"The illiterate of the 21st century," according to Alvin Toffler, "will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn."
The recent global and technological revolution has created an economy "powered by technology, fuelled by information and driven by knowledge" thereby promoting "learning to learn". Technology in education goes far beyond the traditional concept and is an amalgamation of ideas; it encompasses a whole realm of new technologies, including human language technologies. It focuses on the application of technologies in an educational environment and on what is being transacted through this medium. Teachers have one of the most demanding vocations in the world and in order to fulfil their important roles with excellence, they need training, motivation as well as regular mental, emotional and spiritual rejuvenation. Technology update and upgrade in the need of the hour and teachers shoulder the responsibility of moving from digital immigrant to digital native. Hence it is imperative to embed technology in classrooms.
Embedding technology in classroom:
* Creative development and media literacy e.g. digital video, photography animation, music
* Gaining knowledge, understanding and skills beyond that of the teacher
* Use of ICT to locate, gather, synthesis, analyse reconstruct, communicate and present information and understanding
* Learning out of school in other settings and environments
* Social collaboration on joint tasks both face-to-face and in online collaboration
* Deeper analysis of concepts, processes and visualization
* Developing thinking skills and problem solving strategies
Introducing technology alone will not change the teaching and learning process: Technology can enable teachers to transform their teacher practices, given a set of enabling conditions. Teachers' pedagogical practices and reasoning influence their uses of technology and the impact on student achievement.
Technology is seen as tools to help teachers create more 'learner-centric' learning environments: Technology is effectively used when they challenge the pupils' understanding and thinking, either through whole-class discussions and individual/small group work using technology.
Technology can be used to support change and to support/extend existing teaching practices: Pedagogical practices of teachers using technology can range from only small enhancements of teaching practices using what are essentially traditional methods, to more fundamental changes in their approach to teaching - blended learning, flipped classroom and many more.
Using technology as tools for information presentation is of mixed effectiveness:
The use of ICTs as presentation tools (through overhead and LCD projectors, television, electronic whiteboards, guided "web-tours", where students simultaneously view the same resources on computer screens) is seen to be of mixed effectiveness. While it may promote class understanding and discussion about difficult concepts (especially through the display of simulations), such uses of technology can re-enforce traditional pedagogical practices.
Recent trends of embedding technology in classroom:
Flipped Classroom: Flipped classroom is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom.
Blended Learning: Blended learning is the combination of the physical classroom with an online teaching and learning space.
Online Courses: Courses are delivered online in an online learning system, where an individual receives all the study materials and assessments are submitted online. It is a form of paced and spaced learning.
Mobile Learning: Mobile learning is the delivery of learning, education or learning support on mobile phones, PDAs or tablets. E-learning has provided the ability for traditional learning to break out of the classroom setting and for students to learn at home.
Google classroom: Google Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools that aim to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments for Education
YouTube: YouTube can provide unlimited opportunities to enhance your eLearning course by not only using the countless videos you can find there, but also creating your own to help your audience achieve their learning goals and objectives.
The emergence of technology is growing in the classroom. Today children are well prepared to embrace new technologies in their learning and acquiring higher levels of understanding. The application of technology enhances skills and also imbibes in us ethics in using technology. It widens our horizon towards learning and receiving new information, especially on mobile devices. Technology has become a vital tool in the hands of every teacher in the classroom. Hence we as teachers need to groom ourselves and the entire learning community for the technology culture.
Dr. Reni Francis
She is B.Com, M.Ed and PhD in Education on the topic "Theory of Multiple Intelligences". Dr. Reni has been a techer for six years in Kuwait and has been working in Pillai College of Education & Research thereafter. She is known as a brilliant educator and has played commendable role on the same.