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FORWARD THINKING: Connect devices to curriculum

Connect devices to curriculum

Technology is an integral part of education today, but to connect devices to curriculum is the challenge

-Dr Dheeraj Mehrotra

The learning segment of today has changed and the adoption of technology with its adoption changed the realm towards acceptability. Schools need to recognize the cloud as a key component to their digital content platform strategy to storage options as it relates to security, identity, back-up, etc. It’s also a way to cost-effectively deliver more technology to more people quickly and so that they can focus their IT resources on projects that really drive improvements to learn.

Moving beyond 1:1 computing and really focusing on digital learning will transform a device conversation to a learning conversation. There will be trends like “bring your own device” (BYOD) that supports it, and the proliferation of multiple device types (laptops, slates, tablets, phones) that support the technology environment schools’ want and need. The conversation needs to turn to connecting the devices to curriculum and pedagogy and the assessment models. All the content needs to be accessible on multiple devices and be available anytime and anywhere.

The market size for digital classrooms is likely to touch almost 100,000 classrooms with a phenomenal growth rate of more than 100 percent in the recent years and expected to continue for the next several years. While private schools and colleges are going for a digital classrooms concept, in government schools, trend is to make at least one classroom digital.

The teachers need to have a balanced approach to policies and practices for children’s use of the Internet.

The idea was to integrate technology with quality learning as the substitute for the chalk and duster.

The 21st century education talks are incomplete if we do not refer to Smart Boards. Using Smart Notebook software, teachers can record each step of a lesson activity for students to review at a later time. The teachers need to have a balanced approach to policies and practices for children’s use of the Internet. One must at the same time initiate conversations with teachers, administrators, and parents, rather than set and implement rules that may be perceived as too rigid.

Can E-Classrooms solve the problem?

It is the mindset of the teachers, the educators which needs to be nurtured. The teacher ought to be a trainer/ learner/ all-rounder with his/ her presence in the cyber space being mandatory. No longer is it enough of having an e-mail Id, a website, blog, Wiki, and being Socially Networked 24×7. Gone are the days of PowerPoint. But it is indispensably true to keep in mind that computer software cannot teach a child the concepts that he/ she is not developmentally ready for. Computers should always be considered as a supplement to other, more concrete learning activities like completing puzzles, building with Lego and blocks, reading books, creating art projects and playing on the playground.

One way, the software companies are helping to transform education for teachers and students through global partnerships. Various researchers and scholars have defined the need of Quality Education but no one has ever desired the need of “We” the teachers today to be interesting and ‘Informed’ with the march

of time or else we would be the only “Un-interested” thing (Identity) in the class, if we are not enriching and of any interest to the children to make them forget their Facebook Walls and the SMS which otherwise make their mind fertile of interest.

As a matter of fact, increasing awareness of available accessibility features and providing teacher training will help many students without requiring schools to acquire new technology.

As facilitators, we must be up-to-date in our pedagogical approaches. But most importantly, we must move towards Andragogy, enabling the students to assume responsibility for their learning.

There are many challenges to effective professional development of ICT integration:

  • Many teachers are aware that they should integrate ICT into their teaching practices, but are uncertain as to what that actually means.
  • The absence of a common internationally recognized standard in the area of ICT integration, as well as training based on those standards, prevents having a consistent method to assess teacher competency.
  • “One size fits all” training fails to address the needs of individuals. Teachers within one school will have very different needs. While some may have never used a computer, others will be using multiple devices and applications to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Mandating training which is not relevant. Buy-in by the teacher, including the assessment and planning of their own development, decreases resistance to training and increases the likelihood that what is presented actually will result in a change in their teaching strategies.
  • The ability to effectively scale largely face-to-face professional development to reach all teachers in a country is a daunting and expensive endeavor.

The way education is delivered and the importance it has in developing modern India is driving the changes in the educational set up. Also, globalization is effective in bringing the latest teaching methodologies and tools to the Indian market.

Educators today are learning to teach from the students, as far as the technology is concerned. Let mobiles be the requisite today for a learner to be Smart with age and time.      Dheeraj Mehrotra

 

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