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Education and Technology

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This literature review assesses the current researches on the impact of modern technology on education practices. Russel et al (2003) assesses the extent to which technology is used for instructional purposes. The research by Russel et al explores the different attitudes that are adopted by newly recruited teachers compared to their experienced counterparts.

The paper also analyzes the influence of mobile wireless technologies in higher education settings as highlighted by Kim, Mims & Holmes (2006). These researchers found out that PDAs, wireless computers and web-enabled mobile phones are the most commonly used wireless mobile technologies in higher education settings. The research literature review also reviewed the findings of Teo (2008), whose focus was on the beliefs about the effects of technology among teachers and students.

Russell et al (2003) collected survey data from 2,984 teachers within 22 Massachusetts districts for use in the analysis of the extent of technology use for instructional purposes. Their study provided evidence that teachers use technology more for purposes of preparation and communication than for the delivery of instruction or assignment of learning activities that require technology use. However, important differences were found among newly recruited teachers compared to their colleagues who were more experienced.

New teachers, according to Russell et al (2003) tend to be more comfortable with use of new technology for preparation compared to experienced teachers. The experienced teachers, according to the research appeared comfortable using technology during delivery of instruction or stimulating students to engage in learning activities.

Kim, Mims & Holmes (2006) carried out an assessment of the various types of mobile wireless technologies that are used in higher education. There of the most popular mobile wireless technologies that were examined include PDAs, wireless computers, and web-enabled mobile phones. In each of these technologies, a unique technical infrastructure is needed for access to network resources. However, all of them share many benefits in higher education environments, such as real-time and anywhere access, simplicity in installation, less wiring, reduced cost, flexibility, improvement in communication, scalability and spherical access (Kim, Mims & Holmes, 2006).

However, before mobile wireless technologies can be adopted in higher education settings, all related issues and challenges should be addressed. The most critical concern is security-related (Kim, Mims & Holmes, 2006). In their current stage, mobile wireless technologies are without any security feature. Doubts on the technologies’ security underlies their slow uptake in the world of business. Meanwhile, the technologies are increasingly being used in higher education institutions because the main reason for their use is provision of a mobile-learning environment to both learners and educators, unlike in the business sectors (Kim, Mims & Holmes, 2006).

For many people, mobile wireless technologies are yet to be use in everyday life, like in the case of calculators and computers. In order for these emerging technologies to become useful, they must not be greeted with uncritical excitement. Rather, administrators, students and educators have to think critically so as to determine how these technologies can be used for the achievement of their educational goals.

According to Teo (2008) today’s learning environments are characterized by many beliefs about the effects of technology. Both students and teachers harbor many different beliefs about technology and the influences that it has on education. These beliefs have a significant effect on the approaches that teachers adopt when making use of technology in classroom situations. However, says Teo, the traditional teaching approach is only significant to modern technology use approaches when correlated negatively to the modern teaching methodologies.

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