Education and Technotainment

Do you remember the scene in Three Idiots where Amir Khan pulls the zip of his jeans up and down, up and down and states that it is a machine. It was synonymous of the fact that technology exists in every little part of our lives. There is nothing in this world that can survive without technology. So how can education be far away. Technology is very well embedded in education. The base of education is textbooks and textbooks are printed or revised using technology. Each school, each teacher and each student is very well connected to technology in Education.

Teachers: Technology has brought vast cauldrons of knowledge at the teacher’s feet. A teacher has to be a lifelong learner and internet has truly pacified the quench of the teachers. Gone are the days when the teacher just taught from the textbooks. Now the students wish to hear a lot more from the teacher and around 10 to 20% of the heard material is retained by the student. Smart classes-another boon of technology has brought a world of knowledge into the classroom or rather as it is rightly coined that the world has entered the classroom. A teacher can very well collaborate with technology and deliver the best to the child. She can explain most parts and also throw an open question to the students to find out on their own. The teachers in Finland are expected to take up two hours of study every week to enhance their knowledge and come up with better teaching methods. Yes this strategy of the government has paid a rich reward to the students as teachers are regularly brushing up their skills and preparing their lesson plans to be delivered in the classroom.

As the entire world is connected through internet, the teachers can also collaborate with different teachers of the world and share their ideas. Even discussing problems of their classrooms will help them to find a better solution.

Microsoft and Google have also evolved themselves to fit in the scenario of an education world. From websites to youtube videos and from WhatsApp to Facebook, every social networking site is providing learning material. Teachers are free to use the resources.

Students: I feel the students of today grasp the concepts well when they are exposed to audio and visual aids. Technology provides the best of both. Research facilities are available to the students. They can explore and experiment with the help of technology. A lot of learning is made simple and easy with the help of technology. Their imagination is triggered and then there are no bounds to learning.

Difficult subjects like Science and Math are made very easy with the help of technology. in a country like India where there are large numbers inside the classroom, a student can very well take the help of technology and solve his doubts or raise questions and seek answers.

Many schools have taken to collaborating with schools in different countries through Skype and video calling. Hence students of different backgrounds are face to face and a lot of learning takes place. They understand the cultural difference but unite on an educational platform. Children are very curious and if we give air to their curiosity then creativity is fostered and the students venture out to innovate.

These future leaders are very comfortable to the technology in use. Research has proved that the students who have technology at hand learn and perform much better than the ones exposed to merely the traditional classroom. The responsibility lies on the teachers to integrate the technology well into the curriculum so that proper teaching and learning takes place.

The Edtech industry is filled with corporate titans and small startups both vying to retain their spot in the market. A large part of the research also shows that the teacher community is slow in picking up pace with the technology. They are not used to using technology in their classrooms hence most corporate are trying to provide the edtech solutions to schools.

Many lawmakers are also worried that new technology in the classrooms is also bringing new challenges for the teachers and the children.

In recent years, a group of organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and EDUCAUSE have crafted a definition of “personalized learning” that rests on four pillars:

Each student should have a “learner profile” that documents his or her strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and goals;

Each student should pursue an individualized learning path that encourages him or her to set and manage personal academic goals;

Students should follow a “competency-based progression” that focuses on their ability to demonstrate mastery of a topic, rather than seat time; and,

Students’ learning environments should be flexible and structured in ways that support their individual goals.

For the technological aspect in education, implementation of technology inside a classroom still remains a big challenge. Educators and schools are still trying to create a balance between the use of technology and proper use of it. They are trying to be flexible at places and rigid at some places whereas implementation of technology is concerned.

One thing is for sure that technology is here to stay. So the teaching community should make all attempts to implement it in the right balance in their classrooms.

Kesar Patel

Principal

Tagore Global School

Kurukshetra

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