Pedagogical Benefits and the Future of Digital Education With a Focus on Teaching and Learning Processes

Pedagogical Benefits and the Future of Digital Education With a Focus on Teaching and Learning Processes

Abel Ebiega Enokela (Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8904-5.ch005
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This study attempted an examination of the benefits of digital education and its future in the educational sector with particular emphasis on artificial intelligence which has dominated teaching and learning processes. The evolution of education technologies has impacted immensely on education, especially with the ascendancy of artificial intelligence which has added another dimension to the impact of educational digitalization. Both teachers and students are beneficiaries of this technological boom. Intelligent technology is also taking the lead in universalizing or internationalizing education. Distance learning platforms, mass open online courses (MOOCs), and other virtual models have made tremendous impacts in global education as learners can now choose how, when, and where to learn since distance is no longer a barrier to teaching and learning processes. The outbreak of COVID-19 has also strengthened and increased the value size of digitalization in the educational sector.
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Educational technology or EdTech has made education highly accessible to people in different parts of the world. Technology, as an agent of transformation and interconnectivity, has generally taken education to a higher level. In specific explanation, educational technology has impacted positively on curriculum design; lecture delivery and learning processes. Betty, Pawar, Sopan, Arinal, Fadhilah, and Astuti (2020) postulated that both teachers and students strongly acknowledged the importance of technology in distance education; and that students’ attitude towards educational technologies was also commendable. De Lange (2015) posited that most human disabilities would become history in 50 years, considering the pace of technological and research advancements. Social media which are a group of internet-based applications built upon the principles of Web 2.0, which could support creating and exchanging of generated contents (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010) have added so much to teaching and learning experiences among teachers and students. Intelligent machines are equally doing amazing things that can even outperform man’s ability like the cases of the Watson supercomputer which defeated Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a Jeopardy game to earn $35,734, leaving Rutter and Jennings to earn only $10,400 and $4800, respectively (Gustin, 2011); and in another situation, two artificial intelligence (AI) programs demonstrated high intentionality and capacity by beating human professional card players at the popular poker game of Texas Hold 'em (Riley, 2017). Artificial intelligence (AI) like Jill Watson is commonly used for teaching and learning activities in educational settings (Kaplan 2021). A lot has been said about the impacts of educational technologies from a more generalized standpoint among scholars, with little space specifically set aside for the discussion on the benefits and future of intelligent technology on teaching and learning processes in the educational sector. Before the infusion of intelligent technologies in the educational sector, technologies like the personal computer, video discs and cassettes were used. However, these technologies could only provide factual knowledge, and could not help learners process ideas (Garito, 1991), making such technologies to be unintelligent as they could not do much to aid learning. However, today, a learner through an intelligent and smart device like chatbot can have individualized learning experiences with the device playing a role of a teacher as it can guide the learner to pace his or her study accordingly. Intelligent technology or artificial intelligence keeps evolving and revolutionizing the educational field leading to effective teaching-learning processes. With the ascendancy of intelligent technology, computers have acquired some levels of intentionality and consciousness, leading to machines being able to demonstrate ability and capacity to combine modern algorithms with deep machine learning experiences to solve complex human related matters (Wogu, Misra, Assibong, Olu-Owolabi, Maskeliūnas, & Robertas 2019). Artificial technology is driven by artificial intelligence. Hence, we cannot talk about intelligent technology without turning to artificial intelligence to contextualize our definitions of the term. With the steady digital growth, leading to some gadgets becoming smarter through Io T technologization, tasks that are usually peculiar to human beings can now be infused into a machine for it to do them. According to Britannica (n.d) Artificial intelligence (AI), is “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” Popenici and Kerr (2017) also defined artificial intelligence “as computing systems that are able to engage in human-like processes such as learning, adapting, synthesizing, self-correction and use of data for complex processing tasks.” Thus, artificial technology refers to technological devices with intelligent endowments or potentialities that are peculiarly human. Internet search engines that could be used to source information automatically with high level of precision are good examples of technological intelligence that are widely used by teachers and students to advance their teaching or learning endeavors. Teaching and learning tools, learning environment and approaches to teaching and learning have received significant support and enhancement from the ever-growing intelligent technological advancement strides. Students can now receive lectures through intelligent technological devices from the comfort of their homes and offices. Sensors that can even turn on devices’ digital alarms or calendars to remind students of important dates and times have equally added glamour to learning activities. Technologized devices or facilities with different degrees of intelligence are helping teachers and students to achieve goals of teaching and learning. Hence, graphing calculators, smartphone apps, interactive whiteboard, dynamic geometry software, and intelligent tutoring systems are used (Glaze, 2019) to facilitate teaching and learning processes. As a result of the technologization of the educational sector, communication has been reorganized, leading to a new learning paradigm (Siemens, 2016). Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through educational technology, have led to the massification of education. Individuals who could not attend regular schools are benefitting from online courses today. It is pertinent to stress that intelligent technologies have not only influenced teaching and learning processes, but also the ability to use them has become a core competence for the 21st century learner (Page & Thorsteinsson, 2017). Kumar (2018; cited in Marwan, 2020) categorized artificial intelligent technologies into four- Machine Learning (ML): ability of a machine to learn by gaining experience and training; Natural Language Processing (NLP): ability of a device to recognize a language by voice or text and to process it to data; Vision: the ability of a device to recognize objects in images or visuals and to process visual information; Robotics: the programming function that allows the robot to recognize objects, voices, texts for it to take action. These artificial intelligent domains or categories can support teaching and learning experiences in a number of ways. With the increasing pace of intelligence of things (IO T), more gadgets can interact with one another through remotes or Bluetooth. Hence personal computers can wirelessly transfer data to the interactive board to enhance teaching and learning. Students may not even need to open the door of a classroom, as the door can recognize them biometrically or through other means and open by itself if it has been made intelligent. Thus, school environments and learning are becoming more fascinating with the infusion of intelligent technologies in the educational sector.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Disruption: Digital disruption refers to distortions created by the introduction of digitalization in a system. It could be seen as the wiping out of boundaries as a result of embedding educational technology in teaching and learning spaces. The term as used in this chapter means the disruptions or erosion of certain educational values like the threat of robots replacing teachers, absence of physical students-teacher interaction and so on.

