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Impact of Technology in Field of Education: A special report

Written by Andy Prosper

The predominant forms and methods of education and training have changed little for 200 years. To children and young adults are taught various subjects from space exploration, Robotics to Agriculture in groups, within institutions called schools, colleges, and universities, and instruction is provided by teachers in person. To date, although many can be cited examples of successful applications, an adaptation of the new form of education through technology has had a marginal impact on education and training.

In those places where computers or television have been integrated into the classes are primarily an additional or auxiliary activity of the teacher. The only major exception to this generalization has been education from distance. Even in ‘core’ technologies have been used primarily for the unidirectional dissemination, and education for unidirectional distribution and education itself remains a marginal activity in education and training, although it has increased in importance.

However, despite the promises of technology in the developments already available or about to be market have the potential to revolutionize both conventional education.

Technological Developments

Within the next 10 years, the following will be so common: technological developments that will be found in most of the households in developed countries:

  • Integration of television, blogs, and websites, telecommunications, and computers using digitalization techniques and compression.
  • Reduced costs and more uses and applications flexible telecommunications systems, through such as RDSl / optical fibers / cellular radio.
  • Miniaturization (tiny cameras and microphones, high-resolution small screens).
  • Increase in portable devices by means of radiocommunications and miniaturization.
  • Increased processing power through new developments of microchips and techniques of software.

Software tools and commands more powerful and easy to use, which will make it much easier more users to create and communicate their own materials. These developments, already available at a certain price or currently under development, will result in an Integrated learning-communication-training box in each house. There will be access to a wide variety of applications using this box multifunctional, including “on-demand” films, television, music, shopping from home, banking and financial services, and education and training.

Multimedia in Education

In education, multimedia has been seen by many mainly as an extension of computer teaching. Actually, teaching by a computer, by itself, will become even very powerful as Artificial intelligence and virtual reality develop. Nevertheless, while multimedia applications by alone, will continue to be important, a development much more significant will be the application of high-speed multimedia networks for education.

These developments will arrive with surprising speed and will be available in bulk around of the year 2000. For example, in April 1994, Stentor, a subsidiary of Canadian telephone companies, announced a program of its initiative, eight billion dollars and 10 years of duration, called BEACON, which will carry band services broadband and multimedia to 80 or 90% of all homes and businesses in Canada by the year 2004. These developments are being driven mainly by the entertainment but the meaning for education is the promise of technology produced in series and economic, in each home and office, in the form of a black box or computer that will give access to the information highway and the possibility of interact with it. The implications for education and training are immense.

Learning can be independent of time and space, and may be available at all stages of a person’s life. The context of learning will be very technological terms. Students will have access not only to a broad spectrum of media, but also to a wide spectrum of sources of education. The challenge for educators is how to use power so that education and training are widely adapted to the needs of the individuals and society.

The Context of the Education and Training in the 21st Century

Education through technology has been developing something which looks like the frenetic activity of the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland; why it seems that he does not know where he is going and that he will take any path. The applications of the educational technology must be guided by our vision of education and training in the 21st century. This vision must take into account the potential of technology, but the vision must be oriented, in general, by the needs of individuals and the society, rather than by the technological development itself the same.

What technology can do -or What the technology providers suggest that we do- It may not be what we want to do with it. Experts believe that the increased use of smart technology for education and training is fundamental for continued economic development and survival of developed countries and leaders, such as Canada, United States of America, Great Britain, Australia, and Switzerland. The needs of the workforce change quickly. In 1993, 78% of all jobs in the United States of America were in industries of services, and the tendency to more jobs based on services is likely to continue (The Economist, 1994).

Microsoft annual revenue is higher that of Sony and Honda together, but these employ 100 times fewer workers. most of the new jobs are being created in Canada by companies with less than 20 workers; in reality is likely to increase the tendency to self-employment and work at home. Many of the new jobs will be part-time or under contract, with at least two-thirds of new jobs for women, and a majority of new jobs relatively low salaries (Statistics Canada, 1992). In addition, the work will continue to dynamic. Someone leaving school today, you will need to be re-trained at least five times in their entire working life. About half of new jobs created will need the level of bachelors or people with the equivalent of 17 years of full-time education (Canadian Labor Market Productivity Center. 1989). The traditional view of work as a dedication of life to a particular business or institution, with a pension insured at the end, will apply to a declining proportion of the population.

The very small proportion of young people leaving the school you will find, employment as workers without specialization or semi-specialized in traditional manufacturing or based industries resources: the majority of those already unemployed, and a good proportion of those who work in large companies or in manufacturing industries based on primary resources, will need to be trained again in a few years, as manufacturing companies are moving more towards automation to reduce costs labor markets, in order to compete with the of emerging nations, such as the “dragons economic “economies of Southeast Asia. Many labor markets in countries industrialized countries are showing the following trends.

Require greater skill to get new jobs

The most significant development is that many new jobs will need a lot degree greater skill than the jobs that are based on knowledge-based resources From manufactures to services From large to small companies Full-time part-time and all the year by contract From employee to self-employed From low to high levels and skill-specific and generic From strength to intelligence From men to women From factories and offices to home and in transit of the displaced, especially in the manufacturing and resource-based products, which are tradition the source of relative high-wage jobs and little dexterity. People will keep their jobs existing only if they are re-trained under standards. Even in most of the new jobs that will have a low salary and will need, in general, lower levels of dexterity, training or retraining will be necessary, especially in basic skills, just to preserve the job.

The wealth of nations will depend on increasingly more of the high-tech industries based on knowledge, in areas such as biotechnology, health, environmental products and services, tourism and hospitality, telecommunications, software for computers and software applications, services financial and entertainment, movies, television, games). Staying a few months in advance of the competition, in terms of innovation and knowledge, will be crucial for survival, as is the quality of products and services. This means that education and training, not only in the years prior to work but throughout life, will be essential elements of a workforce successful. At the same time, and not surprisingly, demand education and training are increasing.

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Andy Prosper

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