Technology is the use of devices, systems and methods that arise from scientific knowledge and are used for practical purposes. Such technologies are widely used across industries, to name a few, the automotive industry, education sector, pharmaceutical industry, oil and gas industry and many more.
Technology has transformed industries including the education sector and it entails numerous benefits. One among them is it improves equality of opportunity. Though this might sound bizarre and one might wonder how using technology enhances equality of opportunity. Yes, technology indeed helps improve equality of opportunity.
Research has identified that technological innovations increase equality of opportunity. Innovations such as virtual schooling, blended learning and intelligent tutoring provide equal access to students.
A deeper dive into facts could help understand the relationship between technology and equality of opportunity.
Access to education
Earlier, access to education varied widely between rural areas and urban areas. But, this gap has been closed due to technologies such as smartphones, laptops and computers. These technologies have helped provide equal learning opportunities to students in rural and urban areas. Moreover, technology usage in rural areas for learning has improved due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Access to resources
The students have access to resources through learning management systems. The learning management systems are also tailored to meet the needs of students. In addition, technologies help provide equal access to resources for schools.
Technology and targeted materials
It is widely known that people’s learning styles differ, as do their struggles or challenges in learning. On closer look, the struggling learner’s behaviour varies between female and male students. In such a scenario, technology helps in providing equal opportunity for all students. For instance, if a student fails, technology is used to analyse past performance. Based on the analysis, targeted materials are sent to students. This helps the students review the material and learn. This is found to improve the performance of the learners in their re-attempt.
Is technology really enhancing equality opportunity?
Technology provides equal opportunity to students, but experts fear that relying only on technologies might broaden the inequality issue. Hence, rather than relying entirely on technologies, they propose that technologies such as online learning should be integrated with teaching and learning to increase equality of opportunity.
One of the United Nation’s goals for 2030 is to provide quality and fair education to children. Nations have agreed to provide equal and inclusive learning opportunities for all. Thus, India could achieve this UN goal through technologies used by Indian educational institutions.
Technology and equality are not related, and technology was not developed to tackle the issue of inequality. But technology has an impact on providing equal opportunities to all. Inequality is a pressing issue, and technology could help eradicate this issue by providing equal opportunity to all. Technology provides equal opportunities not just for students but even for schools. Educational institutions should invest in technologies to provide equal learning opportunities to children.