Does Educational Technology Improve Learning?

As university administrators attempt to strike equilibrium between requirements and resources, online open source software has surfaced as a possible solution. In particular, a lot of schools have now settled for open source education management systems. But does educational technology improve learning? Benefits that have pushed the balance towards open source are the following:

* A license fee is not needed. A lot of schools pay huge sums per year to software corporations in order to utilize their products. Meanwhile, open source permits are free.

* Open source products may entail third parties and are customizable. New tools and features may be traded in from the open source society.

* The large collaborative system of the open source society reduces, though does not get rid of, the threat of withdrawn service. Volunteer assistance is available via open source support network like forums.

* The widespread collaboration guarantees that the software products continue to improve. Programmers from various organizations and institutions, together with volunteers, freely contribute to projects.

* Governments of several countries have incorporated tax-immunity policies in order to raise open source projects. However, the government's role in endorsing open source software is rather controversial.

Does educational technology always equal improved learning? Does Technology also have its disadvantages? The major possible setback of educational open source projects becomes clear during their execution. Utilizing the open source software to its highest potential may be challenging for novices, and the source code's accessibility is unnecessary for the end users if they don't deem the product helpful. Open source products aren't always usable with current software components, as well.

There are other potential setbacks to open source development. For instance, there are no assurances that a particular project will send the desired results and attain completion. The development depends on the time and interest of the collaborative staff, and insufficient funding or resources may overturn the project. On the brighter side, there are still a lot of marketable open source products that are self-sufficient.

Academic property rights may make it hard to establish whether a certain software solution has been tested. If a method used for an open source development has not been tested, the organization may be filed with patent infringement. Even though the source code availability makes it hard for patent managers to prove an infringement, these problems often obscure the open source software development.

The most upsetting aspect to consider is perhaps the potential loss of support. Regular users do not take interest in the source code's availability. They are more interested with the usability of the software. This is why proprietary software corporations entrust their resources to customer support and product documentation. The insufficiency of viable incentives in several open source developments undoubtedly lessens the enthusiasm of some contributors. If the support network disappears, academic schools will encounter problems in customizing and improving their open source products without advocacy policies or governmental grants, which are questionable in themselves.

The application of open source has allowed institutions to make course effortlessly available to the global learning community. The idea of the creation of educational blogs and open access has broken down several barriers in the field of education. In response to the changes, experts have put forward several theories of online education. For instance, a lot of individuals believe that the modernization of education has slackened the technical framework of conventional education. The directorial body is less entailed in the direct means of online learning. This means that the students and teachers are more entailed. Meanwhile, some believe that the online education's role in disintermediation is exaggerated as the traditional administrator or teacher now has different roles such as the technician, reviewer, and content creator.

Educational Technology Research Sites

  1. Sapio Institute, The
  2. Technology Journal