EFFECT OF TECHNOLOGY ON THE LEARNING PROCESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION SCHOOLS
The rapid and extensive changes in the available technology for learning, forces the students, professors and their educational institutes to make the most of using technology in both the teaching and learning processes. Educational institutes invest a great deal of their resources and time in using technology to enhance the instructional technology and provide the best possible information systems, both for the students and instructors. Higher education institutions spent almost 7 billion dollars on educational technology in 2006, not including salaries of technology support staff working at those institutions. This number represents a 35% increase from 2005, and even more significant increase from 2000, when 2.7 billion was spent. In 2009, spending for technology across all levels of education was over 63 billion dollars. The younger generations (Digital Natives, Net Generation, Millennials) are using various types of technology for communication, obtaining information they need in their studies, and for presenting their work. Computers, especially laptops, iPads, Tablets, smart phones, and softwares are just a few to name of the technologies students are using today. A lot of degrees in higher educations can be obtained through distance learning (online learning). Students at their convenient time can access their lecture’s material, submit their assignments, and engaged in class discussions on topics related to their course curricula. Educational institutes have their own learning management systems which enable their students to access course material, check their grades, participate in online discussions, submit their assignments, and communicate with their instructors or class mates. In addition, to provide access to large information data base, facilitate communications, and productivity tool, technology helps instructors to teach sophisticated material, and provide real world experience to the students without going on field trips; such as watching a video on bridge or building construction or collapse. Instructors should give enough in class time for the information to sink in rather than overwhelming the students with large amounts of information in a short time. There must be, however, a balance between face to face teaching using technology in the teaching and learning process.
The purpose of this article is to explore the effect of technology on the teaching and learning processes in higher education. The questions that guided this investigation include:
Should the technology used in a class room be course material dependent?
What guidelines should the instructor follow in using technology in teaching process?
What kind of training system should the educational institutes provide to their faculty and staff to ensure effectiveness of using technology?
How to guide the students to use the available technology efficiently?
The method for this investigation is a comprehensive literature review and analysis. The databases used were Compendex, and IEEE Xplore.