Numerous technologies have been brought into education over the previous century (including digital technologies). Each of them was anticipated to revolutionize teaching and learning for the most portion. It is usually recognized, however, that there have been no drastic reorientations or shifts in education. However, while the use of technology over the past 100 years has not led to a revolution, it has led to several important changes and advances in access to education and equity. This chapter’s critical focus is to look beyond the technological and media hype of the last century and, instead, critically consider the significance of the changes over time in terms of how we understand teaching and learning with technology today.
Although there is still little theoretical development concerning the precise nature of the connections between digital and social exclusion, a number of opinions on what exclusion means have been created in the sociological literature on inequalities. It appears that the inability to access and use electronic resources (literacy) may be linked to an individual’s social disadvantages. On the other side, for those individuals with higher social requirements, who are often the less trained and literate, access to digital facilities, such as quality public services, is of specific significance. It is understood that literacy depends on a variety of variables: the culture of family reading, home language, parental and college teaching choices, social environment and cultural input. But some main factors are recognized as components needed for effective use of technology, among other obstacles.
The use of computers did not result in any measurable change in the test results of learners and no real change in teaching and pre-digital technology issues continued. While computers became increasingly accessible in colleges during the 1980s, 90s and into the 2000s, adoption and use in teaching and learning remained comparatively restricted. Teachers were not comfortable using computers, computers were often unreliable, they were hard to access and negotiate with bigger courses, and much of the software was not intended for instructional purposes. These constraints were simpler to negotiate in the main school, where educators were more flexible with time delays or were willing to move readily to another activity. At the secondary level, where the timetable is much tighter and there is less flexibility in the classroom, the risk of technology issues impacting on teaching time was more of a problem.
While the introduction of computers into education did not lead to a revolution, such as a movie, radio and television, the variety of teaching and learning instruments available improved. Computers provided tutoring instruments that could be incorporated into learning programs, games, electronic reference materials, word processing and database instruments. Importantly, game and tutoring programs have often been developed to address specific learning objectives, such as learning fractions, were easily adapted in the classroom and could be aligned with specific learning outcomes. In the United States, these were embraced faster, as they were often aligned with US teaching results. It was harder to align productivity instruments such as image editing, word processing and presentation programs intended for company uses with specific results. These have been embraced faster in locations like Australia, however, where there was less development of education-specific tools.
The main trend in instructional technology history is that a revolution is anticipated with each fresh technology. Social expectations were high with each fresh technology, but the real use of the classroom was small and/or difficult. It is essential to realize that these techniques have been commonly used and embraced, but not in the timeframe or manner anticipated by society. This is demonstrated in teaching and learning through the evolution of film and radio in the form of videos, films, podcasts, etc. These are now commonly available in the classroom. Some of the reasons for this include the quantity of suitable media, especially through internet videos and podcasts. Furthermore, these resources are simple to access and reliable with enhanced broadband speeds and connectivity in schools. This is coupled with the view that these media are an efficient strategy for teaching to involve learners. In addition, there was time to create policies using these media. For a variety of digital techniques and internet resources, similar instances can be produced, as teachers have time to explore and share useful tools and successful practices.