Living in the 21st century, technology has infested, or should we say invested, our lives such that we are dependent on it to fulfill even our most insignificant need. So how can something as important as education remain untouched by it? From laptops, tablets, smartphones to educational apps to online courses, technology has changed the face of education today. Further, the internet has revolutionized the process through we access and disseminate information.
A decade earlier, a classroom meant blackboards and chalks, heavy duty lectures, notes, assignments etc. Today, things are a lot different. New age teaching techniques are making life a lot easier for students and educators. An assortment of various educational tools, audio/visual stimulus and animations, e-learning modules appeal to students and make them easily grasp and retain the topics in a much healthier way. With this practical approach in teaching methods, the classroom environment becomes more inclusive and participatory. Interactive gaming has emerged as a powerful platform for student learning. Every day, new programs, web-based tools and mobile applications are teaching students concepts that was once paper or chalkboard based.
Technology is also instrumental in getting access to information at our finger tips. Today’s kids being comfortable with technology – surfing the internet, operating mobile phones, laptops and tablets, are not at a loss for answers, responses, advice and encouragement to their questions, imaginations and creative thinking. The educational value, however, lies in guiding children to ask the right questions and giving them the critical thinking skills to discern the right answers from all the noise.
Education aided by technology has helped create a global platform of teachers and students who can now share knowledge in an easy and convenient manner. The proliferation of mobile devices and social networks is leading to entirely new ways of learning. Teachers and students alike are using social media to share ideas, make connections and collaborate on lesson plans. If they want to explore any particular topic, they are just as far away as a simple Google search and a YouTube video to bring it alive. Mobile learning is the newest avatar of modern education. A large number of mobile applications have already become popular means of education because of their innovative take on traditional learning methods. Online libraries and e-books have emerged as a new and more cost effective way of learning for both students and faculty alike. They are easy to procure, store and read on the run thereby enabling anywhere anytime learning.
Several institutions are now offering online courses that can be accessed by students across the globe. These students that choose to pursue distance education or correspondence courses, can take online tests that allow them to immediately assess their knowledge base. E-assessments are flexible and impartial. A student can take an online test, based on his or her availability. Removing the human element, e-assessments are impartial and more reliable than traditional tests.
Technology is being used in almost every part of the education system. From the method of teaching to books and study material, everything is going virtual with the help of latest technology means. The best schools and colleges in Gurgaon, Delhi, Mumbai as well as other cities of India, have already started using technology means to better up their education system. Says Priyanka Narang, Vice-Chairperson of The Paras World School, one of the top schools in Gurgaon “Preparing young learners to shine in the 21st century requires a school that is well equipped to understand and handle the needs of this age. These learners are technology savvy, interactive and quick to grasp. They listen to whoever connects well with them, understands and motivates them.
Technology will not only change the face of the education, but can also change the way the education is provided making it faster and easier to grab.