Electronic communication has increasingly become the preferred means of communication and networking. The main objective of this paper is to explore and explain how electronic devices have influenced people’s daily lives, particularly in communication and education. Understanding how electronic communication influences people’s lives gives the users insights to use electronic devices effectively in a bid to attain maximum benefits, which are applicable in education and networking. This study begins by establishing the most common used electronic devices before evaluating what previous studies have generalized the usage of these devices. After the review, new information is integrated to demonstrate how electronic devices are influencing communication and education. The findings in this paper show that when applied appropriately, users have the perception that electronic devices are beneficial in facilitating life endeavors. On the other hand, the paper concludes that the improper usage of electronic devices can result in detrimental effects.
People’s lives have become increasingly circumscribed by electronic technology. The bulk of contemporary communication occurs via online mediums and the field of education has embraced the use of electronic devices. People use computers, mobile phones, and netbooks among other electronic gadgets to enhance communication and networking. A report by Eshet (2004) examining the use of electronic devices particularly iPads in K-12 schools in the United States indicated that students have access to laptops and iPads. However, the iPads are more preferred due to their portability as compared to laptops. This paper will argue that electronic devices are critical in enhancing communication and education. In addition, this paper will show that these electronic devices are only harmful when their application is manipulated to suit mischievous goals.
Oye, Mazleena, and Noorminsha (2012) argue that electronic devices like cellphones and laptops have created significant opportunities to the education sector especially on distance learning. This study indicates an increased motivation in academic learning. In addition, these electronic devices are developed with multimedia features, which facilitate diverse learning through gaming, thus enhancing innovation, which complements academic learning. The electronic devices have been identified as the key drivers to human development in all sectors of life by enabling people to communicate and learn by not necessarily engaging in classroom affairs (Carbonara, 2005). This research focuses on how people use electronic devices to better their situations by avoiding what is perceived to be negative when applying these devices.
The education sector is very broad and diverse and the majority of the stakeholders heavily rely on electronic devices to achieve their goals. Students, teachers, the administrative system, and the entire fraternity need close collaboration in a bid to maximize on production (Eshet, 2004). Mobile phones and laptops have been targeted to facilitate learning and training via using modern updated programs in a bid to maintain relevance in the job sector. Digital classroom environments provide sustainable training through the reduction of learning costs and easy integration of current knowledge obtained from e-books.
E-learning is among the significant advancements achieved in learning technology. E-learning involves content transmission through electronic information. With the Internet explosion, which has been experienced in the 21st century, e-learning has been largely integrated into learning institutions, thus making it easy for students to engage in other activities since time is highly minimized. This enhanced delivery of information improves the possibility on how, where, and when students and tutors engage in learning (Baggio & Beldarrain, 2011). E-learning provides learning opportunities to even employees, thus linking the gap between learning and career development.
This aspect is possible since the same electronic devices they use to work can also be integrated into e-learning. Employees note that e-learning is flexible since they can integrate learning with organizational requirements whilst improving and updating knowledge and expertise, which is needed of them. Studies indicate that e-learning has had no major differences with the traditional classroom learning (Derks & Bakker, 2010). This assertion implies that e-learning achieves the objective of training regardless of the means used. With the relevant attention, the benefits of e-learning outweigh traditional training in many ways such as cost and time management.
However, incorporating e-learning has not been easy due to the locked mindsets in the ancient approaches of learning. The perception that e-learning adds less to organizations and individual empowerment leads to the reluctance to embrace and use this technology. The challenge of ease of integration to IT models by many users creates frustrations to students and workers who might decide to go for the alternative traditional training to avoid the challenges of IT failure. Regardless of the challenges and negative perceptions, e-learning remains not only important, but also necessary since it is the fastest way of developing and sharing knowledge across the world (Eshet, 2004).
Electronic technology helps learning institutions to accommodate diverse students by factoring in where they are from and who they are. For instance, disabled students do not necessarily have to attend classes. Online blended courses give scholars a chance to learn other languages and appreciate diversity of other societies. The pressure of growing population in learning environments has greatly reduced since most students may prefer online learning.
