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Education industry 2017-07-27

How to create the teacher-technology advantage

Technology amalgamated with the touch of a teacher as a facilitator today is an ideal learning combination

By Uttara.J. Malhotra Feature writer

According to a latest New Work Order report, ‘teachers worldwide will be seen spending fewer hours lecturing and will instead use technology to facilitate "self-directed learning. Lesson facilitation and planning will take up 14 hours of a teachers' work week in 2030, compared to four hours in 2006. At the same time, only about one hour a week will be spent on repetitive tasks such as grading, down from five hours a week in 2006.’

Reality check
Indeed, technology integration seems to have become an important part of the educational framework in schools and colleges. For one, it actually inspires positive changes in teaching methods. This is made use of a lot at the international level as well. The use of technology has made learning easy. But proper use of technology is important in the learning process.

For example if technology is used to create Adaptive software such as Mindspark, children who drop out of school even before finishing primary school, can work out what a child knows and pose questions accordingly. A recent paper found that Indian children using Mindspark after school made some of the largest gains in maths and reading of any education study in poor countries.

Technological advantage
Thanks to audio-visual presentations, students undertaking research or specialized learning are able to quickly use the knowledge into practice. The use of projectors and computer presentations can deliver any type of lesson or instruction; to improve the level of comprehension within a class. Technology has also made it easy to record and access student performance. Human error has become minimal and it has become easy to keep a track of an individual’s achievement. Applications like MyStudentsProgress and theTeacherCloud Progress Tracker are great online tools that enable you to do this. However, schools today are creating their own personalized software to serve this purpose. Internet has also become an interesting tool to use for teaching children. It has become a fun tool to listen to stories and learn.

Human interface
Does that mean that the need of the teacher diminishes with the coming of technology? Undeniably, new educational technologies have helped energize students and educators alike. But all this is completely useless without an engaged leader (a teacher) who can pull these tools together in a practical and meaningful way.

Thus, the role of the teacher has become far-more important than it ever was in this technologically driven learning environment. But today, the teacher is becoming more of a facilitator and a mediator who is there to demystify the whole learning process.

Teacher’s new identity
With a teacher being a facilitator, the learning process has a human touch to it. It isn’t all that mechanical, something that is to be avoided for primary teaching. Educationists believe that children between the age-group of 3-8 years learn best through a human interface. Their emotional intelligence is developed at a quickening pace, something technologically driven applications and software cannot beat.

Ofcourse, no matter how advanced or smart a computer program or a product is, it can never replace the life experiences of a teacher. A teacher also guides and motivates apart from creating a warm environment of learning and sharing within the classroom. He/she can also be a positive influence, can be an inspiration to set and achieve goals. The trust and bond between a teacher and student creates the perfect learning environment; which can never be achieved through virtual learning.

What lies ahead…
Technology is here to stay. Generation Y is glued to screens of all kinds and a lot of service providers are encashing on this viewership. Learning applications are here and assisting in homework and assignments. Therefore, a partnership of the teacher with technology will help in creating a perfect symphony in the student learning process, in times to come.

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