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Using Technology to Communicate

Because of the availability of modern technology, communication is now crossing boundaries and significantly affecting classroom and teaching settings and overall general learning environment. In fact, just considering the single aspect of the Internet, there have been many more other sub developments that have been made possible by the technology which would significantly affect the future of teaching and education.

The applicability of modern technology allows for instantaneous communications between teachers and students and this is a technology that may be taken advantage of as long as there is knowledge of the teachers of the use, complications, and even the construction and underlying principles of such technologies (N. Bitner & J. Bitner, 2002). For example, in a classroom education environment, one of the most significant problems that is faced by teachers and students alike is the problem of not being able to communicate and distribute materials after class hours.

In the past, communication and delivery of materials had been constrained to be handing out of papers and documents — and in cases where additional information and materials must be delivered to students, another cycle and waiting time must be patiently waited by the teacher. Modern communications and Internet applications for education, however, could make it possible to distribute such materials even out of the classroom setting through the use of websites that have file transfer protocols — technologies and integrated abilities of websites to host files that could be downloaded anywhere there is the Internet for access to the website.

In fact, this is already being used in many universities and colleges all around the world where in professors do not anymore bring heavy and bulky materials in class but rather upload such materials and websites to be downloaded and read by students (Brand, 1998). The obvious advantage of this is a more efficient communication of materials into teaching environment.

A second-generation positive influence of such use of technology is that it would significantly decrease the waste that is created by printing mass amounts of paper just to distribute materials — for it has already been observed that modern students use the Internet and your computers in order to facilitate reading. Another possible technology that could be used in such an environment in setting is the use of voice over Internet protocol — or VoIP.

In voice over Internet, teachers may be able to communicate to students real-time wherever there is Internet access. One may argue that such technology and communication strategies already available in the use of cellular phones and land lines. However, voice over Internet protocol crosses the boundaries of distance, telecommunications companies, and even the expensive pay required in order to make use of such communication services.

Teachers may be able to communicate with their students outside of the classroom setting, and this application could especially be valuable if the teacher or students need to communicate with each other and discuss certain lessons and strategies outside of class hours — of course considering that their schedules between each other upon prior permission (Laffey & Musser, 1998). However, as with all applications of an academic institution, safety issues must be addressed. For example, a class website may be accessed by outsiders and copyrighted materials are distributed freely over the Internet.

On the other hand, voice over Internet protocol can be infiltrated by spying on conversations. In such applications and uses, however, there are built-in security features in most of the software, and there are other additional security measures that may be taken by the teacher in order to ensure security of the application of technology. For example, in the use of the service website, teachers may be able to make use of a password-protected login before students may be able to access various files for take advantage of the services that the website offers.

Also, in voice over Internet, even free application such as Skype’s offer secure connections and encrypted communications among voice over Internet calls so that to ensure that such calls are not infiltrated by outsiders (Guide, n. d. ). However, the issue of security and safety is a continuous issue an aspect that must be addressed for the development of new technology and its applications may further be modified according to the topic and need for further security.

References:

Bitner, N. , & Bitner, J. (2002).Integrating Technology into the Classroom: Eight Keys to Success. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 10(1), 95-101. Brand, G. A. (1998). What research says: Training teachers for using technology. Journal of Staff Development, 19, 10-13. Guide, R. (n. d. ). Computers in the classroom: How teachers and students are using technology to transform learning. Laffey, J. , & Musser, D. (1998). Attitudes of preservice teachers about using technology in teaching. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 6, 223-242.

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