The Future of Higher Education
How technology is impacting the way we learn—for the better!
There is no doubt that online technology is changing the way we learn. As the transfer of knowledge moves from traditional lectures in the classroom to the digital realms of online colleges that deliver courses to the comfort of you home, many educators are apprehensive about some of the ways that technology is impacting the way we learn.
Important questions are being raised, like:
- Are online tools, such as mobile devices, making us lazy learners?
- Is technology corrupting education by making it too easy to earn a college degree?
- How can we expect learning be consistent if it’s being taught in social networks?
Technology making us lazy! We say rubbish! And with this article, we plan to show you that as we adapt the way we learn to meet 21st Century needs; e- learning is actually increasing education opportunities for everyone around the world.
Web-based portable learning, or mobile learning, is a trend that’s based on society and their heavy use of mobile tools, such as wireless smart phones, iPods, laptops, tablets, iPads and personal media players. Not only is mobile learning in demand by graduating high school students and competitive companies around the world, it also has several advantages, like:
- It reduces the time spent on learning, for example, the need to go out and purchase a textbook
- It increases retention because it can be referred to multiple times, for free
- Mobile learning delivers on-demand college course material, meaning it’s available when you need it, not the other way around
- It allows for self-paced learning
- Mobile learning increases one-on-one opportunities for students and professors
- It increases confidence, hard work and discipline (because no one is looking over your shoulder)
- It accommodates varied learning styles—auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners
Web 2.0 tools are driving the way we engage with each other as we collaborate and share knowledge. As we become more tech savvy, we’re turning more often to free social media tools to support our learning and seeking knowledge from people who might be normally out of reach. Learning via social networks has the following benefits:
- The ability to learn from the experts
- Gives us the opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge with colleagues located in other parts of the world
- The ability to stay current with the latest trends in a certain industry or career field
- Offers us the ability to create a presence in a career field outside of our own geographical location
The final role technology offers with technology is do-it-yourself (or DIY) learning opportunities. DIY learning opportunities allow us to improve our careers, skills and personal lives using an informal network of colleagues, professionals and experts. DIY learning uses technology to immediately find new information. It’s especially beneficial for people without the time or financial resources to access formal learning. Learning via a DIY style offers the following advantages:
- DIY learning is available in any format, anytime, anywhere on the web
- DIY learning is customizable to meet the needs of everyone
- User created content lets us access the latest facts created by experts
- It’s available through open content resources (meaning it’s completely free)
Bio: Kathy F. Porter left her extremely uninspiring job as a Marketing Director at a large Georgia-based company and she decided it was ample time to do something she loved. The thought of going back-to-school was very intimidating until she discovered you could earn a degree online from a reputable university—without quitting her job or moving to another city. Kathy now works as a freelance writer and is very passionate about learning. You can contact Kathy at KathyFPorte@gmail.com.