“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”
“Is Information Technology really beneficial for education?” - People ask this question very often. But people might sometimes forget that they are living in the 21st century, at the pinnacle of Information Technology. Whether it is a giant industry or any startup or any educational institution, information is the blood and Information Technology helps keep this blood fresh. IT in education has improved the face of the education system. It has given easy access to various learning resources, has enabled better simulations and models, assisted in the evolution of communication and has also resulted in a more efficient assessment system.
Some other ways in which IT has assietd in development of education are:
Variety of information at your finger-tips
IT provides useful information in a minimal time. With the help of IT, it is easy to provide audio-visual education. The learning resources are being widened. New techniques in IT helps encourage the learner to utilize the tools of IT and Computer Science to enrich their knowledge.
A student can access any piece of information anytime. IT has opened the doors of education sector 24x7. Today IT makes education equally accessible to everyone irrespective of any part of the globe that they are in. With the help of IT, the education sector has become free of boundaries.
Example: Coursera , an online education medium is a portal, where anyone can access any course of study, wherein the courses are provided by famous international universities.
The birth of online library:
In the recent past, students only had access to a public/ college/ university library for studying and most of them were restricted to a select lot of people. Easy access to books and journals were not only limited but scarce as well. But with the advent of online libraries, and free resource material online, the knowledge base of students and others alike has expanded considerably. Now doing research for papers, or preparing for competitive exams is not exhaustive, giving students to prepare better.
Eg. Bookzz is an electronic library used worldwide. All you need to do is type your required book name and you will find the pdf of almost every book.
Distance learning made easy
Distance Learning is the method of learning from a remote location, rather than a classroom. Even 10 years ago, relevant study material was not available to students and they had to prepare it themselves. The result was that it resulted in a miscommunication between the institution and students. But today things are changing as a student can avail continuous learning from home with the help of information and communications technology now. Some of the best apps, tools and online services employed in a distance learning technique include: edX (for accessing MOOCs), ePals (a collaboration site that allows students to connect with other students & teachers as well as allows teachers to create their own projects or attend other classes) and many others. The convergence of increased demand for access to educational facilities and innovative communications technology has been increasingly employed in face of criticisms that distance learning is an inadequate substitute for learning alongside others in formal institutions.
Teachers can collaborate to share their ideas and resources online
Today students can take help from teachers anytime, anywhere. Through the ICT, a teacher can guide his/her students from anywhere remotely. They can avail the facility of video conferencing, teleconferencing and many other ICT facilities.
Example: Skype is an option for video conferencing. IT helps to connect people.
The Flipped Classroom
Classrooms across the nation are adopting a new technology trend known as the “flipped” classroom. It is a practice in which students watch lecture videos as homework and discuss the same with their teachers & fellow students in the classroom. It has resulted in a remarkably better student performance, with noticeable grade boost-up. Students can now learn at their own pace and save class time for interaction.
Educational technology improves student learning outcomes
Educational technologies can improve student achievement, there are many such tools integrated thoughtfully into teaching and learning. When digital capabilities like online environments are incorporated meaningfully into instruction, students have new opportunities to learn and achieve.
Interesting study with open courseware
IT has initiated a revolutionary change in the education sector by inventing the open coursework facility. Anyone can learn any subject or acquire more knowledge on their subject. Open coursework helps to acquire knowledge from various international/ national universities like MIT, Stanford University, and IIM etc.
Example: MIT open coursework gives students the option to choose the desired courses and start learning anytime.
Information Technology makes the education system more dynamic and accessible in an era of globalization, where every country is competing with each other, information and knowledge are the only weapons to win the race. Nowadays more academic systems should embrace technology because it makes teaching more effective and aids in practical learning. In the near feature, we wait to see how technology will change the face of our education system and contribute towards progressive excellence.
Author: Arindam Bose, an alumni of XISS, Ranchi