The Influence of Educational Technology and an Analytical Study of it's Efficacy on the Education System in Al Ain
The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Technological development has always been incorporated in facilitating education. Be it the “quill” of the middle-ages, the fountain pen and the ball pens of the 19th and 20th centuries or the latest development of electronic pen, all have been technological advances, on sticks dipped in color, used earlier in human history to record knowledge. Newer and recent technological advances, namely, films, televisions and projectors have all been utilized with varying degree of success in man’s long quest of assisting and improving the edification process. The IT induced technological tsunami which seems to have completely submerged modern society has not left the education sector unscathed. Schools, in the mad rush to be up-to-date, have been scampering to buy computers and other related equipment to implement and integrate ET within their existing teaching methods. Unfortunately, in the haste to integrate Educational Technology (ET) and to make the edification culture more relevant to the modern society, little consideration has been shown for appropriate planning, i.e. awareness level, homogenous distribution and overcoming reluctance. The aim of this research is to look at the extent and efficacy of ET integration and implementation in the city of Al Ain. Additionally, the study aims to recognize any obstacles which might be hindering smooth ET integration in the traditional teaching system and recommend possible solutions. Extensive surveys, to deepen understanding and interpretation of the results, were conducted among teachers, students, parents, schools and government organizations. The data, while dispelling certain stereotypes about lack of ET awareness, did show profound imbalance in ET distribution among different schools and underlined the need for extensive work in ET planning, teacher development courses, maintenance of equipment and other related issues. It is hoped that the findings of the research, about the factors determining efficient ET implementation, will go a long way in changing schools' existing importance criteria of limiting ET incorporation only to the higher grades to giving attention to the lower grades as well. Even the Kinder Garten (KG), at the last rung of the school ladder, should not be deprived of ET as it is the building block of the whole educational edifice.
DISSERTATION WITH DISTINCTION
educational Technology, efficacy, education System, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE)