The Rise of EdTech in India
Author: Vanshika Joshi, Research Fellow, Goeman Bind
With changing times, technology has spurred into every sphere of our lives. Advancements in digital technology are also creating a variety of opportunities in the world of education & learning. Technology has paved a way for newer opportunities to enrich and rejuvenate young minds. From abacus, calculators, projectors, to Online classrooms during the pandemic, e-learning has evolved to change our way of learning, educating and communicating.
National Council for Educational Technology for the United Kingdom defines Educational Technology as the development, application and evaluation of systems, techniques and aids to improve human learning.
National center for Programmed Learning, defined Educational Technology as the application of scientific knowledge about learning, and conditions of learning, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching and training.
Derik Unwin states that educational technology is the application of modern skills and techniques to the requirements of education and training.
According to UNESCO, “Educational technology is a communication process resulting from the application of the scientific methods to the behavioral science of teaching and learning.”
Advantages of technology in education
Looking back, the introduction of ed tech in the field of learning has proved to have a variety of positive impacts. With the introduction of newer forms of ed tech, teachers got an opportunity to make the process of learning easier and interesting.
Advantages of edtech include:
Cheap & Readily Available Study Material
With the advent of education-based technologies, students are able to learn effectively and speedily. They can access the study material easily and in a cheap price through YouTube, digital books, mobile applications etc. Study materials can be accessed even outside classrooms and without books so, having the opportunity to explore different areas, allows them to recognize their interests, talents, and maybe even their future profession.
Availability of wide information and data from a variety of sources
In addition to the fact that cheap information is available at any time, access to a wide variety of data & information related to almost all topics is something our ancestors could only dream about. Instead of wandering in libraries, reading piles of book, concise information is available.
Teaches them digital literacy
We all know that young people cannot acquire the level of skill demanded by today’s corporate world in computer science classes. By implementing technology as an integral part of education, students are given the opportunity to keep up with learning trends and acquire technological/digital skills that are highly sought after in the 21st century. This form of learning is most helpful for students who don’t have access to modern technology at home, which could also potentially reduce the social gap between digitally literate and illiterate people.
Reduction of educational expenses
With the introduction of education technology, resources are easily accessible, which has led to declining tuition fees, less need for books and school supplies. The introduction of e-books is another boon for low-income families.
Through audio and video lectures available on Internet, students have access to many mentors. They are able to select mentors of their choice for themselves. This helps them understand better and engages more interest in studies.
Assists Teachers In Student Assessment
Ed tech has made the task of analyzing student performance much easier through platforms of data collection on student performance, assignment submission apps, online grading apps, online test software’s etc. Moreover, teachers are now able to modify lessons based on insights into the performance of individual students, or class as a whole.
Students Can learn at Desired Pace
Technology has enabled students to gain control over their learning, and allowed flexibility to teachers in delivering knowledge to students. Students who are unable to understand in class can listen to recorded lectures and notes. On the other hand students who are quick graspers can move ahead with the syllabus as per their choice.
Technology is not merely a distraction, but it can also be an effective tool to teach a student. Using devices like a computer, tablet, can help transform traditionally dull subjects into interactive and fun activities.
Incorporates Different Learning Styles
Technology enables use of a variety of learning methods such as pictures, drawings, slides, videos, games etc, these methods make study fun and interesting activity for the students and help them get clean understanding of the subject and remember the topic better.
Disadvantages of education technology
The continuous advancement of technology is praiseworthy and also has great contributions in the field of education. However, it is equally important to get a note of the negative sides of education technology, and its long-term adversities. Many sceptics from the domain of social sciences and humanities often point out several potential disadvantages of technology in education, and its impact on the quality of child development:
Students continue to use their gadgets even after they’ve completed their school activities. Daily dosage of social media and video games, increase after getting easy access to gadgets.
Reduction in problem-solving skills
Technology has automated almost all school activities. For e.g., calculator for mathematics, autocorrect replaces learning spellings. So students gradually lose their problem-solving abilities.
Reduces peer interaction
“Man is a social animal” but now we can disregard this saying. Use of social media has reduced direct interaction among people and online classes have further brought this divide among children also.
Easier to cheat in online exams
Online tests could be easily tricked. Use of another device for finding answers, keeping books or calling someone are some ways used by children.
Different people have different opinions on the introduction of these changes in the education system. A continuous insistence on disadvantages should not be seen as a desire to return to traditional education, but as a reason for caution and the possibility to better see the holes in the technologies and methods used in education. It is up to educational institutions and teachers to analyze the disadvantages in the next revision, and improve the quality of teaching both in their digital and physical classrooms.