Enjoying the full benefits of Technology
Decreased interaction is a negative impact on the student's communication skills
Students can better develop their cognition
Can we use Light Emitting Diodes (LED) to transfer data from one system to another? As far back as 2003, Professor Harald Haas of the University of Edinburg, UK has thought of this idea and answered the question in the affirmative. This idea became even more popular after the Professor delivered a TED Talk in 2011. The technology for transferring data between systems using LED is called Light Fidelity or Li-Fi for short. Li-Fi technology uses visible light spectrum to transfer digital content.
The dongle is connected to the computer through its USB port. The sensor in the dongle attracts the light coming through and then sends the signal back to the light source. The networking component of the LED lights allow multiple users to connect to a single light source and allows the users to move from one light source to another and still be connected. The ultimate goal is to make the technology widely acceptable so that it can be used with various devices and lighting grids. To achieve this aim, there is the need to compress the dongle into an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) of SoC (System on a Chip) so that it can more easily be incorporated into numerous devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets and the like.
The advantages of adopting Li-Fi are as follows:
1. Security- light does not penetrate through walls and so this technology allows user to create more secured networks.
2. Efficiency- by increasing the number of light sources, the strength of the network can be enhanced leading to a much efficient network.
3. Cost-effective, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly- once the dongle and sensors become more adaptable, the technology will be much cheaper, environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
4. Fast data transfer- by the usage of LEDs, Li-Fi has the capacity to boost data transfer to roughly 100 times more than Wi-Fi.
5. Roaming- with Li-Fi, the user can more flexibly roam around the room or anywhere in the installed lightning grid and still be connected.
6. With Li-Fi, the strain on existing networks can be tremendously reduced and considerable bandwidth can be freed for outdoors.
In conclusion, the aim is not really to replace Wi-Fi with Li-Fi, it is more about complementing Wi-Fi with Li-Fi. This is more so that both Wi-Fi and Li-Fi have their comparative advantage over each other depending on the context. Indeed, it will take a long time, minimum of 10-15 years for Li-Fi technology to be developed in a way that it is easily accessible and incorporated into our day to day activities.
Li-Fi is therefore, an alternative to the more popular Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi, which is short for Wireless Fidelity uses wireless radio signals to transfer data. The idea is that it is faster and more efficient to transfer data using light medium than using wireless radio signals. Technically, Li-Fi works with the LED lights that are turned into wireless transmitter. For transferring data using Li-Fi, we use a dongle that acts like a modem.
There is no denying the tremendous positive impact technology has made in human life. Technology has aided humans to achieve feats otherwise thought difficult or otherwise impossible. In a manner of saying, nothing is impossible any longer- humans can create, produce and be a lot of things. Individuals, businesses and governments depend a lot on technology and computers to function. In fact, it has reached a point where many persons and businesses cannot function without technology. The impact of technology is not only felt by businesses as technology is also having huge impact in the educational sector. Technology has aided learning and teaching- schools today issue laptops or iPads to students for e-learning. The question however is this: is technology beneficial to the educational system or does it have disadvantages? Perhaps, the most prominent benefit of technology in our schools is the great wealth of knowledge it provides students with. The internet is like a reservoir of knowledge as it has unlimited information that students can harness to their great benefit. Whatever is the information that is needed can be easily accessed on the internet.
Moreover, the information is provided in ways that make them easily absorbable to the learner. In fact, the necessity of parents buying some kinds of textbooks and encyclopedia for their children has been obviated by the rich resources on the internet. Furthermore, computers can help students learn through exploration; and by exploring, students can better develop their cognition. Students learn by themselves when they explore the internet.
In a way therefore, computers serve as tutors for the students and aid the learning process. But the benefits are not just about the learning process. Technology aids students in expression and presentation of their ideas in more effective and convenient ways. Thanks to devices such as interactive whiteboards, touch screen displays and digital projectors, students are able to communicate their output much more effectively. However, it is not all good and rosy. For the educational system, there are some disadvantages that come with technology. The first and major drawback of technology for our schools is distraction.
Technology has the immense potentials of distracting students.
Students will normally want to explore beyond the confines of the area of study assigned to them and wander into areas and activities completely unrelated with the learning outcome. Additionally, technology can have the ill effect of decreasing the interaction between the students and the teachers. The end result of this decreased interaction is a negative impact on the student’s communication skills. This decreased interaction can also potentially discourage socialization between student’s whether as peers or as classmates. Additionally, computers and technology can be costly.
The cost of the device and training required for the faculty of the school is therefore, a serious drawback. This cost will definitely affect students from lower social economic status and may prevent them from enjoying the full benefits of technology. Such students will have trouble keeping up with their lessons at home since they do not have computers in their homes. In the final analysis, technology has its pros and its cons, for our educational system. However, since technology has come to stay, it is better we become proactive to harness all its beneficial impact while trying as much as possible to limit the negative impacts. Ultimately, our schools would do well to balance technology and human touch.
We are working on a project to collaborate with educational institutions for encouraging students to be passionate about technology.
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