Technology in education can be traced back to the time when early cultures invented pictographs or sign writing to record and transmit information. In ancient Greece, the Elder Sophist used the term “techne” to refer the process of applying knowledge systematically to the practical art of instruction. During the Middle age, Pierre Abelard introduced a technology of instruction which was really a new method of structuring and presenting materials that helped set the style of scholastic education. John Amos Comenius was recognized as the pioneer of modern instructional technology by reason of his book “Orbis Pictus” ( The World in Picture) which was illustrated textbooks for children. 19th Century paved development that include production of text books, use of black board and improvements in writing implements like pen and ink. Photography was invented giving a way to a movement called “Visual Instruction”. By 1920, visual media became widely accepted like publication of audio-visual media texts, instructional television programs, micro teaching, computer assisted instruction, invention of Internet.
Education has gone through many phases of changes in the past. Use of technology in every generation advanced the boundaries of education system and took it to the next level. In our generation, use of technology in education is at its peak. Use of technology is about designing and making ideas and better things for our world. Technology changed the definition of learning environment and identity of classrooms. It helped to enhance and extend teaching and learning process and provided greater, more wide spread access to education to students. This shifted instructor- centric to student-centric learning. So, educators need to embrace their new role as coaches, and students have to step up and take responsibility for driving their learning. A recent study from one of the industry leading survey company, Qualtrics revealed that 75% of parents believe that use of technology has positive impact on child’s education. Also, many institutions and schools have set up “smart classrooms”, “e-learning methods” for their student’s curriculum. Even many companies have employed professionals to create learning and teaching resources. Recent study shows that these companies investment in this area grew 32% from last year. Use of technology not only bring more transparency but also create new opportunities for the students, reduces time and cost for training, increases time and productivity, offer multiple learning tools, provides convenience of users, offer variety of learning experiences
Knowing the importance, now let us see an insight on few areas of “technology in education”:
CONTENT: This include software that teaches language, Math skills, interactive learning’s, educational games, class websites, blogs & wikis, online study tools.
INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT: These are testing and productivity tools like videos on demand, intelligent tutoring & mentoring, educational laboratories.
MANAGEMENT: A system to monitor and manage the learning process like class scheduling system, progress & performance analysis charts, graphs such as SWOT analysis.
OTHERS: This includes discussion boards, forums, text chats, online courses, emails, web conferencing like Webex which add value while exploring technology.
Our government too have realised the importance of using technology in education. With the governments Digital India Initiative, The Human resource Development (HRD) ministry launched few smart apps and web based platforms on Saturday, 7th November, 2015 to make education available to more people. They are:
Earleir HRD has taken an initiative “Shaladarpan” which was launched in Kendriya Vidyalayas in which parents can be kept informed about their child’s presence, mark sheets, time tables.
HRD ministry have also created a new window “I Share for India” in which digital initiatives aim to spread learning can be shared.
Technology helps education to reach international bench marks in quality, excellence and execution. It is true that technology in education is a high end integrated process that involves people, ideas, and devices to analyse and evaluate however I argue that there is an imperative need for raising our academic standards. Technology in and of itself is not a solution -- unless people use technology to create new systems, behaviours and student experiences. Finally, the most important thing that the student can do is not just to use technology but to use it more effectively.
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