Writing Task 2: Advantages and disadvantages of the new approach in teaching

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Write about the following topic:

In the past, lectures were the traditional method of teaching large numbers of students in a classroom. Nowadays new technology is increasingly being used to teach students.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this new approach in teaching?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words. 

Sample Answer 1:

We have moved into a technology-driven era where technology is affecting many different aspects of our life, and education is no exception. So, in some schools, traditional methods of education have been revolutionised by new technology to the extent that the lecture is no longer the main method of teaching students. While this new approach has some advantages, it also has many significant shortcomings. This essay outlines both the advantages of disadvantages of this novel approach.

Perceivably the biggest advantage of the use of the latest technology in education is the flexibility it offers. This is evident in two different ways-  firstly, it is now no longer essential for students to be present in the classroom for their courses. The COVID-19 pandemic has specifically taught us how this flexibility could be a lifesaver. Moreover, the distance learning facility enables employed professionals, housewives and people from different countries to enrol and successfully finish useful courses offered by numerous institutes. Another area of flexibility is of course the interactive tools like “Moodles”, for example, the lecturers can use to deliver their courses to large numbers of students.

Not everything, however, about the introduction of this new technology into education is useful. To start, not all students are comfortable with using technology, even if they are part of the digital native generation. This is a grave issue as they may suffer from their lack of technological skills and interests. For instance, an overwhelming number of students, almost 75%, despite their enthusiasm for smartphones and computers, reported that they do not like online classes. Another related issue is that education is a human activity, and it works best with as much human interaction as possible. Impersonal technology cannot replace the human contact found in traditional face-to-face tutorials and seminars. Thus a piece of technology or tool can never be an alternative to expert tutors who know their students individually and act and teach them accordingly.

To conclude, technology in education brings some important benefits and enables distance learning possible. It also becomes the only way of learning and teaching during lockdown and pandemics. However, due to the fact that it can be too impersonal for some and discourages others for their lack of technological skills or passion, it is still not the best method to teach and learn.

[Band score 8 level essay sample] [Written and submitted by – Adriana]

Sample Answer 2:

Technology has touched every aspect of our life today, so much so that we can not think of living without it, even for a day. The world of “teaching and learning” is no exception, and this essay will try to explain what benefits and demerits incorporating technology in this field have brought.

Perhaps the most visible advantage of it is that it allows students to access more and varieties of information with just a few mouse clicks. Students, with the help of technology, can choose to research topics, and fill their interests and needs, much more easily than by going to a library where resources may be limited. And the best thing about it is that all this can be done in a group, freeing the teacher to attend to other individual students in more need. In other words, using technology in this way ensures that all the students get what they need, and also when they need it while allowing teachers to focus more on academically poor students.

Another advantage is that technology helps students accommodate multiple styles of learning. For example, some students respond better when communicated verbally rather than in written words. For such students, recorded lessons, audiobooks, and podcasts can effectively be woven into their lesson plans so that they can extract the benefits.

However, while technology has allowed both teachers and students alike to accomplish more, it is not without disadvantages. One such disadvantage is that it has significantly reduced the “face-to-face interaction” between students and teachers. This “face-to-face interaction” is very important because it helps students not just acquire facts, but also understand, interpret, and apply these facts into useful and interesting knowledge. More importantly, without such interaction, it is very highly unlikely that teachers would be able to help students build self-esteem and confidence and emotional maturity, especially, when there is so much bullying in and around the classrooms. 

To conclude, technology is a reality of our life today, and we just can not ignore it even if we want to. Therefore, we should be judicious in using it in the field of education and learning in order to extract maximum benefits.

359 words.

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