Expert View

Technology As An Aid In Shifting Education Paradigm

Nishit Sacher

By Mr Nishit Sacher, Chief Operating Officer (COO)- Skills And You Consultants Private Limited

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the general expectation for students was to learn enough to be self-sufficient, well-mannered, informed, and of benefit to the community. Although, a conventional classroom has been sufficient in imparting education for a long period of time, but has proven to be limited in teaching and learning dynamics, hindering a good study plan. Over the span of fifty years, as technology took over the planet, we’ve gone from treating technology as an isolated novelty to seamlessly integrating a variety of technological tools into our educational domains. How did this change occur?

The idea was to create student-centred learning activities that required hands-on exploration. The introduction of technology begun to change the roles of teachers and learners. In the traditional classroom, the teacher was the primary source of information, and the learners passively received it. This model of the teacher as the “sage on the stage” has been in education for a long time, and it is still very much in evidence today. However, because of the access to information and educational opportunity that technology has enabled, in many classrooms today we see the teacher’s role has shifted to the “guide on the side” as students take more responsibility for their own learning using technology to gather relevant information. Schools and universities across the country are beginning to redesign learning spaces to enable this new model of education, foster more interaction and small group work, and use technology as an enabler.

Because books and face-to-face discussions have dominated academic spaces for so long, the introduction of technological tools in education felt a bit scandalizing by the sudden inclusion of video presentations, pictures, forums and podcasts. It is essential to realize almost every other facet of today’s world relies on these technologies. When students leave high school and college to find a job, these jobs will almost certainly involve technology of some kind. Even if they don’t, internet technology will inundate other phases of their personal lives. The inclusion of these technologies into the classroom is about preparing students to learn to use it and integrate it into their lives.

 To establish the importance of technology in education further, the pandemic we call as COVID-19 knocked on our doors. It resulted in schools and other educational institutions shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion learners were forced out of the physical classroom system. As a result, education changed dramatically, giving a huge rise to e-learning and suggesting the importance of blended learning. Blended learning, is a mixture of e-learning and traditional face-to-face learning. Most students incur unique learning styles and a blended approach is more likely to cater to those unique needs better than a traditional classroom imparting the same kind of knowledge to all at once.

As, all students no matter their age learn differently, teaching methods should reflect this, by designing teaching programs in a way that reaches visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic learners alike.

With the integration of technologies, we’ll be able to improve teaching, information retention, engagement, responsibility, and enjoyment.  Students never outgrow their learning styles, meaning blended learning is more important than ever, no matter what the industry is, from schools to corporations, from all walks of life. Most of all, these integrated and interactive educational technology activities encourage students to take the initiative and engage with the content in every class they take.

Embedding technology in the 21st-century classroom is about creating an opportunity for students to be self-directed learners. The world influences the classroom through technology. You can influence how that technology will be used in your classroom by making interaction a priority.

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