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Technology plays a crucial role in the world today. The era of globalization has relied entirely on the existence of technology. It covers a wide area revolving around medical technology, construction technology and information technology. However, the importance of the term technology can be best expressed in its application, and especially in the education sector. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines technology as, “the useful application of information especially in an area” and, “a capacity given by the practical application of knowledge”. Thus technology refers to the capability of human beings able to apply their knowledge and skills, both mentally and physically, in order to maximize the use of the available resources. Today, technology has a number of components that constitutes a full range of hardware devices, software programs, web-based technology, multimedia software and game category applications.
In regards to hardware devices, this constitutes the physical components of a computer that are tangible and can be seen. Hardware devices form a key part of the computer system which enables a person to perform some tasks. There are very many hardware devices that form part of a computer and each device has a function. A projector is a good example of a hardware device that is used in the educational sector. The technology of projectors was first introduced in the American corporate world in the 1950s, and that technology has continued to grow and develop since then. This evolution has involved both the fall in prices and the decrease in the size of the projectors. The general purpose of the projector is to display images from a laptop to a large screen for a large audience viewing (Vaughn-James 1971). They are used to present lessons using slides in classrooms. Projectors promote a number of social studies objectives and goals. Social studies as a unit of learning for studies, has the objective of developing clear and courteous skills of communication, generating action-based on unbiased information and clear values, therefore, the use of projectors in education allows students to develop good communication and presentation skills which rely on authentic and thorough research.
Projectors promote creativity and critical thinking in students thorough the creation of slides and the presentation of information based on good research. However, where a person does not have sufficient knowledge on the use of projectors, they may find it difficult to use such technology. Another example of a hardware device is the printer. This is a device that is perhaps most commonly used in every sphere of life. Printers are used in the production of softcopy documents thereby turning them into hard copy. Thus, they print work saved on the computer onto paper. Printers can be used to achieve a number as social studies goals and an objective in as far as the development of good communication skills is concerned. The advantage of using printers is that they allow one to create hardcopy documents of their work and thus having backup to their work. The disadvantage is that, in order for one to print any document, such a document must be typed or retrieved from the web, where the document is too large a lot of paper may be needed which is cumbersome and thus where typing is needed, there are health complications in regards to eyesight and the fingers.
The second aspect of computer technology is the software programs. Computer software refers to programs that enable computer hardware to correspond and operate with the computer software. Therefore, it is the computer software that gives form and purpose to a programmable machine. An example of computer software is the operating system. An operating system refers to the software program that enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate with computer software (Jelena 2010). There are a number of operating systems, and each is useful depending on the specific needs. Operating systems are therefore, used to run the computer thus without the operating system, a computer will not function. Operating systems allows a student to develop analytical skills and creativity.
Another example of computer software is the Microsoft office software. This is arrange of software programs that enable individuals to create a number of documents including word documents, charts, perform calculations among other functions. Microsoft office helps students to learn how to prepare presentations and how to be able to communicate using typed and written documents. Thirdly, there is web-based technology; this refers to an application that can only be accessed by users over a network such as the internet. These have become popular due to their ability to update and maintain web applications and the ability of cross-platform control. An example of web-based technology is the social media. The social media has grown and developed to become a worldwide phenomenon attracting the attention and interests of scholars and researchers from disparate fields, who are intrigued by their affordances and reach. It is used as a tool of interaction in the social sector. Examples of social media include face book, twitter among others. It facilitates interaction between different communities and individuals’ thereby promoting coexistence and good relations as an objective of social studies. The advantage is that students are able to understand the different cultures of other people and share such cultures (Ramesh 2005). The disadvantage is that, a person might get addicted to these social sites thereby affecting his or her concentration on school work.
Another aspect of web-based technology is the webmail applications. These are useful in official communications and allow individuals to exchange information using the web mail services. Multimedia software refers to the use of more than one type of medium at the same time to convey a message or information (Christopher 2003). For instance, presenting lectures using projectors, this is where a person lecture is presented and at the same time the lessons are presented in slides using the projector. This helps learners to capture more while learning as they pay more attention. Another aspect is through the provision of online learning. This is provided through the setting of virtual universities. In this way, learners are able to interact with their lecturers despite the fact theta they are not in the same location. Multimedia helps students to understand how to employ a number of communication mediums in order to deliver their message clearly. The advantage is that learners are able to develop a number of skills when dealing with different mediums of communication. However, this may require specialized training for top be able to fully use this aspect of communication.
Finally, the aspect of gaming and entertainment is one very crucial in the world of technology. Games and entertainment involve two areas; skills and concept this is the ability of an individual to be able to tell stories that define a certain concept. It includes digital storyboarding, artwork, story and game design. Secondly, the aspect of production this is where an individual is able to produce 2D/3D animation, modeling, level design, all programming, game mathematics and physics, game audio and publication (Daniel 2009). This helps a student to develop skills of creativity and analysis in order to come up with an entertaining game.