The Case for Technology Essay

1710 Words7 Pages
Technology permeates our society. In work settings, employees are expected to use computers for such tasks as communication, information management, problem-solving, and information seeking. Because technology is such an integral part of modern life, it behooves educators to prepare learners to use it effectively. Technology also has a role in the instructional process for it can serve as a means of supporting and enhancing instruction. Based on an analysis of the literature, Hopey (1998) noted that educational technology can--

• Improve educational attainment and skill acquisition

• Reduce the educational disparities created by race, income, and region

• Improve the relationship between learning, assessment, and
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When educational technologies are used appropriately, their advantages far outweigh their disadvantages. The ability to support new ways of teaching and learning is one of the most frequently cited reasons for using technology in education. For example, it provides opportunities for more learner-centered instruction; it permits instruction to be contextualized; it allows students to explore, make mistakes, and learn from their errors; it leads to more active and interactive modes of instruction; and it results naturally in greater collaboration, cooperation, and small group work (Gillespie 1998; Kearsley and Shneiderman 1998; Petraglia 1998).

These characteristics of teaching and learning should be particularly attractive to adult and vocational educators for they are frequently associated with good educational practice in those fields. The key is using the technologies in ways that will enhance learning. Technology cannot simply be an add-on but "must be matched by new imagination" (Koehler 1998, p. 36), new mental models (Dickson and Segars 1999), and infusion into the instructional process (Sulla 1999). It must be accorded a presence in the classroom in its own right and used in ways that maximize the different strengths that is has to offer (Koehler 1998).

Guidelines for Using Technology in Adult and Vocational

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