different digital media platforms, such as podcasts, blog posts, Twitter, Facebook, and video conferences among others. The interactions through various digital media platforms also improve learners’ understanding of the cultures, history, and traditions of different societies across the world (Rawlings, 2010).

            Technology and digital media also allow learners to understand the power collective intelligence through the creation of global networks. Students' participation in such networks enables them to develop cross-cultural understanding when discussing global issues, analyzing data from multiple cultures, as well as when working in global teams to utilize existing knowledge and create new ones (Willett, 2007). Technology and digital media also allow students to share their ideas through various online publishing websites and tools that are accessible to the global audience. Besides, technology and digital media enable learners to realize the power of virtual simulation, thereby allowing them to understand the global complexity and develop solutions. In other words, students can implement various theories through the use of modeling applications, such as games, that utilize technology and digital media to simulate real-world experiences (Willett, 2007).

            Through the use of technology and digital media, educators have transformed from the “lecture and learn” approach to a fully interactive learning model, which enables learners to have greater responsibility for their education. Students view the new learning approach as a lifelong educational process that enhances their problem-solving skills, as well as their thinking capability. Technology and digital media, therefore, provide new approaches to learning that prepare learners for their careers, as well as create a generation of innovators and creative thinkers (Buckingham, 2007). Additionally, technology and digital media influence educators’ attitudes and learners’ behavior towards informal and formal learning. The application of new skills, information contribution, critical reasoning, and the educators’ positive attitude towards learning, all contribute to improving lifelong learning, which is experienced through the implementation of various technology-based learning programs (Buckingham, 2007).

            However, educators taking part in the assessment of the impact of technology and digital media on students’ learning process have also expressed concerns that students in lower grades tend to rely heavily on digital research tools, thereby neglecting other equally important inquiry methods (Rawlings, 2010). Besides, most educators also acknowledge that the constant use of smartphones and computers by students significantly affect their ability to stay focused on classroom-related tasks, thereby lowering the quality of learning. Educators and parents, therefore, have the responsibility to monitor students' digital consumption to avoid deteriorations in academic performance. It is also essential to provide learners in lower grades with additional tools for monitoring and evaluating their digital behavior (Rawlings, 2010).

Effect of Technology and Digital Media on Development

            Technology and digital media have greatly influenced the way people interact, communicate and transact with one another. Therefore, technology and digital media have inevitably had an impact on the local, national, regional, and global economies. Technology and digital media have transformed people’s jobs. For example, according to a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute, about 30 percent of the United States' workforce is expected to work online by 2020, courtesy of technology and digital media (Apte, 2012). Also, according to the same report, about 50 percent of the current jobs in the United States could be automated through the use of robotics and machine learning technologies. Today, technology is being used to perform a broad range of services in almost every industry, including transport, health, and manufacturing among others. While the use of technology and digital media results in significant job losses, it also contributes significantly to the rapid growth of economies in the context of improved service quality and a higher rate of production (Apte, 2012).

            The use of technology and digital media is highly pervasive and flexible and may be disruptive. Therefore, most developmental benefits that come from the use of technology and digital media requires people to adopt the technology, as well as adapt to the technology. For example, through the adoption of technology, electricity can today be generated efficiently enabling power to be distributed precisely and timely, thereby boosting manufacturing efficiency (Heitanen, 2006). Today’s technological revolution is based on computers, which form the mainstay of the internet, digital platforms, and search engines. The adoption of various forms of technology and digital media has significantly accelerated economic, social, and political developments across the world (Heitanen, 2006).

            Apart from transforming skills and jobs, technology and digital media are also overhauling several industries, including publishing, retailing, banking, and trucking. For example, in the United Kingdom, online transactions already account for about 20 percent of all the country’s retail sales, up from 8 percent in 2008 (Bangura, 2017). Elsewhere, Alibaba (the Chinese e-commerce giant) has already opened a bank that uses customers’ online information to offer small-scale loans. American e-commerce site, Amazon.com, is also moving towards the same direction. Technology and digital media have also enabled the introduction of anonymous cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin (Bangura, 2017). The underlying technologies behind such cryptocurrencies have the potential of revolutionizing the finance industry by making financial transactions more secure and faster. However, the use of anonymous cryptocurrencies also poses security challenges as they can be used to transact sales of illegal drugs, hacking tools, firearms, and toxic chemicals. Regulatory authorities, therefore, need to ensure that anonymous cryptocurrencies have financial integrity and, at the same time, support innovation in the global finance sector (Bangura, 2017).

Conclusion

            Technology and digital media are significantly changing the landscape for learning and development in today’s digital age and the future. The use of technology and digital media requires educators to review and develop innovative educational models that support learners in their effective use or adoption of technology and digital media. Through the use of technology and digital media, educators are capable of producing informed, engaged, and reflective society members, who can make positive contributions to the social, political, and economic well-being of their societies. Moreover, the use of technology and digital media allow for the introduction of new policies, products, and services, as well as ideas that make tremendous contributions to global social, economic, and political growth.

References

Apte, U. (2012). The U.S. Information Economy: Value, Employment, Industry Structure, and Trade. Foundations and Trends® In Technology, Information and Operations Management, 6(1), 1-87. doi: 10.1561/0200000013

Bangura, Y. (2017). Bargaining for Development: The World Bank's 2017 World Development Report, Governance, and the Law. Development and Change, 49(2), 644-661. doi: 10.1111/dech.12375

Buckingham, D. (2007). Media education goes digital: an introduction. Learning, Media and Technology, 32(2), 111-119. doi: 10.1080/17439880701343006

Hietanen, O. (2006). The Digital Balance between Industrialized and Developing Countries: Futures Studies for Development. E-Learning and Digital Media, 3(3), 373-380. doi: 10.2304/elea.2006.3.3.373

Rawlings, T. (2010). Understanding the Evolution of Technology through P2P Systems and its Impact on Learning Environments. E-Learning and Digital Media, 7(4), 395-406. doi: 10.2304/elea.2010.7.4.395

Willett, R. (2007). Technology, pedagogy and digital production: a case study of children learning new media skills. Learning, Media and Technology, 32(2), 167-181. doi: 10.1080/17439880701343352

August 14, 2023
Number of pages

5

Number of words

1260

Downloads:

47

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