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How Can Technologies Improve The Learning Process?

learning platforms and technology

The learning process can be improved if a person has memorable experiences by the inputs of their five senses. The senses are sight, sounds, touch, taste and smell. By the act of doing an exercise in which a person uses their senses repeatedly a person can learn. So for example this means seeing the mathematical equations, trying them and doing similar exercises. Or it could be hearing a musical melody a few times and playing it yourself. Today learning by accessing technology can be visual, audio and by acts of doing. This article looks at how technologies can improve the learning process in our early twenty first century world.

Society has always looked to improve ways in which its citizens learn, but how specifically can technologies improve the learning process? In an attempt to answer this question we shall look at modern technologies invented in the digital era. We shall then be considering how learning is undertaken by school communities in developing countries and in comparison western educational institutions learning. A maximum amount of digital technology can be found in a private school as compared to a public sub Saharan African school. Here most of the time it is no digital technology access. In this article we shall be highlighting the difference between these two societies which is basic country infrastructure IT networks (LAN and WAN), telephony and servers. Furthermore the cost of digital technology can not be left out of the answer to this question. Finally this article gives suggestions for how to improve learning academic and vocational learning through technology.

There are many ways to answer the questions of how technologies improve the learning process as there are many types of ways to learn. Learning can be for a school or university qualification in a subject like chemistry, it can be for skills acquisition such as driving a HGV, cooking a fine dining meal or it can be just for fun like playing the African drums. Having said that the answers to improved learning outcomes with technology can be found in having the following:

  1. Access to the right hardware tools
  2. Use of the most fastest powerful computers
  3. Being on a computer network and having power
  4. Access to the right software on the latest hardware
  5. Ability to connect with software to the internet with email
  6. Access to the world wide web and specific internet platforms
  7. Access to school/college learning platforms

If the above can be obtained in a secure way in Senegal then an African citizen can become very powerful in relationship to their peers that do not have these leaning tools. Imagine a community with no digital technology and an individual in the community wanted to learn about health care. Access to the knowledge would come to them by word of mouth and books in the local setting. The information maybe be incomplete or out of date. Alternatively the can best education on the continent of Africa delivered to them from around the world maybe online and accessed via a wifi enabled laptop. You would have improved you learning by this steps. So let us look at each area as above.


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Having Hardware Technologies For The Learning Process

The first area we shall look is modern hardware technologies for learning. The learning process can be enhanced by someone owning a simple laptop, however this is one of many types of digital hardware. Hardware comes in many forms here is a list of the ones we find important with examples of how it can improve learning:

  • Laptops, notebook or tablet. Learn about local news in your home country. By seeing a customs can learn about new products and services outside their city
  • Desktop personal computer or workstation. With a powerful desktop a student can learn about the nights sky if the hardware is linked to a telescope
  • Video or TV screen and monitors. Video on a screen in a health care setting can be used to teach about healthy eating and exercising
  • Phones, smart phone, fixed line and mobile. By hearing a student can learn on bus of train via their phone a new language
  • Gaming hardware. Learning by playing is a great way to improve your knowledge. VR/AR or simulation hardware is an example how to teach flying
  • Voice assistant and microphone. A recording of a lesson with the voice can be used for student not able to attend a lesson on history due to illness
  • Speakers. Loud speaker can be used to broadcast to an audience in a place of worship learning about their community and heritage
  • Headset. A teacher or mentor can by talking to a student at anytime about the topic of software coding that they are learning
  • Camera. With a camera you can take pictures and show your artistic work to masters around the world and get feedback from them
  • Printers. Here you can get a hardcopy of exercises to practise on paper or share with class mates
  • IOT smart devices. A company can learn by observing how it's staff are using new technology to improve productivity

Computer hardware specifically laptops, desktops and tablets can be seen as the most important device on the list above. The access the learning process allow us to see, hear and do things we could not without the technology. Laptops, mobiles and tablets are portable meaning a student can learn in any location. The advantages of using a computer of are well documented. All these are reasons of managing or calculating figure, storing data, processing information based on the fundamental inputting and outputting of commands are used to improve the learning process. Store manage and process data.

All that said children may spend excessive amounts of time on their phones or gaming hardware, all of which can be at the detriment to their learning process. There is an addictive element to owning a phone or gaming machine. Learning can both be improved and slowed by owning this form of hardware, however if you need to reduce the barriers of access due to a disability a touch screen and headset with a microphone may improve a citizens learning.

