Technology intervention is a game-changer in the delivery, reach and impact of education.
During the last decade, the world has been privy to some fundamental changes – and technology of various kinds has been at the heart of much of this change. It has brought about many advantages – connecting people, curing illnesses, boosting food production and in general,changing our lives for the better. Michael Dell, CEO of Del Inc. says, “Enabling human potential is the ultimate benefit of technology”. This is especially true in the field of education and learning. Enabling human potential translates into empowerment of the sustainable kind that only education can bring about.
With the Right to Education Act (RTE) coming into force in 2009, educating young India has clearly been the top priority. Technology has been involved in education for a long time in varying degrees. However, it is the need of the hour todayto make the teaching and learning more efficient, effective, and engaging. Technology in education is the array of tools that enhance learning and which may be measured in terms of an individual’s reaction to the material.
School education is currently at a turning point vis a vis technology, especially for Science and Mathematics. Constructivist in nature, experiential and expeditionary learning techniques directly impact curriculum delivery. This as another way of powering the possible and helping young minds to go beyond the mental boundaries of the past.
Here is an example of an initiative which took a multi-disciplinary approach to integrate science and technology to make education more meaningful.The faculty undertook a project on boats for five weeks, drawing the theme into all subjects and cracking the code for analytical creativity. The language teachers strengthened the students’vocabulary using ‘boats’ as the topic and brought out their creative skills by asking them to write poems and anecdotes on it. The social studies department made a presentation, which traced the history of boats including information on various cultural activities woven around the theme. The art teachers taught the students how to make boats using different techniques. The physical education teachers introduced various national and international games involving boats, etc.
Some senior students made animation films on the theme. They learnt new terms, their definitions and in some cases applications. The project made learning fun, improved technology skills and the higher order thinking skills, research skills and teamwork among students.
Such advantageous, experiential and technology enabled learning however, remains an unequal privilege. Uniform access to world-class content is as important as education itself. With the new Companies Bill 2012 stipulating guidelines on corporate social responsibility (CSR), India Inc., has the chance to give the current education system the much needed fillip. There is an opportunity now to create an ecosystem that can help deliver education in the best and most effective way possible.
The author is the Managing Director of Christel House India