Technology is now visible almost everywhere in education in India, at least in the schools in most of the cities and towns. The penetration might not yet have reached the far flaung areas in the country but a change is very much visible when compared to the schools of a couple of decades ago. Almost all schools in India now have at least one computer, if not more, and the school kids can be seen consuming digital content. Still, India has a long way to go when it comes to embracing technology in education and making sure that it reaches every school going child in the country.
Educational technology is “the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources”. Educational technology is the use of both physical hardware and educational theoretics. – Wikipedia
While that may sound a bit too heavy for the normal folks, fact is, India needs to wake up to the possibilities and not be bogged down too much by the theatrics surrounding technology in education. We must remember that technology in education is indeed, a bit overrated as well, and the same is clearly demonstrated in this article that busts several myths about technology in education and is a serious eye opener. Am not sure why most people in the Indian education sector have this clarity of thought. However, I am also glad that we have some international schools in India, that are literally redefining how education is imparted in schools and that, surely is, a welcome relief!
What, perhaps, the Indian schools need is a whole new perspective on using technology in education to make sure that the children are saved from the menace of heavy school bags and rote learning.
Creative use of technology will make science more enjoyable to every kid who dreads it. Technology can make better simulations and models available to school kids so that they look forward to an entertaining science class and look up to their science teachers as if they were magicians. This is fast becoming a reality in some of the leading schools in Gurgaon and is sure to catch up with other schools soon enough.
What also helps is the fact that a fast growing number of children in India, now have access to a computing device. Most children in urban areas have a computing and/or a mobile device of their own and internet connectivity in their homes, which open the doors of a lot of possibilities for them. Here, however, the primary reason for concern is what these children are using their mobile or computing devices for. Needless to say, most of them will be found using them as an entertainment device and indulge in watching movies, listening to music, playing games, clicking and storing photographs and for social media activities. In such a scenario, some schools in Bangalore have been known to teach their students about responsible use of such devices and to utilise the same in their studies.
Some international schools in Gurgaon have reported increased learning efficiency among students who are exposed to using technology for their daily school tasks. These students were provided with a persnal mobile computing device to assist in their daily classes instead of books. These students have also been found to be more enthusiastic towards every class and keen on interacting with all lessons on their devices. They asked more questions compared to students in other classes who were not provided access to a personal mobile computing device during the study. This clearly demonstrates that technology makes studies interesting for the children, and as any teacher would agree, it also provides a good solution to the perennial problem of children feeling bored through their classes.
One other very pertinent use of technology in education is in training of the teachers themselves. While inviting eminent guests for training workshops for teachers can be cumbersome given the limited availability and tight schedules of such speakers, costs of holding such workshops is another major deterrent. However, video lectures by some of these speakers ave found to be amazingly effective. They are low cost solutions, available as and when a school might want to hold a workshop. The ease of use and the low costs proved to be a great pull for some leading schools in Lucknow and the results were so good that they have become true supporters for using technology in education!
Any school still doubting the efficacy of using the latest technology in its classrooms must remember that it is the inevitable future of education in the country. While it is true that usage of technology in Indian schools still has a long way to go. Long term and sustainable positive academic outcomes that can be replicated in schools across the country while maintaining low costs will only be achieved when the government and private sector come together and embrace technology in education.
And as such, every school in India must gear up to make the most of the education technology that is fast gaining pace in the country or be left behind!