Hardware cost money nevertheless. Considering school communities in developing countries in a sub Saharan African. The cost of owning hardware is a barrier and it is an ongoing one. If the hardware breaks how do you go about fixing it so that your learning can continue. You can buy an expensive new phone if that is your learning tool or start your search for a second hand phone instead. Getting the parts to fix your laptop or macbook saves Africa's resources as rare metals comes from these countries. If it is broken but repaired it will be have value for learning again see Laptop and pc repair shops in London. In a western educational institution as a comparison, money can mean a maximum amount of digital technology with privilege access in a students hands.
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Powerful Computer Technologies Benefits The Learning Process

Why do citizens need to have to most powerful computer technology to aid their leaning? Having the fastest most powerful computer means that a learner can access video and image heavy presentations which are large files. Only hardware which has the fastest microchip, most random access memory RAM, the highest specification modern video graphic plus sound cards and a large hard disk can handle this medium. The teaching and learning process can be delivered in real time on hardware which can handle the data stream without lagging or dropouts. With a powerful processor and two screen monitors for graphics, you can learn, design and build from day one engineering solutions with a CAD software package. Multitasking would be easy. A powerful computer is perfect for engineering, visualization and machine learning. Dual extreme graphics, a big digital screen, display with fast refresh rates can be invaluable to citizens who are visually impaired or who need to have integration with a touch screen if a person is immobile. There is value in providing technology to all people of all abilities to aid their learning. Society is calling this blended learning and digital inclusion it has been valuable for students with disabilities. It has been really beneficial and I think we've got this now - we've proved it works, let's carry it on quote from twitter #MyAccessiblePandemic

The benefits and pay back outweigh the initial costs of spending money on the computing power. Having the computing power means a team of scientists can work on the hardest problems in our society. They can learn how star forms, air pollution effects our health and forecast weather patterns. All this comes from using complex calculations and programming learnt from have access to the most powerful computers in the world.

As a comparison of learning with no access to technology in a sub Saharan African school with no access to a simple computer big problems and complex challenges can not be solved. The maximum amount of digital technology can be found in a private school as compared to a public school. This means that they can learn more and faster in subjects such as maths, science and engineering. If a student has books only the latest research will be beyond them. They will not be able to push forward boundaries in knowledge. Powerful technology found in a private school as compared to a public school can mean improved learning based on what that computing power can do for a student. Two societies, two different outcomes.

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Power, Networks, Local Or Wide Area And The Learning Process

Power generation, 5G mobile network, satellite communication, wifi, fibre optics cables, broadband, local data centres, hubs, gateways and switches are the backbone to the future of learning in a digital world. Without the infrastructure of a network digital learning would have to be delivered via a removeable disc. Power and energy is a technology that enables the use of digital technology for leaning. Once the power is there we need a network. A digital network means local or wide area computer linked together. A link to a network means any location in the country were you can connect to the national telecommunication network. A leaner can find and contact the right people in the network, they can learn new skills which can enhance themselves.

Mobile networks are powering Africa’s digital economy and it's learner are at the forefront of this development. Instead of fixed lines the airwaves are being used. Large investments in ICT and digitalisation telecommunication infrastructure is improving network connectivity every year. With African telecoms and technology, digital connectivity via mobile is have a major transformation in parts of the world where access to the world databank of knowledge is not possible locally on its own. This means you can learn how to startup a digital business from your home town or city. The learning process is aided by a network. see DIGITAL ECONOMY FOR AFRICA (DE4A) Country Diagnostic of Senegal ICT infrastructure in West Africa.

Software Technologies Enhances The Learning Process

A powerful computer plus a network connection of groups of computers. What do you need next? Well having the right software on your hardware in very important to how a citizen can improve their learning. If your special topic is languages having a translate app and video software could be good. Advanced technologies can be used to test technical skills and knowledge of English and French in both Nigeria and Senegal respectively. The software here is the key. It means owning your own learning and the difference ways such as podcast, videos, ebooks, content library. Software is many things for example a calculator, an alarm, a clock, a map, a note pad and a calender planner. All these can improve your learning without a connection to the internet, however if software is backup with data, information and content many possibilities can be realised.

Software programmes can be stored as recordings for future additions, updating and editing. Recorded video lessons and a CD library database worth of information can be accessed from software loaded onto your PC. Software also means flexible learning and anytime, teacher on the go from software.

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Connections With Software To The Internet Can Enable The Learning Process

Email is a major software technology application used in the learning process, being able to connect with software to the internet with email has improved the learning process, If there is high quality network infrastructure in place where you are without restrictions from others (gov etc) over wifi or a fixed line then access to knowledge can enhance your learning.

Accessing The Internet, World Wide Web And Other Protocols

Accessing the world wide web, the internet and web pages, file transfer with ftp as well as email will improve your learning. Study online, take online exams to enhance digital learning. For students of all ages live video lesson or online training for hospitality professionals can enhance the learning process. Children learning reading and writing plus maths can be taught by AI or by simple ML coded software as this is delivered to them via the cloud. We now have international students enrolled in a university from their home town, with tailored made to your needs education. Learning can be online and offline hybrid. Analytics gathered by the teachers can aid a students learning if they are student learning from a distance away from the school. Again cloud based access allows for this approach.

Distance learning arrangements can used digital technology. This includes onboarding with tech. Registering is a pain point to get started at any event. With online learning by it can be easier that having no digital access and having to attend in person. Technologies can be used in administration and marking exams by machines of humans later..

Conferences with learning can take place via the world wide web. AfricaCom and the other convention events are now online.

