Face it, we all learn. We all learn in many different learning styles and forums not only in order to survive and make a living, but to be productive and successful in whatever human pursuits we want to go after. We are fortunate to be living during the sudden emergence of technologies that has an impact in the learning of the students.
Web technologies have blown the doors to educational opportunity wide open. Schools, colleges, universities and government agencies not only need to take notice, they need to take actions. Despite the enormous promise these technologies may bring, it is not without problems and concerns. These are some of the challenges faced by educators around the world:
- Web access limitations. A related and more serious issue in the Philippines is that the majority of people still lack access to the internet. If web access is the ticket to these educational resources, then this should be the first priority of every educators, politicians, foundation leader and philanthropist is to provide access to those who presently do not have it.
- Quality Issues. Anyone using the Web for educational purposes recognizes that there is pervasive issues on the quality of the material. For example, wikipedia is not so reliable because anyone can edit it anytime.
- The breeding ground of Lazy Learners. Instructors and students will become intellectually lazy as they rely on the web for anything. If all knowledge can be found in five seconds or less online then why bother to learn?
In spite of these challenges, educators can make a difference in the lives of the students by harnessing the use of technology in the classrooms. In a debate with Dr. Robert Kozma about whether new technology and media can add to the quality of education, Sir John Daniel noted that “there is the quest for the magic medium, the ultimate technology that will revolutionize education. But there is no magic medium and never will be. Each technology has its strengths. The task is to use them to create a world where education of quality is abundantly available.”
From his perspective, truly transformative learning technologies should not simply enhance existing environments or educational systems but should create fully new ones.
Nowadays, we can feel the effect of technologies in transforming our education system. Technologies offer interesting possibilities to alter learning across educational sectors and climate.
Sir John Daniel believes that technology does not add to the quality of education. It is clear that he has spoken for yesterday’s technologies. Those of today and tomorrow are different- they are not stand alone or separate, but, instead, are converging in ways that present us with educational machinery to transform education. Still it will require years of additional planning, experimenting and sharing to truly understand what is now possible.