Technology and Education

Like all other fields of human activities, Internet and web technologies have transformed education sectors as well. Technologies can play even larger role in accelerating this positive change.

Have a look at developed economies where the ratio of computers to students is one to one. Computing has already become an integral tool in all disciplines. Web based education software has matured and students and teachers are linked together. Computing in the classroom have gone much beyond students doing Internet searches, sending e-mail and checking spelling, presentation programs and spreadsheets; all useful and helpful aids for students as well as teachers.

Like all other technology optimists, I see Web technologies doing more than what they are doing in the class rooms presently. Parents can get more engaged and they can monitor their children’s attendance, punctuality, homework and performance, and can get tips for helping them at home. Teachers can share methods, lesson plans and online curriculum materials.

One of the best things is that computers can promote project based learning – a real advance from conventional textbook and lecture model of education. A project might begin with simple hypotheses. The shared Web space for the project, for example, would include the hypotheses, the sources the students must consult, their work plan and timetable, assignments for each student, the assessment criteria for their grades and, eventually, the paper the team delivers. Oral presentations may follow. The project-based learning encourages active learning and produces better performance in class and on standardized tests.

Happily, it has started happening; though only in developed world. This will follow in developing counties soon, one hopes.

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