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5 Ways Technology has Transformed Education and Professional Development

Posted on July 31, 2016 10:00 am;

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By Erika Murigi

 

Over the last two decades, technology has transformed every aspect of our daily lives – our

work, our domestic duties, how we interact with one another. Education is no exception. As

technology has progressed, so has the capability to gain professional qualifications and

today many more people around the world gain further training and certification, thanks to

technological advances. Here are five ways technology has had a huge impact on

professional development:

 

Accessibility

Distance learning existed long before the Internet existed with students completing

correspondence courses at home by receiving course documents through the post. The

emergence and advancements of online learning has, however, made education and

professional development far more accessible, not just in terms of being able to study from

home but also for individuals who, for whatever reason, were unable to take time out to

study in a traditional classroom setting. The ‘classroom’ can now refer to virtual platforms

and providers can now offer a wider range of courses and make them readily available to

students across the world. Access to education, and in particular further education, is no

longer a niche market reserved solely for the privileged.

 

Greater application of learning

To further the first point, technology also allows the student to work and study at the same

time. It’s no longer necessary to have to take time out to study or retrain, which is

particularly helpful if financial or family responsibilities prevent you from returning to

education. Furthermore, for students undertaking professional certification, it allows for the

immediate application of learning i.e. you get to put into practice what you learn, for others

it means a more seamless switch of careers and often at a higher level.

 

Interactive learning

Gone are the days of learning solely from textbooks. While they still have their place, thanks

to technology, students are now much more engaged in how they construct knowledge and

through what channels. Learning is now interactive. Textbooks have been replaced, in part

or wholly, with interactive learning materials – videos, forums, online libraries – that are

constantly updated and refreshed and accessible on smartphones, laptops, tablets, from

anywhere with a wifi connection.

 

Collaboration

The evolution of digital platforms means students can collaborate easily, from anywhere in

the world. Ideas can be shared, team projects completed, advice sought without the need

for face-to- face meetings. Thanks to advancements in instant messaging apps and

information sharing, work can be seen, shared, discussed and edited instantaneously. Today,

interaction can take place in ways that would have been impossible 20 years ago.

 

Personalisation

The traditional method of education - teacher stands in front of students explaining learning

points on a blackboard - has long gone. Today’s technology allows students to learn at their

own pace, with online education programmes providing learning experiences that are more

tailored and individual.

 

Given how technology has transformed education to date, it stands to reason that over the

next decade, accessing education and professional qualifications will be more progressive

and revolutionary than ever before.

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