Technology and Education Essay

Total Length: 626 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

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1. I have witnessed almost too many technological advances to count, but the two that I believe have had the most direct impact on me include the smartphone and the electric car. Although there have been some electric car prototypes before, now both hybrid and fully electric cars are becoming normative. I see charging clusters in more places, and now I know a few people who have an electric car. Although I do not yet have one, I believe that now that several countries like China are committing to phasing out the internal combustion engine, we are well on our way towards decreasing dependence on fossil fuels for energy.

However, even more directly meaningful to my life has been the smartphone. I cannot imagine living without my phone. My phone and all the apps and tools that come with it are practically a part of my own brain. I use Google Maps to navigate myself, social media apps to stay connected with the world, games to keep me occupied when I am bored, an alarm clock, and anything else I could possibly need. My life is definitely easier with the smartphone.



On the Futurism website, one of the most interesting technologies mentioned is related to food: fake meat. Lant (2017) describes Richard Branson’s ambitious project to develop a sustainable vegetarian protein source that he believes will replace animal killing altogether.
While I doubt the entire world can be converted away from animal killing, I do believe this is an important invention that will not only promote animal ethics, but will also help the environment. The drawback is mainly financial: there are many people with a vested interest in the meat industry, and it is hard to imagine how the price point of a new invention could be affordable to the poorest members of society.



2. In this course, I have considered all the ramifications of technological advancements. We learned a little about artificial intelligence, which I previously did not know much about. Also, I considered some of the ethical dimensions of technology, such as how it can either widen or narrow the gap between different social classes.



Now that I am used to online learning, which relies exclusively on technology, I can see all the differences between this method and face-to-face learning. With online learning, we are able to do almost everything we can do in a traditional classroom. The main difference is that when we interact with students and instructors, it is all based on text messages, email, and forum post and that means losing the nuances of face-to-face communication. For example, there is no body language or eye contact to give us context. It is harder to have a back-and-forth discussion in the digital environment......

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References

Lant, K. (2017). Richard Branson: In the near future, we’ll think it’s “archaic” to kill animals for food. Futurism. Retrieved online: https://futurism.com/richard-branson-in-the-near-future-well-think-its-archaic-to-kill-animals-for-food/

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