Education, as we know, is designed to help children grow up to become well-rounded individuals. The combination of subjects, interlaced with hands-on training, is aimed at helping one imbibe various qualities and skills, ranging from civic sense and etiquettes to morals and a scientific attitude. While the study of social sciences enables a student to participate in a nation’s progress, courses in Math help one approach every problem analytically. Similarly, a study of moral science helps a student imbibe essential values, even as an in-depth study of science encourages rationality and a penchant for innovation.
Sadly, the increased focus on higher grades – as a proof of individual ability and as a yardstick for success – has somehow alienated several students from the joy of learning and convinced them that schooling and college education is nothing more than a ticket to a high-paying job. While the preceding statement holds weight to a certain extent, it is also important that we ensure our children grow up to be more than just bookworms and possess the traits required in order to build a progressive society. And this is where technology can play a pivotal role. While there are more ways than one in which technology can help overhaul our education system, let’s focus on one of the primary benefits of technology and how it can serve as an important start-point to lasting change.
One of the biggest contributions that technology has made to human life is the power of collaboration. Students of today are ‘digital natives’ who base several decisions on shared opinions and facts endorsed by others, even if they don’t happen to meet any of them in person. That said, the stereotypical setting of a classroom is a significant departure from their everyday habits and preferences; something that could contribute to a lack of interest in learning through traditional methods. Bringing technology to the classroom, therefore, not only fosters interest in learning, but also helps students tap into this power of collaboration and solve some of the longstanding challenges they face in a traditional classroom.
For instance, several students are reluctant to share their thoughts in front of a larger audience, simply because they believe they lack the necessary oratory skills. Introducing tabs allows them to share notes and discuss topics freely with their peers and teachers. Multimedia content ensures consistency in the messages delivered to each student, thereby facilitating equal competition during evaluations. Providing Internet connectivity to students in the classroom encourages them to form communities and delve deeper into subjects of their interest at the tap of a screen. Each of these factors add up to form a learning experience that does more than just
help students better their grades. Such a collaborative learning environment serves as a catalyst for curiosity, innovative thinking and the constant urge to learn more, improve, and compete to be among the best: traits – as mentioned earlier – essential to building a healthy and progressive society.
Critics may argue that bringing technology to the classroom will lead to further distractions or that it will dilute the role a teacher plays in day-to-day teaching-learning. But one must understand that technology doesn’t intend to disrupt the current learning environment, but only seeks to enhance it. It has the potential to turn classrooms into open discussion forums and idea labs; it can transform students into knowledge seekers; it gives teachers the room to connect more often with their students and be able mentors; and most importantly, it can make learning fun.
It goes without saying that technology alone cannot alleviate the challenges that plague our education system. However, it is undoubtedly a tool that various stakeholders can employ to improve their lives and help others do the same as well. Be it imparting sound technical knowledge at an early age, promoting social equity through tech-enabled distance learning, or using data to help students make informed career choices; technology is our trump card to develop and deliver superior quality education to the future citizens of our country.
Hence, it’s important that all stakeholders take this subject out of the discussion rooms and identify suitable ways of implementing the same; so as to definitively initiate the onset of a revolution that could positively impact the lives of several generations to come.