The term educational technology refers to the use of technological resources as a tool to improve teaching. It is to use technology in favor of education, promoting more socio-educational development and better access to information.
The great apparatus that brings countless social and educational benefits is the computer. Incorporating it into pedagogical processes is what we can call educational computing. With the computer, comes the world full of possibilities of the internet that, well used, can facilitate much the learning of any content or school matter. The internet can take the student to places where, perhaps, he would never arrive, or not so quickly; provides access to international libraries, people from other cultures, other languages, illustrations of maps, countries, videos about the past and even about the future.
This dynamic provokes and stimulates the student to want more. The beginning is of emails, chats, basic searches. Then, with the fundamental help of teachers, they can move to educational games, use of educational software, specific social networks, virtual classrooms. In higher scales, it is possible to speak in distance courses. There is no shortage of choice when we talk about educational technologies. With them, the curiosity is sharp and the ways are much more accessible.
Educational technology in Brazil
Many Brazilian cities, especially large capitals, already enjoy Educational Technology for Public Education. However, the advancement of educational technology in Brazil still encounters some obstacles such as lack of school structure, difficulty accessing these new technologies, and even the lack of preparation of managers and teachers themselves.
In order to boost the public education system in search of more educational technologies and quality educational programs, in 2009 the Ministry of Education launched a Guide on Educational Technologies, which includes information that helps in educational management as a whole. The idea is that managers and directors of schools identify those technologies that can contribute to the improvement of education in their educational networks.
The Brazilian Association of Educational Technology (ABT) also acts on this front and its main objective is to expand the use of educational technologies in teaching-learning processes throughout the country. According to the ABT, there is still resistance from some education professionals, who fear they will be replaced by technology. But we must know that “technology is support and not substitute for action”. Allying educational technology with good teachers is the solution to teaching, both in the public network and in the private network.
Technology is transforming our day to day and with education could not be different: educational technology is a tool that is in our favor in updating the mechanisms of education. So why not use it?
The blackboard, the four walls of the classroom, and the teacher’s speech are no longer enough to hold the student’s attention today.
Educational computing is a tool that has been transforming the exchange of experiences between those who teach and those who are learning. With it, the teaching is integrated to the day to day through the computer, tablets and even the cell phone that we have all the time at hand.
Education and technology: combination of benefits
With the aid of these mechanisms, which function as an extension of the classroom, the pedagogical processes remain current. Access to quality information becomes easier and student autonomy is stimulated.
Through the pedagogical contents made available online, the resumption of the themes worked in the classroom is intensified and the flow becomes more dynamic. Since students and teachers have access to materials from anywhere with internet access.
Educational technology as a teaching method
Technological advances should be understood as allied to processes in any type of teaching. However, it stands out even more when we talk about distance learning methodologies.
The development and growth of this type of method has brought about significant changes in the way of teaching. It is necessary for schools, universities and other educational institutions to keep up to date. Incorporating this type of methodology, either through complete educational and pedagogical programs and totally at a distance or complementary to what is taught in the classroom, in a hybrid way.
Read more: What is hybrid teaching?
The advantages are numerous: knowledge can be shared more quickly and taken anywhere; remote access brings convenience and practicality to students and teachers; the pace of individual learning is respected.
How can I include educational technology in my institution?
Excluding technology from learning methods is no longer an option. It is part of the lives of the most current generations and must be worked on for learning.
It is fundamental to understand educational technology as an allied tool for teaching. A benefit to education that, together with quality pedagogical content and good professionals, enhances the division of knowledge and takes the student as far as he can go in learning!
To bring this type of method to the reality of your educational institution, look for partners and specialized platforms that will give all support and make educational technology an ally in the process of teaching and sharing knowledge.
The presence of technology in our daily lives
The technological advance comes to our daily life through connective devices such as smartphones and tablets, but also in the form of the internet and global connectivity. These material resources allow us to access the virtual universe and navigate the ocean of information stored in it.
If you want to know more about EAD, for example, just do a simple Google search.
Distance education itself was facilitated by the popularization of the web – although it already existed long before, through physical correspondence.
This ease of access to information is one of the great contributions of technology to education. Beyond communication, of course.
Combating illiteracy around the globe, for example, will only succeed with the help of the internet and similar technologies.
Technology advances and contributes in many fields of knowledge. Imagine how augmented reality and virtual reality can help students of engineering courses. For a civil engineer, seeing a three-dimensional model of your project will facilitate the identification and elimination of any error or inadequacy.
And this evolution does not stop there!
Have not you realized how technological evolution favors education?
So check out some methodologies already applied today that result from this evolution!
Virtual reality and augmented reality
No, virtual reality and augmented reality are not the same thing! Virtual reality creates an immersive experience in another world. To access it, you need to use devices like Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR.
Currently, both technologies are being used in video games.
But imagine the potential they have for teaching theoretical disciplines such as History and Physics.
How about traveling in time and knowing the beginnings of our civilization? Or travel through space and know the nature of the universe? In a few decades, this will be possible.
Already augmented reality brings to our world holographic elements, that is, projections of animals, objects and people that do not belong to him originally.
Do you remember the fever that was the game Pokémon GO, especially in 2016? It was augmented reality.
For Architecture students, making a construction project in augmented reality would result in greater accuracy and control of the variables.
The inverted classroom is a teaching methodology that depends on internet access. In it, the student learns the theory at home, accessing the virtual learning environment by computer, watching videotapes and doing exercises and activities individually.
This individual and remote step prepares him for the weekly meeting, in which he will be able to interact with his tutors and colleagues. At that point, he will clear his doubts about what he has learned on his own and begin working and cooperating with his peers on practical projects.
This setting, as you might note, is opposed to classical education, in which students learn the theoretical concepts in the classroom and practice at home.
With gamification, the dynamics of games are applied to the teaching of concepts and contents. The act of learning itself assumes a character of overcoming challenges and seeking a good result.
This logic starts from two understandings: the human being is social and competitive.
In other words, he feels good interacting with other people (players), at the same time that he is attracted to situations where he can compete and prove his expertise over competitors.
This approach rewards good players and offers various incentives to latecomers without exposing them.
While we know that a search on a search site will result in countless results, we can not verify the reliability of the information provided.
If you are a student of higher education, you should know that this type of research does not help that much.
To remedy this problem, Google Scholar appeared, a tool of the most famous search engine of the Internet exclusively directed to the universe of monographs, dissertations, theses and scientific articles.
In it, you still have the option to search for sources in Portuguese, English, Spanish or any other language you like. Not to mention the thousands of works that are already in the public domain and online, and therefore, are free of copyright.
Apps for smartphone (Apps)
To close our list with a golden key, we could not fail to mention the applications for smartphones. Today, there are thousands of application options to help students with different tasks and demands.
With the help of these software, you can optimize your study time, speed up your reading pace, organize your personal finances, exercise your memory, train your knowledge about a subject and even learn to drive.
There are, of course, apps dedicated to specific studies, such as those of human anatomy – ideal for students of Medicine and Physiotherapy, for example.
The use of technology in education
As in any other industry, the employment of technology in education brings many benefits to billions of people. Students from all over the world have the opportunity to communicate at any time and to improve their learning.
Thus, it is easy to see the potential that technology has to facilitate our lives, whether in studies, at work or in the social sphere.