Adult Students and Educational Technology

Due to the rise in widespread use of technology and computers, a number of educational institutions now offer degrees and diplomas online, which many can take advantage of. These methods of education are often times cheaper and allows students to learn at their own pace and schedule. While educational technology presents a threat to universities and colleges many have embraced it, although it is not fully integrated as a form of education in many instances.

Adult Enrollment in Higher Education

In America from 2000-2009 there was a 30% increase in enrollment of students over the age of 25 in higher education, with students over 25 making around 40% of the overall total enrollment.

This is a large percentage of the student population which are adults and as such they have a big impact on educational technology. There has been a rapid expansion recently in educational technology as more courses and educational tools are being offered online which makes it very convenient for adults to access this information.

Adult students usually have a gone through a different life experience compared to the average 18-year-old student who enters higher education. Adult students usually have experience outside of academia in the workforce, are in full time or part time work, many are single parents and large percentages do not hold a high school diploma. These experiences make it hard for many adult students, as many institutions are not prepared well enough to cater to adult students’ needs and interest, despite them making a large percentage of students.

Educational Technology

Due to the rapid rise of technology in recent years, many find online resources as a convenient and good way to learn and educate. Due to the recent budget cuts to education in many countries and rising costs, many institutions are looking at offering courses online as a way to combat this, however many ‘prestigious’ universities who can make up for the cutting budgets are averse to the idea of offering online courses.

Although these institutions make use of technology as part of their course such as putting lecture notes online, or requiring students to do a PowerPoint presentation online, they do not make it an integral part of their courses. This however could change as

It is clear that the rise of educational technology has made it easier for adults to participate in higher education, and get degrees and qualifications they missed out on earlier in life. However it is not as widespread as it can be and many courses do not take into consideration of adult students’ needs and expectations.