Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives and it is shaping how we live, work, play, and of course, how we learn. While some argue that technology can be distracting in a classroom setting, the benefits of using technology in education far outweigh the disadvantages. This article will examine the top 10 reasons why technology is important for education and provide supporting facts and figures.
Top 10 Reasons Why Technology is Vital for Education
|Reason||Supporting Facts and Figures|
|1. Prepares students for the future workplace||Jobs increasingly require technological skills – 65% of today’s school children will work jobs that don’t currently exist|
|2. Allows personalized learning||Adaptive learning software tailors content to students’ needs – Students can learn at their own pace|
|3. Develops 21st-century skills||Skills like critical thinking, creativity, communication & collaboration are enhanced with technology|
|4. Expands learning beyond the classroom||Access to online courses, content, and experts outside of school|
|5. Improves student engagement and motivation||Technology incorporated in lessons boosts student engagement by 87%|
|6. Helps students with special needs||Assistive technologies make learning accessible for all students|
|7. Promotes competency-based learning||Students progress based on mastery, not seat time|
|8. Encourages self-paced learning||Students can move ahead or review material at their own pace|
|9. Provides instant feedback||Technology gives real-time feedback to improve student performance|
|10. Develop digital citizenship||Students learn safe, responsible online behaviours|
Let’s explore each of these reasons in more detail:
1. Prepares Students for the Future Workplace
One of the most compelling reasons for integrating technology into the classroom is to prepare students with the skills necessary to thrive in the modern workplace. The world is changing rapidly due to technological advances and globalization. As a result, many of the jobs students will hold don’t even exist yet. By exposing them to technology and teaching technical skills from an early age, educators are preparing students to adapt and succeed in the jobs of the future.
According to research by Dell Technologies, 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. With the pace of technological change accelerating so rapidly, the only way to prepare students is to incorporate technology across all subjects and grades. Everything from computer programming and robotics to virtual collaboration tools prepares students to develop logical thinking, creativity, and digital citizenship.
2. Allows Personalized Learning
Technology enables more personalized learning experiences that address each student’s unique needs, interests, and learning styles. Adaptive learning software systems analyze student responses and tailor lessons at the right level with the appropriate content and pace for each individual learner. This allows below-grade level students to get remedial support and advanced students to be challenged without holding back peers.
Personalized learning facilitated by education technology leads to improved student outcomes. According to a study by the RAND Corporation, personalized learning can increase student achievement by 3 percentile points. When content adapts based on their progress, students remain engaged and can fill gaps in understanding before moving forward. This promotes better knowledge retention.
3. Develops Important 21st Century Skills
To thrive in today’s innovation-driven global economy, students need to develop multi-disciplinary skill sets that go beyond the traditional academic curriculum. Technology empowers students to gain vital 21st-century skills including:
- Critical thinking – Using technology to research, evaluate and analyze information develops critical thinking abilities.
- Creativity – Creating videos, blogs, animations, websites and more fosters creativity and innovative thinking.
- Communication & Collaboration – Tools like video conferencing, chat, forums and social media enable students to clearly articulate thoughts and collaborate.
- Technical skills – Using devices, software, coding and more builds career-ready technical abilities.
Educators agree that integrating technology gives students hands-on opportunities to gain fundamental skills for future college and career success in the digital age.
4. Expands Learning Beyond the Classroom
Technology enables learning to occur anytime and anywhere. Students can access online education resources, take virtual field trips, connect with experts outside the school and participate in online networks to expand opportunities for discovery and growth.
Education applications and websites like Khan Academy, Duolingo, and MIT OpenCourseWare give students ubiquitous access to high-quality academic content. This allows students to supplement classroom learning with home learning on topics they want to explore further. Technology breaks down the physical classroom walls and brings a world of information to students’ fingertips.
5. Improves Student Engagement and Motivation
Leveraging technology as a teaching tool has repeatedly been shown to improve student engagement and motivation. Interactive multimedia, digital games, adaptive software and simulations all promote active learning and provide instant feedback to keep students focused and interested.
According to research by Lexia Learning, students were on task and engaged 87% more in classes that used educational technology compared to traditional lectures. Another study found a 64% boost in student motivation with game-based learning platforms. Using technology aligned to lesson objectives grabs students’ attention, inspires participation and promotes retention of material.
6. Helps Students with Special Needs
For students with physical, cognitive, emotional or learning disabilities, technology can be a lifeline that enables them to overcome challenges and access education. Assistive technologies like audio textbooks, screen readers, speech recognition software and text enlargers allow students with disabilities to fully participate in classes and demonstrate their abilities.
UNESCO estimates over 1 billion people need assistive technologies, yet only 1 in 10 currently have access. Providing these technologies and training teachers on how to use them ensures schools promote inclusion and meet the needs of all learners.
7. Promotes Competency-Based Learning
Technology paves the way for competency-based learning where students progress based on demonstrated mastery of a topic, not seat time. Online assessments give teachers real-time insight into student proficiency to place them in appropriate clusters for personalized instruction.
Students can also utilize tools like smart textbooks and adaptive learning software to develop mastery at their own optimal pace. The US Department of Education advocates technology supports competency-education models. Districts like Lindsay Unified in California have seen graduation rates soar after implementing a competency-based learning management system.
8. Encourages Self-Paced Learning
In a traditional classroom, lessons move uniformly at a single pace. However, students have diverse capabilities. Technology allows students to learn at their own pace whether they need to review materials or accelerate ahead.
With educational programs adaptable to each learner and access to online resources for self-study, students take more ownership of their education. They can master prerequisites before moving to higher-level concepts or delve deeper into topics without slowing peers. Removing barriers to the pace of learning helps keep students engaged and performing at the maximum of their abilities.
9. Provides Instant Feedback
Technology gives students and teachers instant feedback about student progress to help drive continuous improvement. Online quizzes, adaptive learning platforms and student response systems show precisely which concepts students grasped and which need further explanation.
Getting real-time feedback through technology allows teachers to provide remediation instantly when students struggle and move ahead when they thrive. Data also helps educators make pedagogical improvements. According to Harvard research, instant feedback with classroom technology results in students performing better on tests.
10. Develops Digital Citizenship
Technology immersion at school is vital for students to develop digital citizenship skills. With the internet, social media and digital devices constantly shaping society, students must learn responsible online behaviours like privacy protection, security, ethical use and more.
Schools are uniquely positioned to cultivate positive norms and teach students to be informed, engaged digital citizens. Collaborative online projects, cyberbullying awareness, digital footprint management and media literacy lessons empower students to navigate the digital world safely and effectively.
Education technology has cemented itself as an essential ingredient for student success. The benefits of classroom technology range from improving academic achievement to developing vital life skills for the digital age. Integrating EdTech promotes more personalized, student-centred learning while preparing the next generation for an increasingly digital society.
The evidence is clear – leveraging technology and cultivating digital literacy is no longer optional to equip students for the 21st-century workplace. With children spending over 7 hours daily on media devices outside of school, technology is central to modern education. As Marc Prensky said, “Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” Innovative technology solutions make learning relevant, engaging and accessible for all.
Dell Technologies, “Realizing 2030: The Emerging Role of Millennials in Shaping the Future of Work”, 2018.
RAND Corporation, “Effectiveness of Adaptive Learning Technologies”, 2019.
Pearson, “The Learning Curve: Education and Skills for Life”, 2014.
Pew Research Center, “How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms”, 2013.