The tech age in education


Technology has taken the centre stage in the world and education can no longer ignore it. Though it is a powerful tool for learning, it comes with its baggage, BUSOLA SEBIOTIMO reports.

In this age, education cannot operate without technology. The days of the chalkboard are almost gone – replaced with projectors, smart boards, laptops, tablets and even mobile phones. Education is no longer restricted to the four walls of the classroom.

Do teachers like this? Many do.  There are proofs that technological advancement in education has helped to teach concepts better, connect students easily with learning materials and educators  worldwide.

Mrs Foluke Ajayi, a teacher at  Baptist Girls Academy (BGA), Obanikoro, Lagos, said students should embrace technology as it enhances their education.

“Technology is paramount in education today and every student must be technologically inclined. Telephones, social media and TV are in operation because of the advent of computer. They are very good and can enhance students’ knowledge in education. When children use them effectively, it gives them additional knowledge and fetches them additional marks. Telephone could be used to access internet, they can get all information about something or someone from it as well. Social Media is a platform for students to display their knowledge and worth. Also, television helps students to watch good programmes of their choice.  Some schools have e – library meaning that they access books and all information they need from the library on the internet,” she said.

Mrs Ajayi also noted that technology has been useful in educational administration and assessments.

“Students now have e -result which has stopped forgery of results by some unserious students. Some registration of students and courses are done online. So students don’t need to queue here and there for registration again,” she added.

A lecturer from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Samuel Okegbile, said children exposed to technology early find it easier to decide what to do with technological advancement.

“The manner in which technology is adopted will determine its effects on students’ learning and performances. As children are open to learning at the early stage of their lives, what they are exposed to will determine what they get from technological advancement.

He added that television, said to be a major time-waster of students, can achieve more positive things if properly utilised.

“Contrary to the widespread opinion that televisions have negative effects on children performance in schools, researches have shown that access to television under proper monitoring and guidance can enhance students’ performance and learning.   A careful study shows that television allows pupils to be conscious of their environment, rights, duties, and privilege. It is a source of teaching etiquettes, language skills, hobbies, social relations and religious beliefs.

“Through the mysteries of the deep sea, the wonders of outer space and the animal varieties in the natural world, television today offers children or pupils a wide variety of wonder, amusement, and education while stimulating their imaginations without exposing them to any danger. Its ability to communicate information, skills, idea, and attitudes in a friendly manner has been affirmed by many researchers,” he said.

Segun Awoyemi of Lead’s Legacy School, Ikotun, Lagos said advancement in the development of even the calculator has helped learning.

“Calculator has helped boost their arithmetic life generally, eradicating the use of stones to count, hand in adding big digits together. Technology has also helped students to discover many things like creating business website, educative website, set up brain teaser games and many others,” he said.

Kolawole Damilare, proprietor of Cecil International School, Alakuko, Lagos, said because of e-learning,  students can learn what others know and thereby compete with their peers worldwide.

“Social media has been proven to help students in their quest for knowledge. Students also learn from the internet and are able to do what white men are doing. Gone are the days when farming was unattractive to students, now students all over are making up their minds to go into it all because of what technology avails this occupation,” he said.

With technology exposing students to wide variety of knowledge, Mrs Foluke advised teachers to be computer literate in order to catch up with students of this century.

“Students are now teachers. It is compulsory that their teachers are computer literates too. So, if any teacher wants to be relevant in this dispensation, he or she must as a matter of fact know how to use the computer very well,” she said.

However, technology has its ills.  Parents and teachers complain that it distracts pupils from their schoolwork.

Mrs Zainab Aribilola, a parent resident in Iyana-Iba area of Lagos, cannot seem to come to a conclusion if students should embrace technology as she says it plays  negative and positive roles in a student’s life.

“The exposure of students to technology has made learning easy, unlike the pre-technology days where sourcing for materials and reading was difficult. However, we cannot overemphasise the abuse on the use of various technologies. The smart phone, TV, Internet etc, has exposed students and young people to various ills and vices. Smartphone, especially is a sort of distraction for some students. They no longer read, but surf the net, looking for things that are not related to their education,” she said.

For Tosin Babayeju, a teacher at Leads Legacy, Ikotun, Lagos, technology has done more harm than good in a student’s life.

She said: “Students’ exposure to technology does more harm than good. This is because most children are being carried away whenever they are with a gadget. Instead of learning things that would add value to their lives and paying attention to important details, they prefer watching comedy, movies, chatting and reading some online books which aren’t edifying.”

Mrs Mary Aje of Command Day Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos said wrong use of technology could lead youths into crime if they are not well monitored.

“Things like smartphones causes distraction when students are not cautioned. They would not read their books. They can be exposed to immoralities, even steal money or indulge in atrocities to buy phone or other gadgets. Parents must monitor their children well when using these gadgets and other technologies,” she said.

Mrs Foluke of BGA also subscribed to this thought. She said: “Some even use their phones to defraud people all over their world.The worse of  all, students  glue themselves to watch news talk less of good talk shows on TV but only watch films, games and talent hunt programmes.”

Proprietress of New Moon Nursery and Primary School, Alakuko, Lagos, Mrs Grace Ogunlana said young students should not be given smart phones.

“The merits of students embracing technology surpass the demerits, but I would say students should not be given smartphone , it distracts them,” she said.

However, despite the demerits of exposing learners to technology, educators say the way out is not to stop them from interfacing with technology but monitor their activities online.

Bakare Sofiat, a teacher at Flourishing Faith Group of Schools, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State said even if denied the use of smart phones at home, children could still learn wrong uses outside.

She said: “Smartphone is the first access a student can have technologically wise in which he or she can manipulate, and be exposed to the larger world of tech. It would be better for a parent to guide his/her ward in using the smartphone than abolishing it totally. This is the tech world; you would be only short-changing yourself if you deny your ward a smartphone. It is either your ward becomes a novice in tech things or learns the negative part of tech outside.”

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