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Has Technology Successful Entered Our Classrooms Or Still Struggling At The Doorstep?
The providers of technology solutions fail to look from the school's perspective. Putting up a tablet will not make you technologically upgraded
Photo Credit : Tarun Gupta
As technology makes headways in almost every sector of the country, including education, it is important to raise its relevance. It is important to understand that education technology is not like any other sector, as what we are dealing with is the future of the nation.
So much so, that today a huge debate has cropped between the providers of technology or the ed-tech companies and the takers of technology, namely schools and institutions.
"I see technology still at the periphery of our education system. We have large numbers of ed-tech companies and IT enablers. We have a huge supply and demand and understanding that this marriage of technology and education would be perfect, but somehow at the ground level it's a forced relation," said Anmol Arora, MD, Shemrock Group.
Speaking on the sidelines of BW Top Education Brands, 2017 edition, Arora did not mince his words in talking about the validation of Ed-technology in the schools. He raised the issues of constrained time and burden, as teachers have the core responsibility of preparing students for the standardised examinations and overall leanings. There is no time, according to him to experiment and play around with new tools of AR or VR.
More important, Arora questioned the providers of technology and their solutions.
"The providers of technology solutions fail to look from the school's perspective. Putting up a tablet will not make you technologically upgraded. If you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail. All the new age solutions of AI, VR, AR cannot be pushed into education. We need to understand that we are dealing with children here," said Arora.
On the contrary, Hemant Sahal, Founder & CEO, CollPoll said the reason technology has not been able to integrate into the education space is because of limited understanding of technology investment benefits.
"When I go to the top institutions for a pitch, they direct us to the person taking care of server management, who do not understand the concept at all! We need people who understand the sync and tell us about their needs for us to cater better technology solutions across the board," said Sahal.
Sahal elaborated on the new dimensions where technology will play an important role in future, one of them being the creation of social media system for education on the lines of Facebook or Twitter.
Apart from this, Sahal also mentioned how most of the technology focus has been on the formal academic in-classroom learning, citing examples of online lectures, tablet learning etc. He cited huge potential in outside classroom learning with technology as an enabler.
The third dimension that he mentioned was the data power.
"There is a huge data to print and analyse with students and teachers using technology in their day to day classrooms. The data can help institutions, teachers and students to make much better decisions," said Sahal who gave an example how one could analyse the students doing well in academics and not in any other field and vice versa.
The panel comprising of Rupa Manjari Ghosh, VC, Shiv Nadar University; Dr Raj Singh, VC, Rayat Bahra University; Dr SK Salwan, VC, Apeejay Stya University and Himanshu Chaturvedi, CMD, HTC Sports, elaborated on a host of technology-driven solutions for the education sector.
They did not negate the fact that technology, despite being at the periphery has begun to play an important role and its better understanding would open up new age learning for students and institutions.
They also voiced for basic technology education for students and not just compartmentalising technology as an education tool.
"Basic technology skills should not be just restricted to students but to everyone for that matter as technology would be playing a disruptive role in future. Therefore, without basic knowledge, its adaption would be very difficult," said Dr Raj Singh, VC, Rayat Bahra University.