How Technology Influences Legal Education
Technology influences education by enabling the educators to provide multiple ways to communicate to students near and far. These methods of communication can be controlled by the educator or the student allowing for more understandable communication.
Technology’s benefit of providing alternative methods of communication will assist the students in learning more. It has been shown time and again that students that see the same information in different formats learn much better and retain longer. By providing a graph, then a video, then a textbook with highlighted words and the ability to get immediate definitions of individual words means that is technology that enables the educators to be better at what they do. After all, technology can present multimedia, text, pictures and graphs much better than a chalkboard.
But technological advances do more than change how students see; with technology, students do not have to be in the same room as the educators. The educators can be in a classroom, while students are in an apartment halfway around the world. To reach those at-risk kids who are not able to receive education cost-effectively means that we can bring education to kids who otherwise never would have had the opportunity.
Finally, technology enables the students not only to attend from afar, but information can be communicated real time or recorded. By allowing videos and other multimedia presentations linked to texts, students can learn at their own pace, be tested at their own pace and advance at their own pace – which for some would be much faster than others while for others it will give them the time they need to absorb the information.
It seems clear that with all of these influences, the main benefit from technology is that it will allow more people to become more educated than ever before.
We are on the brink of a solution to the decade-old problem of making multimedia textbooks a meaningful option for students. We are not talking about digitized self-test questions from the back of the book. We are talking about simulations, guided practice, guided exploration, interactive charts and graphs, and branched instruction.
Developers, authors and publishers need a platform that allows them to drop highly interactive elements right into the pages of a digital textbook. We can already do it in PDF or HTML, but because most portable devices don’t support a high enough version of PDF, the interactive content is lost unless students read their books on a desktop or laptop computer, which we know they don’t.
The killer digital content application maybe would combine the power of Acrobat Reader (or X, for mobile?), with it’s Flash integration options, with features like note-taking, bookmarking, and search.
There are all kinds of tools out there to help you collaborate to complete a simple or complex goal. The invent of blogs, wizard driven websites, and CMS have helped with this concept, which has allowed users to do it from anywhere from any device. Students can take tests and get homework from sites such as blackboard.com. They can also discuss concepts in the forums. Teachers can post electronic study material on sites which can be downloaded and viewed on a vast array of electronic devices, allowing the costs of educating to decrease.
Innovation has been improved as people are able to use a device where they are to work out a concept with what they have. This has been made possible by the smartphones, better battery life on laptops, and tablet devices.
History and Today
Technology has forever impacted the manner and success of education. From earliest times (even back to the abacus) technology has formed the foundation for future learning. We now have the opportunity to build upon past advances to bring education to a new level of heightened impact on the ability for our students to understand and integrate knowledge to an unprecedented degree.
Advances in technology, allowing for multi-media in textbooks, instant access to unlimited databases of content, integrated with traditional and new instructional methods will open to our students a world of learning that has long been anticipated. Technology, through advances such as tablet computing and broadband connectivity, can free up both the minds and bodies of our students; the body through less stress from carrying around 50 lbs of books, the mind through increased learning possibilities.
Students today are learning in new ways, ways foreign to many of our traditional learning methods. Personal multi-media, accessible at anytime and anywhere, allows for knowledge to be conveyed in a manner customizable to each student’s learning abilities and desires.