Changing nuances of new age education

technology in classroom Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has revolutionised the process of teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Changing nuances of new age education

With so much technology in today’s world, there is a burning question on everybody’s minds: “Can a computer replace a teacher?” The answer lies in the fact that technological gadgets like mobiles, computers, tablets, radio and TV have invaded the educational sector in a big manner.

These tools also form the base of ICT-Information and Communication Technology. Modern educators support the use of ICT in education as it has a student-friendly outlook with its ‘new generation’ image.

Youngsters today, are far more comfortable using these hi-tech devices and applications. While the older generation of teaching community is apprehensive about the effectiveness of technology in education, the younger generation is warming up to it and accepting it as their own.

Technology should be used to supplement the main stream process of education. A resourceful teacher may use a digital lesson for pattern practice or for reteaching a difficult concept for the slow learners. The digital lessons may help the students follow their own pace as they can access it from anywhere at any time.

On the other hand, when the teacher spends time with slow learners, other students can get engaged with a digital lesson or an online worksheet. They can also listen to a virtual teacher online.

This technology also helps students to go beyond their textbooks with the help of well-prepared lessons available on the net. Students can always seek the help of their teachers to choose the best from the vast repertoire of information available online. Online coaching isanother boon of ICT.

These days many agencies offer online interactive coaching for various subjects at affordable fees. This is perfect for students who cannot afford to attend regular coaching classes. Mock tests held online help students train themselves in time management.

ICT method of learning also underlines group activity, which makes children accountable and responsible.

Regressive usage

When ICT was introduced in education 10 years ago, there were high expectations and the excitement was palpable. But at present, all we see is an unhealthy addiction to the technology. What more, teachers, who followed the traditional method, are looked down upon. A classroom without any technology is termed ancient. Parents too, get carried off with the shiny gadgets advertised in school brochures. Most of these glossy leaflets shadow the real concept of learning.

Yes, ICT is a breakthrough, that science has offered to us on a silver platter. But, there is a fine line between utilising it and utilising it for the better. We all remember those simple powerpoint presentations, that enchanted us with their simple graphics and text. It soon became an essential tool for everyone in every field.

Many teachers relied on the attractive visual appeal to reduce their burden. But what they didn’t realise was that this practice took away their creativity, originality and spontaneity. Even students, who depended on such technologies lost out on their original creativity and critical thinking abilities.

It also became very hard for teachers to ascertain the originality of the work of students. The classroom, now looked like a different place under the bright lights of the projector with monotonous teaching and passive students.

A generation which prefers an e-book to the traditional printed book has already been evolved. It might affect the faculty of memorisation since people addicted to digital content are habituated to an easy click of the mouse for retrieving information whenever
required.

But most of the examinations are conducted in conventional ways that demand high levels of memory and understanding. Hence, as far as possible, at least in the main subject areas, traditional printed books should be given preference. Printed books can
provide a concrete feeling, a tangible dimension to the concepts while e-books fail miserably in that field.

When the world is shrinking to few icons on a three or four inch high definition screens, teachers should also change intelligently. They should be updated from time to time. A ‘new version of teacher’ with advanced features of flexibility and understanding is in demand. It is true that the traditional methods have their own time-tested positive aspects. A proper balance of old and new methods is the need of the hour.

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