In today’s era when almost everything is technology-driven, we cannot expect the education sector to remain untouched by it. In schools and colleges, the way lessons were conducted has undergone a plethora of structural changes. The majority of teaching aids used extensively in classrooms today are an outcome of advancements in technology.
Although technology-assisted teaching has a multitude of advantages, our teachers need to be readied to reap the maximum benefits of the resources available. It is quite evident that in time to come most of the walks of life would be machine-based and automated. Consequently, it becomes imperative to bring this advancement to the roots in the education sector as well.
In the contemporary era, the internet has undoubtedly become the greatest savior for all stakeholders, be it teachers or students, or even laymen. There are a lot of positive ways in which the internet and advancement of technology can augment overall effectiveness in the education sector. The first one in the list is globalization & cross-cultural interactions that resulted out of it. When students from different parts of the world get a common platform to interact, share knowledge, information and experiences, they collaboratively achieve mutual growth redefining the globalization of education. They can connect with other students through video conferencing for which a huge number of apps are available.
The second noteworthy impact of technology on education is the possibility of conducting webinars which not only minimize the cost to be borne by a student but also provide a wide exposure as students across the world can attend such a session at the same time. For instance, NASA is an organization, among several others, which organizes such programs for young learners and offers a unique opportunity to connect and talk directly with the astronauts who are in space.
Distance learning is the third major impact that technology has on education. Pursuing correspondence and part-time courses used to be a tedious procedure for students as they received course material through courier. Now students can directly attend online classes using the wonder called the internet as and when convenient for them. CBTs i.e. Computer Based Tests have revolutionized the way exams were conducted in the past.
With advancements in technology, a massive number of online courses have become available for everyone. MOOCs i.e. Massive Open Online Courses are available online free of cost for anybody and everybody who signs up on this platform. They allow learners to acquire new skills in an extremely flexible and cost-effective manner. Students can explore a wide variety of programs like Excel, SQL, C++, Entrepreneurship, Business and Management, Master’s Programmes, Python, professional certificates, Master’s degree to name a few.
There is hardly a student today who likes to live without a smartphone that means she or he is glued to this device literally all the time. Mobile phones today help in learning almost everything under the sun even while traveling on a bus. There are numerous apps available today which help a student to learn subjects of their liking such as Maths, Science, English, Culinary Skills, Stitching, Painting, and Digital Marketing, etc. Anybody who is aspiring to quench his / her thirst for knowledge can make use of these apps to enhance knowledge instead of wasting hours on not so productive activities such as excessive and unnecessary use of social media and playing addictive video games which do not provide enough positive mental stimulation.
I tunes U is one of these apps designed and created by Apple which allows students to take free online classes. Furthermore, they provide a lot of substantial course materials which include eBooks, audio-visual aids, and pre-recorded videos, and a lot of assignments that students can make use of to learn better. There are more than 750,000 lectures and a huge number of books that are free of cost. Another such famous platform is Khan Academy which aims at providing education to everyone present anywhere in the world and free of cost through thousands of video tutorials on various subjects. Coursera is another efficient Android app that helps students to take online courses through a blend of forum discussion, video lectures, assessments, assignments, and quizzes, etc.
In addition to these free portals, there are many other paid apps which charge a minimal subscription amount per month but offer a wide variety of content on several subjects. One such app is Lynda which provides online classes for courses like photography, 3D animation, designing, etc. Howcast is yet another important app for those students who love to take knowledge of practical skills like cooking, exercising, dancing, gaming, etc. The app helps to attain holistic learning.
Mankind has progressed tremendously due to the combination of technology and education. In the time to come there would be a more collaborative and strategic approach that educational institutions would embrace. Still, it is in hands of educational technologies & instructional designers to utilize the maximum opportunities offered by the technology, which may help to alter the educational structure in order to provide efficient and effective education to all across the globe.