On the other hand, the use of electronic devices among students has had harmful effects. Most schools limit the accessibility of online material to by availing specific websites (Carbonara, 2005). However, this aspect cannot drain the curiosity by students to access what they want to see. The availability of smartphones to the students provides alternative sources from where they can get inappropriate contents such as sexual materials. In addition, child predators are present via online forums, and thus using digital devices at learning institutions enhances exposure and vulnerability to predators. Nevertheless, the baseline claim is that whenever these digital devices are used in schools, careful regulations should be enforced against misuse (Constantinides & Stagno, 2011).
Rather than focusing on the perceived negatives of communication devices, it is necessary to focus on how a particular technology improves people’s standards of living. However, it is not guaranteed that electronic devices will improve individuals’ lives; on the contrary, it is the mandate of the users to establish the ways in which specific communication platforms help them to communicate effectively to the preferred audience because all sectors pertaining human beings’ existence require communication. The challenge is to obtain an effective communication platform for the targeted audience. Contemporarily, this problem has been solved via the introduction of electronic gadgets with the only challenge being how we apply them in shaping people’s lives. For instance, mobile phones have extremely shaped the way people communicate. Cell phones provide numerous platforms for communication, with the social media dominating and managing the majority of the links through which people connect worldwide via facebooking, tweeting, and texting (Henderson, 2004).
Social networking through Facebook and Twitter has not only been widespread, but it has been the choice of communication for many people, even governments. Apparently, social interactions online have voluntarily restricted movement and face-to-face dialogues. Social media issues today dominate both the online and offline talks. This platform has been widely targeted due to its efficacy and accessibility to diverse audiences. Mobile phones and other online gadgets have enabled and maintained networking of friends and family members. However, this aspect develops many problems when the society overemphasizes online sharing at the expense of face-to-face interactions (Fowlkes, 2012).
The question arises whether electronic communication is damaging people’s interpersonal communication and social skills. Recent studies confirm this claim as true by stating that most people today, even when involved in similar events, will choose to tweet, text, or face-book rather than engage in talks with the people around them (Pinker, 2014). Even when people have time to visit their families and friends, they will decide to stay indoors and keep communicating via their phones. Social media is huge and evolving every other day, but it remains dwarfed by the power and influence of face-to-face dialogue. Current generations are growing to be real experts of the technology, but it will be difficult for them to realize real life if they cannot hold face-to-face dialogues.
Electronic communication has helped in the growth of relationships. Just like face-to-face communication, electronic-aided communication has helped to create relationships that may have never happened in the absence of such communication. For instance, the social media, Facebook, has a platform of instant texting where people can disclose information and start interacting. Parents feel safe when their children in schools communicate to them often (Carbonara, 2005).
Intrusion of privacy
Communication devices have transformed the world into a global village whereby people and governments use these platforms to engage each other without travelling. Individuals have found themselves revealing private information through phone calls, which they could have concealed if they engaged in direct dialogues (Signorielli, 2005). Phone conversations are vulnerable to misinterpretation in most cases. Information posted on social media can attract different meanings and conceptions, hence distorting its objective. Due to the emerging trends in cyber crimes, individuals have been exposed on the public on matters of privacy. Governments and private organizations’ information has been leaked and this aspect threatens to sabotage operations.
In many ways, technology has been crucial in shaping people’s daily lives. Communication has gone through several changes, but recently, it has been highly influenced by the social media. The need to visit people and engage face-to-face conversations will not die out overnight, but the need to use electronic media to communicate is rapidly growing. Most people prefer staying close to their loved ones, but when situations do not allow such proximity, electronic media serve the purpose effectively. If applied effectively, electronic media will give humanity great opportunities to improve their livelihood. The availability of electronic devices in learning institutions provides instant value addition to education when new horizons are availed through technology. Students have the opportunity to learn even outside the school through e-learning integrated systems. However, a collaborate exercise involving all stakeholders, viz. teachers, students, educationists, and software developers will ensure that electronic learning limits students within the targeted scope.
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