Technology: Future of Teaching

The new technology is greatly transforming the dynamics of teaching and learning

Dr Muhmmad Amin Malik
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 9 2018 10:41PM | Updated Date: Dec 9 2018 10:41PM
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What do you think our education system in the future would look like? Will it be solely technology driven or will it hold an important place for teachers too? The role of technology in education is continuously expanding. The technological development around the world is fast changing the conventional ways of teaching and learning, dramatically altering the role of a teacher and that of traditional education. The chalkboard, books, homework and one teacher-classroom lessons is shifting to online classrooms and personalized way of learning where the students can customize their own ways of learning in an independent manner. The technology has enabled virtual classrooms without borders and opened access to millions who could not have dreamt of an affordable, world-class education. The technology-driven education is going to play a critical role in restructuring the whole education sector to solve all our learning problems that will facilitate exponential growth of human knowledge. However there is a growing fear that the intelligent machines will replace teachers altogether and that the expertise of face-to-face teachers will be on its way to becoming obsolete. The automation is already threatening millions of jobs in the market. Are the teachers the next targets? Under these circumstances, what should be the role of teachers?

The way the digital revolution has transformed our lives socially, politically, scientifically and economically during the last half century, is simply amazing. The revolution in information and communication technology (ICT) brought about the real time communication, the exchange of information and breakdown of space and time concepts. The technology greatly transformed the dynamics of teaching and learning in education. At one point of time we had lamp projectors with transparent slides to deliver lectures, now there are Laser projectors and power point presentations. Computers, tablets and smart phones are ubiquitous. The use of simulations, models, graphic calculators, animations, 3D images and video clips on smart boards bring alive and animate certain phenomenon. It is so interactive, exciting, joyful, stimulus and lively which attracts greater participation of students. Huge information is available on any topic on different websites, U-tubes and the students have enough freedom to choose their way of learning the things. The students today are already familiar with the tools themselves and one potential source with them is their mobile phone with a Net connection which is not so expensive. They can study learning materials or watch lectures on line at their own sweet will. 

Recently, one of our teachers asking fellow colleagues that, how difficult it will be for teachers to teach students in a classroom when the students have already learnt the topic, using online material? They may possess more concrete and high grade knowledge than the teacher. They can ask difficult questions, for which the teachers may have no answers, he concluded. To know a topic, the students can play a few video clips on their mobile phones study it well before the start of the lecture, they can formulate questions, responses and make teacher for more clarifications. Even when the teachers are busy delivering the lecture in the classroom, the students can check the authenticity of the lecture and may also frame questions in the shortest available time. In this way the students can study various topics, have clear and accurate understanding of things and can also share in Whatsapp group to have further discussion on it. This onslaught of technology on teaching and learning practices simply means the world lies in the hands of every student. With all the knowledge available at their finger tips, the teachers may no longer be the sole knowledge keepers. While this can be a real worry for teachers in the near future, they have to work hard and stay in touch with their subjects and all the technological developments happening around.

There are two major areas where the use of technology will effectively enhance the learning process. While the homework for kids in a school is essential to improve their writing, thinking and memory power, the same becomes a problem in the higher classes when parents and their wards get involved to fulfill the school homework requirements. The students are often seen sitting for hours with market-guides copying the answers, filling the note books for the teachers to sign the next day. This is so boring and a fruitless exercise; the students lose time which they could use it in sports. Learning ideas and concepts is more important than doing this job. The 2nd part is that our education system is plagued by rote learning practices. Rote learning is regarded a major contributing factor to the lack of progress and development in a country. Since it tends to produce a generation of uneducated people, It has made stagnant the growth and advancement of nations. At present, it is eating away at the future of India’s 250 million school-going children. In the new technology-driven environment, with the students becoming more independent learners we can solve all learning issues, clear all doubts and build firm foundation of ideas and concepts that were impossible earlier. At the same, the use of technology can reduce the period of curriculum very short leaving the teacher a huge time for more exploration and emphases on other areas. Thus we can meet the society’s requirements in a much better way of learning.

With the advent of technology in education, the traditional role of a teacher is going to change. The teachers would no longer be considered the subject experts or transmitters of knowledge. But they have a greater role to play as leaders, guides, facilitators and mentors. Any regular classroom course will surely need a human personal touch of a teacher with a technological aid, to give students the encouragement they need. With all the knowledge available at the finger tips, the teachers can generate new ideas, encourage and inspire students to set and reach for their goals. They can prepare students for infinite access to all types of information and engage in joint problem-solving skills with the students. They will have to take more responsibilities like, knowing the recent learning trends, tools and technologies, new teaching methodologies etc. This will pose a challenge for teacher’s professional development and training and the modern teacher must be willing to take up these challenges. The technology is never going to replace great teachers however the technology in the hands of great teachers will change the course of our world.

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