Technology and Education- A Tryst

It took one pandemic for the world to realize that there is no dominant need to physically go to your workstation or school but that all work can be done just sitting at home in comfy pajamas and maybe a formal shirt. As we are being forced to tangibly distance ourselves from others, it is a technology that has brought us closer to our distant mates.

As many schools and colleges are opting to cancel exams, there are many that have chosen the path of online courses and assessments- which is a step that none of us thought is possible up till a few months ago. To have full-time classes using Whatsapp and Videocalls were only limited to a student’s dream.

The purpose of education is to provide knowledge and is not to shy away from changing trends. Just like fashion where one style lasts almost as long as a season, technological developments keep fluctuating rapidly too. By not incorporating the adequate methods and latest technological progressions, we are only pulling down the education system and harming our youth.

Here are some reasons why the use of latest technology is important for education

  • Vast Information- Gone are the days when students listened to what the teacher said and hung onto their every word. Nowadays its is easier to surf the web and find answers to queries than to rely on a lecture or a book. In fact, it is not only fast but also provides latest and accurate information- some of which even the educator might be unaware of. Hence, instead of banning electronic devices we should find ways to include phones and internet in classrooms.
  • Increased Engagement- According to a report in 2019, sixth grade students of Gilbert Middle School in South Carolina created their own live weather reports instead of taking a term-end test. We don’t remember the water cycle we learnt in school but we do remember all the projects and models we made. There are more chances of students performing better when the teaching methods and homework assigned to them is interesting and non-monotonous.
  • Improved Individual Learning- While working on assignments like making a vlog or a presentation, students would be able to learn and/or hone their creative skills. This will provide them with clarity on their areas of interests. It would not only make the teacher popular but also improve individual abilities of students. With the internet providing a billion answers to a million questions, it would make students independent and skilled.
  • Benefiting Teachers- With changing times it has become clearer that the definition of an educator or teacher is not synonymous with age. There are more middle-aged people asking their younger relatives to help them with issues of phones or laptops. With the introduction of technology this transfer of information would not be one sided but would become a two-way street. Teachers would be able to learn about the newer technological developments from the students who are more in touch with the happenings in this field and at the same time the students get to learn much more efficiently about their chosen subject. Also, with the inclusion of technology, teachers can learn in-depth from different sources too.
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But as they say, there are two sides of the same coin, there are some cons of including technology in education too like-

  • Not everyone might have access to the newer technologies
  • With increase of technology in the teaching methods, an educator’s job would become more labor-intensive with both making the curriculum and learning new methods for teaching it
  • If all the tasks are limited to screens, it would hamper student’s ability to communicate verbally
  • Interesting as the class might be, there are always chances of students getting distracted

However, what we need to focus on is the question that- do the pros outweigh the cons? Because at the end of the, we cannot escape technology. And as the pandemic is here to stay, it might be a good time to evaluate our take on including technology in education!

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