Technology Transforming Teaching and Learning
Technology per se, digital technology in particular is deeply disrupting the established conventions in our education ecosystem. Unfortunately, the educators are anchored in the past unable to detach, and move on from the stranglehold of age-old practices. Definitely, some parts of the existing conventions are good but a larger part needs to be overhauled for a great benefit to the learners. We are talking about the habits of teaching by teachers and the practices of learning by learners. It is time to quickly migrate to a completely new set of convention. The need for change in the fundamentals of teaching, there is an urgency to embrace innovative ways of learning and creative methods of teaching, redefining our scope of engagement with education ecosystem.
Newer technology tools are breaking the barriers and bridging the gaps between the two different worlds i.e. the real and the virtual, and between the learner and the educator. It is high time for educators and instructors to change their gadgets they are using to capture the photos it is a metaphor, and also keep changing the lens to match the light and distance to get the perfect shot captured. It is time to change and change swiftly.
Earlier we were living in one world, our thoughts were confined and the exposure of family members was limited and the learning was primarily happening in the school. The school curriculum followed a structured framework for delivering learning lessons for meeting learning objectives and achieving learning outcomes. School essentially is one more form of learning community. It is a community of people having common interest to learn and learn things that meets the requirement of their “age and stage” of growth. This was largely true until the advent of the web but with the rapid revolution of technology in the recent years, things have changed so rapidly and have changed so radically, we are left with very little time to absorb and adapt…
Today, we are living in two diametrically different worlds, one that is the real world (the activity in the physical space is drastically shrinking) and the other that is the virtual world (ever-expanding space rapidly occupying our mind space).
The community is no more restricted by the predefined boundaries and physical constraints of the physical world, the space has become universal and communities have started mushrooming in the digital world. Social Media are fueling the growth; the growth is massive and widespread. There are communities of different nature and have large depth of knowledge across “subjects and objects”. It is for us to dive deep within and derive the nuggets of wisdom hidden and vast set of knowledge floating all across the web sphere. In fact the treasure of knowledge in the virtual world has surpassed all limits compared to the available knowledge in the real world and restricted within the physical library. The search algorithm in Google has changed the dynamic and the knowledge is fetched in seconds on just a click of button.
The conventional library space is getting rapidly replaced by the digital library. The conventional mode of teaching is conquered by better methods of story telling…
The early age exposure of the today’s generation to the digital world has made them more smart and swift to shift to adopting newer technology than the generation that is much behind them and trying to merely “teach and preach”. The preaching makes more sense when we have practiced it and we have perfected the art and science behind the technology. It is about the art of using the technology and the science of understanding the functioning of the technology.
In school, classrooms are designated places to learn and impart the lessons of learning to the learner, it is taken we agree but we also need a place to teach and we need a place to learn. Much earlier the place was under a tree, we didn’t have classrooms and it was more close to nature and it was in an open environment, the reasons ranges from the lack of constructed place to creating a learning environment conducive to “nurture our nature”. The learning was not confined to the four walls. It’s been pretty long that teaching has been wretchedly strangulated by the concrete walls. It has become opaque. Teaching and learning needs frantic liberation from the stranglehold, the freedom from the artificial boundaries and self-imposed restriction that has been created around the education process for ages. The age has changed. It is the age of digital.
“It seems we are badly stuck to our past practice.”
“And we are imprisoned in our old mindsets.”
Otherwise, this disconnect between technology and teaching couldn’t have been stretched such long, it has been kept so long by keeping the use of technology at bay. But we have lost control on technology and the process has reversed and it has taken control of us, we are now completely governed and constantly guided by the radars of rapidly evolving digital technology.
The evolution in digital technology has broken the barriers and there are no glass ceilings between the physical and virtual world. It is no more two separate compartments, it is not just integrated but it has almost got merged and it is indeed really difficult to differentiate between these two worlds though our naked eyes.
Educators and Learners cannot apply the rules of real world to the rituals of virtual world. Click To Tweet
We are in a state of deep confusion, we don’t know where to stop and where to start in these two worlds, it seamlessly crisscrossed each other, one moment we are in real world and the next moment we have entered into the virtual world. Shifting from one set of rules and using another set of rules and that too in such rapid succession is not easy and needs a newer set of skills to adapt and excel. There is a need for indulging in multi-tasking and learning multiple skills for managing the digital jugglery.
There is always an increased scope for learning outside the classroom than within the classroom, slowly but certainly the physical boundaries of classroom are losing its relevance and constantly demanding to change the rule of limiting the learning within classrooms. Though there are few schools those who have truly understood the power of changing trends and are seriously working to work out means to making learning independent of classroom and have taken the teaching methods outside the boundaries of classroom. But these cases are few and far between, and scope and scale of change is unprecedented in nature. School needs the prudent use of technology to play its part to leverage the opportunity and bring about the change in aligning the aspirations of generation next.
We cannot live in two different worlds and learn only the rules of one world, unless we also keep learning the rules of the other world we will keep faltering and failing in our endeavor. Incidentally, the domination of the virtual world has overtaken the presence of physical world. It is no more about just giving equal treatment but the virtual world needs more of our attention and more of our time and greater involvement.
The learning outcomes need to be changed to meet the expectation and requirement of the changing engagement with the world. The formal style of education in the school and in the classroom needs a structural change. Informal learning can no more be brushed aside and it is high time to blend both form of learning in a more organized and structured manner to make the learning engagement more meaningful.
The current education delivery mechanism has virtually shifted and the means to learn have new space, now the mode of teaching need real transformation.