As technology continues to influence our everyday lives, we find that its relevance has actually extended beyond office spaces and science labs. Intentionally or unintentionally we use technology all the time and are totally dependent on it. Almost all our daily life activities are governed by technology. In fact, we rely on it so much now that it has become a habit.
And why not? If technology can bring more meaning and value to something then it is always a good idea to try it out. Every day we hear of the latest gizmos entering the market with bigger and better features and eventually they all become “must haves.” The best thing about technology is that it is rarely stagnant. Continuous innovations and improvements guarantee an easier life for users. It is true that the latest technology always comes at a price but then again, who wouldn't agree to pay for something that ends up saving a great deal of their time and energy!
Bringing technology into the field of education has been one of the greatest revolutions to take place in the field of education. Not only does it make learning more effective, but also helps in better application of the knowledge gained in real life.
A clear understanding of things can be gained only if a learner actually gets to see, hear, and feel what they are learning about. Technology can enable that. Not only can educators find themselves being able to explain the study material in a better and easy manner, but even the learners can grasp the concepts better and retain them for a longer period of time.
Number crunching is difficult to grasp for some. While others may be gifted, there will always be those who find themselves getting mixed up in solving the various steps in a particular equation or understanding the given numerical data.Technology has enabled the formulation of various software that can help the educator as well the learner understand the problem area and simplify those numbers through graphical representation or through charts and diagrams depicting the data in a more organized manner. The learner can then overcome the difficulties and analyze and interpret the given data and proceed to solve the question asked.
Be it chemistry, physics, biology or any other branch of science, technology always comes in handy in the teaching of this subject.For example, engineering students often spend a lot of their classroom time designing models of aircraft, helicopters, cars, space rockets, etc. Now, these designs can be initially made in 3D thanks to technology. The budding engineers can try various permutations and combinations and experiment with the design by adding or deleting certain features from the 3D virtual model. Once the 3D model is perfected, they can go ahead with the production of the actual physical model. Similarly, various other scientific phenomena can be explained using technology.
Teaching History and Geography
Understanding and explaining time lines and chronology of events as they took place hundreds of years ago can often be a tough task. Imagining how the events might have taken place, what our founding fathers looked like, can often take the learners on a flight of fancy and mentally away from the classroom.
Similarly, trying to understand the specifics of locations of various countries or the Seven Wonders of the World without any visual aid can lead to disinterest in the topic on the learner's part. The scene could be totally different with the introduction of technology in the History and Geography class.
From taking them back in time and mingling with the former kings and queens of various lands to visiting various continents – all this can be done right from inside the classroom, without any distractions, with the undivided attention of the learners in their lessons. This is all because they can take virtual field trips and actually see the people and hear the events of the past that triggered their imagination and interest in these subjects.
Language labs and tape recorders have always been used to teach language for decades now.However, computer software and online resources too are making an entry into classrooms for good. Mostly used in the teaching of grammar, pronunciations, diction, storytelling, etc. there are resources available for everything. Online dictionaries, thesauruses, translators, etc. too can be put to good use in the teaching of languages.
For example, a great way to inculcate the habit of reading and writing among learners is by letting them have a blog of their own on a topic of their interest. They would be in charge of maintaining and updating it. They would be required to visit each other’s blog pages to read and make suggestions. Not only will this improve their linguistic skills but also help them express themselves and understand each other.
In addition to the above mentioned advantages, educators can use technology to communicate with learners electronically through emails or chats. Educators can draw up their lesson plans, course content and teaching plans on the internet and put it up on the institute's website. Learners can be informed about their assignments online and can be asked to turn them in via email. Soon, there will come a time when virtual classrooms would become commonplace and paper-backed books would make way for e-books. However, a revolution of this magnitude will take its own time.
Meanwhile, educational institutes can leverage currently available technology and encourage learners to make it a part of their educational life and learn to use it in the best ways possible from a young age.
Technology acts as a great supplement to teaching and can help in building the learner's interest by feeding their imagination and queries. Its capability is limitless and it is actually up to the educator as to how he/she would be harnessing the prowess of educational technology and to what extent, to turn it into a boon for the educational sector.