By Tamizh Ponni
Think about it. The things that were our fantasies a couple of decades ago have been brought to life today through the power of technology. The current generation seems to use the tools of technology effortlessly. We are able to witness gradual yet extraordinary growth and innovation take their shape through the gadgets that we hold.
From great mathematicians who cracked codes during the war to the eminent scientists who are still trying to find the possibility of creating another universe, technology has diversified on its own accord. As educators, we know for a fact that there lies a lot of significance in keeping ourselves up to date with the latest developments in technological advancements. This is also because the 21st-century learning skills–creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication–stem from such innovation and upgrades among educators and learners.
Impact of technology in education
“Technology cannot replace teachers but teachers who use technology will probably replace the ones who do not”- Anonymous
Education and technology are married to each other and we have realized that the effectiveness of teaching enhances with the use of technology. The varied simulation tools available online makes the learning more visualized and caters to the needs of students with different learning styles, feeding the young minds to think more and reflect more. A simple concept is made clear when shown and done than when read. As the saying goes, a good teacher is the one who can show and do things practically to the learners in order to bring about enduring understanding. Online collaboration has led to constructive communication among schools around the world resulting in effective collaboration by connecting learners and teachers from afar. Technology has empowered education by establishing this global connect.
Cloud computing has created a pedagogical revolution in helping teaching and learning communities share and exchange information in various formats and sizes through virtual drives and platforms. Examinations have taken a new form through online assessment modes thanks to the Web 2.0 tools, professional development sessions and the modules viz a viz online courses, certified training and self-learning portals.
Educational tools like Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365 Education are working wonders in taking learning beyond the walls of traditional classrooms. Now that we are living in a digital age, learning to code is an incredible skill that can engage the creative and problem-solving abilities of the learners. Lots of parents proudly tell me that their kids handle technology like a piece of cake.
Core customization and techniques to control the workings of a device are experimented and learned by young learners in no time. “My daughter was the one who taught me the way to set the ringtone of my choice”, said a proud father holding his brand new HTC. The curiosity of the learners can’t be stimulated by having them hold technology in their hands but when we train our learners to handle any kind of technology and create a fully-functional technology on their own, that’s where the real success lies.
Learning is a never-ending process. Likewise, the role of technology in education is vast and evolving. Technology can no more be treated as a stand-alone strand but as an operative tool to make the students life-long learners through experiential learning. There are a number of ways invented and experimented to control technology by human intelligence. Integrating technology with education stands out as the best way possible to prepare the technocrats for the great revolution that the future will make them witness. Moreover, today we have reached a phase that cannot be oblivious to technology and its high time that we spread this awareness among all schools in the world.
Tamizh Ponni is Tech Coordinator in Oakridge International School, Bengaluru.