The Indian educational landscape is fast-changing with technology gripping the nation in an unprecedented fashion, writes Shekhar Bhattacharjee, founder, Great Place To Study.
Over the decades, education has taken its rightful place as one of the necessities of life. It has always been true that learning new skills and knowledge acquisition have been vital for the development of individuals and of the society. For any individual who wants to take their right place in this world, education has become their rite of passage. Even though traditional education has its history etched within four walls of a classroom, it has now expanded to all corners of the world. The first half of the 20thcentury was an era of mere knowledge transfer and young minds being textbook-driven to reinforce what they had learnt in class. In the 2nd half of the 20th century, computers became a game changer. Computers have given education a boost, acting as a catalyst to rapid advancements in the education system.
The evolution of education methodology
Now in the 21st century, we cannot imagine a scenario where education and technology are two separate entities. The new technologies in education are slowly but surely changing education patterns. Educators have dwelled into the subject while educational entrepreneurs have helped build a momentum that will completely revolutionise the education sector. Jenny Arledge, the director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) at Sulphur Springs High said, “Technology can become the wings that will allow the educational world to fly higher and faster than ever before, if we allow it.” Education is now available to most children all around the world. Even the most remote corners now have ways to get a formal education thanks to technology.
We have barely scratched the surface, the possibilities are limitless
“The power of unlimited knowledge is at your fingertips.”
Technology in itself has progressed exponentially over the last few decades, adding more and more dimensions to its existence. When technology blends with education, there emerges an opportunity that will keep on giving. From virtually reaching every child around the word through online classes to live simulation lessons, it keeps getting better everyday. Educational technology has finally given teachers the right tools to teach their students, reinforce lesson content and motivate students to learn more.
Many experts rightly believe that technology is the language of the gen next. This belief has proven to be true time and time again in the recent years. It is the younger generation that understands it well and has begun to use it to aid them in their studies.
The emergence of an international network i.e. The Internet
“Technology has touched every aspect of human life, including education.”
An entity that connects us all, a bond that brings together people from different countries is culture and lifestyle. For the first time, people have a powerful tool that can change the course of human kind for the better. Technology has touched every sector of our economy, but none more than education. The rise of the internet has completely changed the educational landscape. Many primary schools and higher learning centres now provide every student with a laptop or tablet. Always interested in the advantages of portability, a growing number of students access content delivery platforms on their smart phones. Technology has evolved education to such an extent that it has affected education models and teaching techniques.
Even self-learning has become a possibility, thanks to the internet. Students can now access information with a click of a button. It has proven to be a rich source of information and children can learn about life all around the globe with their laptop or smart devices. Classrooms were once the place where knowledge was imparted, now it is right in front of a computer or mobile phone. However there are some significant areas where technology has completely transformed education. Here are a few examples.
- Active engagement and student participation: For the first time, students are not just listening to their teachers, they are involved and engaged. Students learn in groups and have fun activities while learning; it is a win-win situation.
- Simulation and modelling: Students do not have to go to a place to experience it, they can simulate the experience. Simulation software helps bring to the classroom real activities that would be impossible to see without technology.
- Smart boards and e-Books: Bulky textbooks can now be replaced with their digital versions, while white/black boards have been replaced with interactive TV/AV technology.
- Formative assessment: Teachers ensure that students are learning not only the concepts, but also how to use the technological resources they have. Practical application of knowledge can be achieved with specially designed programmes. For the first time, students can play what they are learning in life.
- Online teaching: Educators can now upload their classes online and allow students to access the content from anywhere in the world. With the help of some headphones and laptops, the lesson can commence at a time of their convenience.
- Teaching aids for children with special needs: If any student is struggling to learn at a standard pace, teaching methods can be altered to cater to their needs. New education technology aids have made it possible for them to have a good education.
Technological education is here to stay. We must make the most of it
Technology is a powerful tool that can support and transform education in many ways. The digital learning revolution has created new opportunities and new challenges for the education sector. It is up to education policy makers and edupreneurs to meet this challenge and make the most of it. The world is quickly changing and we must change with it. Finding new ways to make the most of it and helping aid an unprecedented growth in the education sector and revolutionise the system must be a priority. We must ensure that quality education is available for all.
(Author Shekhar Bhattacharjee is Founder, Great Place To Study. Views expressed by author are a personal opinion.)