Augmenting learning with technology

Augmenting learning with technology

Augmenting learning with technology

With the advent of technology, the education sector has witnessed great changes and transformations. Technology has revolutionised the way we impart knowledge and has blurred boundaries.

Today, anyone can study or take lessons from an educator, who is living on the other end of the globe through online and distant learning courses. Schools are slowly realising that education can be best delivered through various technological advancements the market provides. Classrooms are gradually shifting towards contemporary teaching where learning happens through computers as well as books.

Technology augments the teaching skills of teachers and the learning abilities of students. Had it not been for the integration of information and communication technologies, audio visual education would have been a distant dream. Its growth has reflected developments in learning theories. A study in the psychology suggests that the use of audio-visuals in education enhances the grasping power of the students.

The many advantages
Multimedia technologies assist in communicating ideas and describing projects. In today’s digital world, students are encouraged to use technology in all aspects of their studies. With this, the pace of imparting knowledge is becoming faster and the access to information anytime, anywhere, is redefining the education system in India.

Therefore, the largest benefit for schools is to have access to information when technology is integrated in the core learning processes. Schools with limited libraries are now looking up to the Internet so as to help the children. Many educators use Open Education Resources (OER), which are freely accessible documents used for teaching and learning. The Indian government is also implementing various initiatives to boost new education techniques, such as e-learning and m-learning.

As technology is being used increasingly across many international schools in India, many teachers are also being trained in this matter to deliver better results. Models such as Flipped classroom are being employed in various schools. With time, we are also noticing that the technological trends are gradually being adopted amongst schools to stay connected. For example, teachers are looped in on Twitter and are also developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN), which allows them to gain ideas and share information outside school communities. And of course, Google is the best friend of almost every student.

With the use of technology and software, more number of students have reported that they have become organised and engaged. They now set reminders and alerts on their laptops and tablets to help them remember their assignments and projects. They can save their worksheets electronically without having to worry about misplacing them.

For teachers, students and parents, there is an immediate accountability with technology. With technology integration, all courses are placed online with an open forum and there’s transparency in the educational processes. They can keep a tab on the learning objectives, tests and exams and they can see the results online as well.

But there’s a dark side too. The open access to technology for students could be a concern for parents. One can get easily distracted with such modern gadgets. Today’s students belong to a tech-savvy generation where information is only a click away. Now, the question is, what should be done in order to use the Internet and the abundant information in the right way? The most effective solution is the responsible use of technology. After all, it is our responsibility to teach the younger generations about what is acceptable and what is not.

Many schools conduct workshops with parents and students to educate them about the use and ownership of the technological devices. It is important for students to understand that these devices need to be used appropriately; when to use it and with balance. If we choose to ignore it, the education sector won’t be reformed. It’s time we cashed in on this digital movement and usher in a glorious future.

(The author is dean of studies, Canadian International School, Bengaluru)

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