A Study of the Role
of Technology in
Modern Education
By Fan Jin, James Cong, and Kevin Wong
Presentation Outline
• Technology in the elementary, middle,
and high school classroom
• Technology in the college classroom
• Online Universities
• Online job training
• Other examples
• A comparison of technology based
learning versus live classroom learning
• Teachers do little to integrate technology into
curricula (Benedetto, 2005)
– Proposed reasons: using technology as a tool
requires a paradigm shift for teachers, who must
shift their role from giver of knowledge to facilitator
of knowledge (Dexter, Anderson, and Becker,
– Teachers often lack formal training (and
confidence) on how to effectively use technology
as a useful teaching tool
• Even though technology may be available, it
is often outdated
– Example: Fourth graders at an Millard’s (school
district in Nebraska) Neihardt Elementary
attempted to begin an interactive lesson on Lewis
and Clark and crippled the entire school’s network
system by streaming a video.
– “Up to 32 percent of the district’s computers are
obsolete” (Mark Feldhausan, Millard school
district’s assistant superintendent for technology)
Technology in the College
• Princeton:
• Blackboard has many functions that would
serve as useful educational supplements, but
they are often not taken advantage of
– Virtual Classrooms: designed for live, synchronous
interaction (features include live whiteboard,
private question and answer, Lecture Mode and
Open Participation Mode)
– Discussion Boards (especially in engineering)
– Course Cartridges: pre-packaged course materials
Technology at Princeton
• Why are these tools not being used?
– Teacher training
– Awareness or understanding of technology
– Technology may not be pertinent to understanding
of subject
– Too impersonal?
Technology at Duke U.
• Each member of Class of 2008 received
Apple iPods
– For recording lectures, downloading lecture mp3s,
applications in music and foreign language
– Now: iPods are selectively distributed to Duke
students based on their courses (eligible courses
include music, economics, foreign language,
various engineering courses)
Online Universities
• Example: University of Phoenix
• Fully Accredited
• Since 1976, more than 171,000 working
professionals have received a degree from
• 100% education through internet (including
registration, administration)
• Asynchronous learning: pros and cons
University of Phoenix
• Lectures are written and posted (not
• Available degrees: Associate to PhD
• Fields: Business, Technology, Healthcare,
Education, Social and Behavioral Sciences
• Instructors provide weekly feedback
• For Profit: $500/credit hour
• Discussion of Pros and Cons
Online Job Training
• Examples: pre-employment online job
training, employee development
• Pre-employment (new hires)
– Diagnostic skills assessment, net-based classes,
post-class assessment
– Ensures all entry level employees start with the
same knowledge base
• Current employees
– Re-training
– Career development, acquire new skills
Other Examples
• Technology Resources:
• Online encyclopedias: wikipedia.com,
• Other websites like howstuffworks.com,
about.com, sparknotes.com, etc…
• Academic search: Lexis-Nexis
• Online research
• “Achievement compared favorably
across a variety of age and content
levels. User satisfaction is higher than
in traditional instruction regardless of
technology used ” Phipps (1999)
Institute for Higher Education Policy
• Bias towards different subjects, gender,
student types
Conclusions and areas for
• Based on the previous examples, it
seems as though technology is a very
useful and effective teaching tool.
However, the benefits of using
technology are often not being realized
in not-for-profit situations.
• Discussion: Supplement vs.