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Learning Platforms

How do you improve learning through technology? We believe this is from access learning portals or platforms. A platform can use technology by visualisation, audio and by acts of doing. A learning platform can be many things. A school/college learning platforms could be a private, state school run or third party application which only allows a student to log in. Top platforms have administration, marking and exams sections which allow for feedback. It can be virtual teaching events and virtual application on a single platforms. There are a wide spectrum of applications from a Avatar teacher, to App for children, parents, children working together and adult learning. In addition a learning portal can have real life scenarios, spreadsheet, document pdf exercises, podcasts, videos, recommended reading units or articles, learning activities, flash cards, questions and answers, quizzes, tests, practise sample assessments, examiner reports, marking scheme. They can be also known as e learning tools with a wealth of content.

Multimedia CDs were the original learning platforms for students with Encarta leading the way. Microsoft Encarta was a digital multimedia encyclopedia sold on CD-ROM. The way people sort information changed which led to other technologies overtaking the CD. So today we have the online free and user-generated Wikipedia to aid us in learning. Advanced learning portal now have many ways to improve the learning experience along side teachers, instructors and lecturers. The is now live simulations and engagement of the senses via gaming technology which can be recorded and archived via other platforms like Youtube and Twitch. These platform allows for detailed analysis frame by frame latter. You can speed it up and slow it down you can have subtitles on top of voice for live or recorded learning. You can view a video online and follow a teacher coding live. Another platform can be used for your exercises, pulling code from GITHub. Codecademy and HTML Tutorial - W3Schools are other learning code platforms. The following is a quote from an online learner.

Online classes meant I was able to attend all my university classes and actually take things in and learn instead of my disabilities getting in the way. And if I needed to, I could re-watch them and my grades have never been better tbh

Zoom or Teams is easy to use for learning. Connectivity integration and children all in one place and one time. Smaller groups, school sizes can be taught on learning platforms and there can be monitoring. Course can be free or paid for more premium features. offers certification upon course completion.

Examples of learning platforms

wikipedia.org
The Apps Tutor has used a learning platform to teach. Excel, Outlook. OneDrive, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Teams and Word Apps. Training is delivered on a one to one basis remotely or in the form of webinars for groups. She used to train people face-to-face. Now delivered online, in webinars.

Ed tech business model B2B to C Up front payment and pay as you go model for B2C. See bitesize

learnerbly by Rajeeb Dey allows for learning Public Speaking, DevOps, Sales, User Experience (UX), Future Technologies, Machine Learning (ML), Software Engineering, Marketing, Communication, Leadership and Design.
See also Houtan Froushan UCL educate AI In Learning And Education Technologies
See What is teacher tapp? a platform for teacher by Laura Mclnerney
See lingumi Learn to speak English with your child by Aaron Randall. This app is about learning through play
loom powerpoint teaching is another example.

Access To Technology Plus Where You Live In The World And What This Means For The Learning Process

In summary acquire the best technology your money can buy where every you live to improve the learning process of what ever you are studying. Although what ever you spend your money on there will always be a threshold of basic infrastructure that needs to be in place in the area you live, study and learn. Inequalities, owning your device and network connection are why somebody in sub Saharan Africa may not have improved learning compared to their middle classed western counter part. This means that what ever technology you personally own is irrelevant as your will not be able to access the world wide web of knowledge out there if you do not have the power and network.

We are living a in a world of life long learning, this means big business for learning providers. Business want staff that have upto date knowledge and skills backed up by a certificate. There is now continuous personal development (CPD) which is requirement of memberships to proffessional bodies.

Each person today needs to develop knowledge and understanding of "learning to learn" while developing the practical skills to support lifelong learning. Technologies can improve the learning process. How digital technology does this, is in many ways. New technology can be more expensive than traditional methods. A capital expense to the learner can have an immediate impact on improved learning. So there is a cost to digital technology, but the benefits gained in learning can greatly outweigh the costs. Access to top education with digital technology leads to empowerment and employment.

Leslie
West Africa Phones
Editor

References

The three stages of memory from https://www.aatcomment.org.uk/audience/students/how-to-consolidate-your-...
Encoding is the process whereby information is acquired and transformed for storage. This could be from reading a book, attending a lecture, watching a video, or listening to a podcast.
Storage is the retention of information over time. This can be for short periods of time (short-term memory) or longer periods of time (long-term memory). Learning usually involves storing information in long-term memory.
Retrieval is the process by which you access this stored information from memory. Being able to recall the relevant information at the right time is a good indicator of successful learning.

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Recognition of Prior Learning? RPL is the process for recognising learning that has its source in experience and/or previous formal, non-formal and informal learning contexts.

Topics for informal discussions familiar topics

City and Guilds ideas and opinions. Evidence. Effective accurate language

If you wish to use this article for your City and Guilds informal discussions familiar topics please do so. Cut and paste.
For use as a presentation use the following:

  1. Title: How Can Technologies Improve The Learning Process?
  2. Hardware Technologies
  3. Powerful Computer Technologies
  4. Power, Networks, Local Or Wide Area
  5. Software Technologies
  6. Connections With Software To The Internet
  7. Learning Platforms and Software apps
  8. Access To Technology And Where You Live In The World
  9. Summary a modern technology
  10. References
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  • Use guerrilla marketing magic words like powerful, secret, easy, value, free, save, premium, convenient, coveted and now, to add personality to your essay