Numerous advantages accrue to teachers who utilize technology not only in their teaching but also as a tool to interact with students across space and time. One of the significant advantages of using technology is that it enables teachers to design and implement interactive course materials that could be used to enhance learning experiences that are more pleasurable and meaningful to students.
There are millions of readily available applications and downloadable programs that teachers could use to design self-assessment tests to be administered to students via online protocols, not mentioning that science teachers often benefit immensely from the use of these free programs to design animations and simulations that could be used to elaborate complex scientific content to students.
From own experience, it can be stated that using simulations designed to teach students about the blood circulation system not only expose learners to a more pleasurable and exciting learning experience, but also ensure that learning outcomes are grasped and internalized with relative ease.
The second advantage of using technology, especially the World Wide Web, is that it has the capacity to bring isolated learners together in “virtual” groups without the limitations of space or time. Unlike in a traditional classroom context, teachers using the Web for teaching purposes enjoy the opportunity to teach and interact with disparate groups of learners located in diverse locations around the world.
Recent discoveries in Web-based technologies ensure that teachers are now able to interact with their students in real-time and to share resources across the network. In my teaching experience, I have made use of virtual classrooms to reach out to numerous students without necessarily making physical contact, not mentioning that I have also made use of the Web to get learning materials from my course instructors.
The third advantage is rested on the premise that it is indeed possible to not only protect intellectual property through the application of passwords and access codes but also to support confidential exchange of learning materials and information between registered users (Cantillon et al. 2003).
This implies that online technologies avail a safe and secure framework where learning, communication, and exchange of information can take place.
Using technology in education has obvious disadvantages. First, it is a well-known fact that teachers who use online assessments have no capacity to control the students’ unauthorized use of online resources and content to complete their assignments. Many teachers often face this hurdle and are unable to provide competitive assessments that could then be used to grade students on their performance.
However, in my view, performance in teaching should not be emphasized at the expense of task comprehension, implying that these assignments should be given in a manner that the teacher is able to evaluate the task comprehension of each student despite their use of online content to complete the tasks.
The second disadvantage arises from the fact that technology, if not well designed and adopted, will definitely provide students with the opportunity to collaborate with each other in taking their tests, therefore adversely affecting the core principles and justifications of good educational practice.
However, from own experience, it is indeed clear that teachers can now use the latest applications and plagiarism software not only to set availability dates and times for all assessments but also discourage students who would want to copy other people’s work and pass it as their own.