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How important is technology in education?

        Tech | Tech for Kids

Will technology change the way your children learn?
Will technology change the way your children learn?

The world is changing, and sometimes it probably seems you're in a race to catch up. The latest technology probably takes a chunk out of your yearly budget, and then you have to reeducate yourself about how to do things in new and different ways -- like how to turn the flat screen on and off or set the programmable timer on your HVAC system.

Sure, technology is neat. It can make it easy to video conference with your associates in Tokyo or read the headlines on your tablet while Web surfing at your favorite java joint. You can bank, shop, research your medical symptoms and get free legal advice all online. You can use technology to plot your driving route to Disney World, complete with turn-by-turn verbal instructions. If driving is too much of a hassle, you can investigate the best airline deals and accommodations with a click of your trusty mouse. And these are just a few of the more straightforward things technology can do to make your life easier.

You may be concerned about the collateral damage caused by technology, like loss of privacy, but like a rushing tide, technological advancements are always coming -- and they're coming fast. From the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to nanotechnology that may make it possible to cure a disease using microscopic machines that operate like mini-medics inside the human body, technology impacts so many areas of modern life that it's impossible to ignore. Using it as a teaching tool and also making it a topic of study in schools is an important feature of a comprehensive, broad-based education. Like reading, writing and math, technology is fundamental.

On the next pages, well take a look at some of the ways technology and education blend and occasionally clash. We do live in interesting times, and the surprises just keep on coming.