Where Are We Going Next?
Asia and Middle East's First & Only Monthly Magazine, Web Portal on Innovation in Education
January 2012

Where Are We Going Next?

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Things are changing very fast in the educational space; old technologies are
transmogrifying into new ones, which promise better collaboration and connectivity

By Dilip Mehta, Principal, Olive Green International School, Ahmedabad |www.ogis.edu.in

These days it has become fashionable for everyone to talk about ICT infrastructure, digital tools, software and things like that. Such systems have already made deep inroads in modern schools. But they might not remain popular in times to come, when we expect many of our teaching tools to shift into the cloud space. Even today institutes are making use of cloud space to enhance the scope of learning.

Movement towards cloud
We can take it for granted that the cloud space is going to become much more important. Today we take copyright issues quite seriously, but in the cloud space copyright might not be applicable. Teachers will be able to access all kinds of teaching material directly from the cloud space and incorporate it into their curriculum. Much of the content in the cloud can be free, but the premium content will carry a price tag.

When the courseware rests in the cloud, then it might become possible for the students to access these on a 24/7 basis. They can even remain in touch with their instructional material while they are at home. However, the success of the cloud based model and other newer systems of education will depend on the kind of technological choices that institutions make. The systems have to be easily usable and they have to be cost effective.

Evolution of technology
At least in urban areas, the schools have reasonable budgets. They can afford to buy good ICT tools. But financial considerations should not be the only factor in deciding the kind of tools that schools should go in for. The first thing is to identify the need that a particular institution has, and then we have to go out and find the technological tool that will help us solve precisely that need. It makes no sense to go in for something that is almost two years ahead of its time. The technology implemented today should fulfil today’s need.

In two or more years our needs could have changed so drastically that we might need a different set of technological tools, which are not even available today, to fulfil those needs. We also can’t afford to ignore the fact that technology is evolving at such a fast pace that in two years of time we might have access to a completely different set of tools. The next generation is already immersed in software and gadgets. They know so much about new technologies that at times their knowledge is better than that of their teachers.

Tech companies that are into providing ICT based tools to schools and colleges have to contribute their mite by conducting workshops where teachers can be trained in the usage of new educational technology.

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