July 12th 2013
Digital media in education

Technological advances are affecting the field of education for some decades. This is one of the main reasons why it is vitally important, not a re-structuring in education but a change in the education system, since the end result of "how we learn" and "how to learn" is constantly changing.

Alvin Toffler1 (author known for his theories on the future related to the technological revolution) argues that the current public education system is designed to produce industrial workers thinking that favor industrial discipline, contextualizing it in the time of revolution of the early nineteenth century. One of the key factors of this discipline is the timeliness in the schedule: formerly in agricultural production was not very problematic if harvest time arrived ten minutes late, as a family member or work colleague was covering or the worker ten minutes later ended their responsibilities. Moreover, in the era of the industrial revolution if a worker located in an assembly line took over the account, was a problem for the line work they could perform more than 1,000 people with the subsequent involvement in production costs which would skyrocket. So, in the industrial era punctuality is important and is a factor that is still implicit in the current educational system, leading to the inference that this is already outdated today.

How well has been announced in the opening lines of this text, technological developments and different types of behavioral strategies that accompany it, are interesting to demand this change in the education system of today’s society. The forms of learning must evolve to keep the human being overtaken by the technology he has created.

Today, technology in schools is fixed and centralized, either in a computer lab or classroom. Despite many technological advances and the introduction of new pedagogical concepts, most schools continue to use the traditional method. Yes, it is true that some technological advances incorporated in the classroom such as projectors, tablets or interactive whiteboards. But instead of considering it a separate tool or skill, digitization will disperse in all facets of learning.

One technique that is constantly expanding to favor a process of change in education through digital media is Augmented Reality. This technique can open a fairly wide range of possibilities, say goodbye to physical books and welcome to the new intelligent digital books that allow online exercises and group games make use of content taught and virtual simulations, among others. To all this we must add that the concept of "augmented reality" and does not replace the real world for a virtual, but complements the perception of the first. For example, through three-dimensional reconstruction of historical scenarios or simulations that allow students to carry out certain dangerous activities without jeopardizing their safety. It is an essential tool for a new generation of digital natives is motivated by the contents of each field.

One strategy that can also provide student learning motivation and most importantly, can evolve the student’s rating systems, is called gamification applied to education, which provides instant retribution knowledge gained through successes and through a point system. This is the field of self-awakening of the student and that this follow your own pace of learning, since the information is open and easily accessible to all. By this tactic the students are becoming more responsibility for their own learning and on the other hand, teachers are working more as guides with skills to manage a group and less as presenters of information. A reflection that arises from these last lines is that teaching can become a performance-based project and a set of human values ​​in any part of the assessments and traditional skills.

Through technology, the distance factor is reset and also deserves some reflection. Do we expect a society in which children find themselves isolated at home, connected by an infinite network of computers? Many educators have responded to this danger believe in the concept of environmental education [Vasquez Tower authors define as environmental education as the process of recognizing values ​​and clarifying concepts in order to develop skills and attitudes necessary to understand and appreciate the relationship between man, culture and the surrounding environment], especially in countries with a long tradition in this respect as the United States, England, Australia or New Zealand, influenced by the ideas of thinkers like Henry David Thoreau or John Locke. In many cases, this concept has the fundamental objective awareness of the environment, but not limited to: a study published in the journal Review of Educational Research in 1997 showed that this type of program had very obvious positive effects on the development communication skills, leadership skills and self-concept of students.

Advances in the field of neuroscience hold promise for the world of education, as more and know more specifically how the brain works. Several centers have been launched around the world to find out what are the most useful methods of learning, such as the Center for Educational Neuroscience in the UK and several initiatives of the National Academy of Science American. We have reached several conclusions in all areas of education, but in general, has highlighted the importance of emotions in learning, the role that the two hemispheres of the brain play in acquiring knowledge and existence of very different models of intelligence.

Over time, formal education will become an ongoing and interconnected, enabling students to cope with a changing world. These technologies offer a potential future where physical presence will be secondary to access to information. With the perspective of 20 years later, the teaching will be supported for retina displays, neuro-informatics, holographic teachers and a world in which students will be immersed in a virtual reality.


1. TOFFLER, Alvin. "The Third Wave". _Ed Plaza & Janes, Morrow, 1980


Rubèn Castejón i Giner



rubèn castejón