We need technology in every classroom & in every student & teacher’s hand, because it is the pen & paper of our time, & it is the lens through which we experience much of our world. In aspects of technology, we have brought unparalleled advances towards a
better quality of life. But, alas!! We have failed to follow this trend in field of Education Technology.
It seems educators have closed their eyes upon the technological change that society demands today. They wish to taste champagne at the budget of a beer but it is high time that they fall in line. Ours is the era of largest technological revolution ever. The abundance of wireless computing & personal technological devices capable of accessing the globe have broadened our horizons.
The education system demands a change from spoon-feeding to developing abilities to self-learning via personal research. Much education today is monumentally ineffective as all too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. The education technology has already signaled the silent revolution that is spreading it roots stealthily. From simple calculations to complex dissertations, cooking classes to online shopping stores, from distant learning courses to expert certifications, internet has proved its mettle in all. Likewise, teaching in the internet age means we must teach tomorrow’s skills today. The need of the hour is to promote programs like 1:1 (i.e. every child receives her/his own personal computing device).
Grim Reality of a flawed model
What sounds as a knell to this unprecedented change is the false notion among educators over the globe that having Computer Labs at school where they learn to work upon basic applications like word & power-point is enough to impart technical knowledge to school students. They are forgetting that we can’t confine our children to our learning, for they are born in another time; different from ours. There can be infinite uses of computer & of new technology, but if teachers themselves are not able to bring it into the classroom & make it work, then it fails. The only thing that is permanent in life is change & the faster we adapt to these, the more we will progress. Our schools still function under the belief that the teacher or the textbook is the keeper of all knowledge and that the teacher’s role is to disseminate that knowledge to their students.
This model is fundamentally flawed because it teaches our students to be passive participants in the learning process. Under this traditional model, students sit and wait for the teacher to provide them with their great knowledge. Our students learn quickly that they don’t really have a role to play in this process other than to wait for someone else to give them information. While teachers toil day & night to prepare lessons that they have to deliver at school, students make hay while the sun shines.
This is an era of ‘smart workers rather than hard workers’ & the only way to do this is to make the fundamental change from teaching how to use technology to using technology to learn.Over the last decade, more and more public and private stakeholders, in developed and developing countries, have been supporting 1:1 initiatives in education. These 1:1 initiatives represent a qualitative move forward from previous educational experiences with ICT, in as much as every child is equipped with ubiquitous access to a personal device (usually laptops, netbooks or handhelds). However, in India, this 1:1 program is yet to gain momentum. Digital media enables one to build more stages for their kids to express. Further, global trends like Cloud Computing, gesture recognition, mobile-learning & distance learning can transform the way education is imparted at present & that too at nominal costs. If the wireless technology is made available to all, the literacy rates in developing countries like India can definitely soar high. “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows”, i.e. to awake us from our deep slumber & make us aware of the worldly reality, hitherto bogged down as a result of traditional educators resisting the change. With the technological renaissance brimming the extents of our outlook, we must welcome the change wholeheartedly making the entire learning process more vivid & vibrant.