Digital Transformation: Digital transformation is the process of moving away from manual processes to digital technology. It involves the use of computerized devices or machines to perform tasks that could have been done manually. The term as used in this chapter, means the positive innovations brought into teaching and learning experiences by the infusion of educational technology into educational processes.

Education Massification: Massification of education means making education available to the masses. Digitalization can make education massive and ready for millions of people to have access to its content. The term as used in this chapter means using educational technologies to make education available to people, especially through internet devices and artificial intelligence.

Pedagogical Benefits: Pedagogy refers to the art and science of teaching methods. Thus, Pedagogical benefits refer to the benefits that could be derived from well-planned lessons or contents. Learners’ feedback is very important in assessing pedagogical benefits. The term as used in this chapter refers to the teaching and learning benefits teachers and students derive from digitalization of education as a result of the infusion of educational technology in the sector.

Teaching and Learning Processes: Teaching and learning processes refer to the interactions between teachers and learners. In this case, the teacher, who is the facilitator of learning activities imparts knowledge and skill to learners, while learners are to receive the content transmitted by the teacher through various methods of teaching. Teaching and learning processes could be said to be effective when both the teacher and students achieve the goals of teaching and learning.

Education Internationalization: Internationalization of education is a process of embedding international and intercultural concepts into the education process while transmitting such knowledge and skills across nations. The term as used in this chapter refers to the universalization of international education content as a result of digitalization to foster global citizenship.

Educational Technology: Educational technology refers to the devices or tools and media that can facilitate the transmitting and receiving of knowledge or skills in an educational setting. It also means all gadgets and machines used to aid teaching and learning processes.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Artificial intelligence (AI), used interchangeably with artificial technology in this chapter, is the creation of devices like computers or machines that can perform human-like functions like problem-solving, thinking, recognition and so on. The term is used in this chapter to refer to all technological devices like computers, machines, robots and so on that could perform human-like educational tasks to facilitate teaching and learning processes.

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