Technology defines future classrooms


Technology defines future classrooms

Published: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 9:02 PM

Technology is becoming all - pervading. It is disrupting and enabling at the same time to all businesses. While the advent so far is more enabling in the education sector, that day is not far when education will have to brace with managing the disruptions being created by technology, especially in the future of jobs and education.
As we further push the envelope for learning potentiality, the design of the traditional classroom has changed. When technology has found its way in everything we do, how can classrooms be left out?
According to a recent study by IT Trade Association CompTIA, around 75 per cent of educators think that technology has a positive impact in the education process. However, as with any invention, there are some who believe that technology has a tenacious hold on our activities and we may be too reliant on it to perform even mundane daily chores. With children taking notes on their tablets and app-based learning replacing homework, some parents fear that schools may be plugging the students into a life of technology dependency. But one needs to understand that, as educators, it is our responsibility to prepare our students to be global citizens once they step out of school and into the job market 10 to 15 years from now. With the advent of a digitally connected world, it is imperative that our children do not learn in isolation, and understand the world outside the classroom apropos to their lessons. Today, children are already exposed to technology with it being their entertainment companion. Then why not introduce the same in their learning environment, where we can enable them to use it more productively in the most crucial phase of their life. A teaching methodology that is modern in its approach endows the children with the skill set necessary to not only survive but also thrive in this rapidly changing environment.
With Smart boards, STEM laboratories, Robotics labs and Virtual reality, children are able to see a physical manifestation of their ideas which promotes an appetite to ideation and creativity. They get a chance to experience science and technology in real time rather than mugging it up from their books. With virtual field tours and exchanges, technology promotes interaction with the outside world. Technology is even used in art, through graphic designing apps and painting on computers. We've seen that Integration of tech in music room classes inspire students to go beyond the mundane. Furthermore, the age bracket also does not restrict the use of technology in the classroom with students as young as kindergarten being taught through multimedia presentations. At GIIS, the 9GEMS programme and Global Montessori Plus programme (GMP) is a testimony to that. It is fascinating to see the young ones learning with evident delight, the basics of math, language and rhymes through presentations. Today, the role of the teacher is changing too. Even teachers have realised that technology can help them go beyond the conventional six-hour teaching slot. It has a ripple effect in the way lessons are taught at school, and there is a need to equip educators to help them with the transition. With educational institutions focusing on concept driven teaching, the use of multimedia channels like presentation, audios, and online videos also fosters an environment of learning, making students more proactive in the process of gathering information and absorbing it. The Flipped Classroom and Blended Classroom models are perfect examples of the same. Digital simulations and models, teacher trainings through Virtual Conferences aid update teachers with latest teaching techniques.
While we lionize technological advancements, we must not rebut the traditional methods of teaching. Educators must strive to maintain the perfect balance between the parochial and radical methods to ensure desired results. This long-term trend is exciting, but it will require a good amount of planning and collaboration among teachers, parents and administrators leading to a brighter future of exciting opportunities in education.
Kamal Gupta is COO, Global Indian International School, UAE. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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