Context – The novel coronavirus has turned India’s weak pedagogic system upside down, will be difficult to reunite the new technological environment with child psychology and educational theory.
What is educational technology?
Educational technology is the combined use of computer hardware, software, and educational theory and practice to facilitate learning. Educational technology creates, uses, and manages technological processes and educational resources to help improve user academic performance.
What are the Advantages of educational technology?
- Democratized access to education– The infrastructure of the Indian education system has been a major concern, However, Ed-tech has the potential to democratize access to education and opportunities even amidst such fragmented market conditions.
- Bringing fluidity in the curriculum–
- New elements and concepts– For instance, gamification is a new concept, engaging students to learn by using the design and other elements of video games to capture the attention of learners and help them enjoy while learning.
- Equipping students with better perception towards today’s world- Technology is taking rapid strides towards advancement and are also facing a looming climate crisis that demands awareness and active participation.
- Online teaching facilitates and encourages frequent testing.
What are the issues related to online learning?
- Lack of sustained connectivity, a bane- The Indian internet infrastructure is not ready for the paradigm shift to online learning
- Cost – Both private and government schools have installed ‘smart’ infrastructure at great expense.
- Affordability-In the push for online education post-pandemic, the poorest of poor students left out as they do not have the e-resources (computers, laptops, internet connectivity) to access it.
- All subjects can’t be taught online– It is difficult to teach a few new concepts in an online classroom.
- Social science teachers face greater difficulties than science teachers do in introducing children to basic concepts.
- Not all teachers are technical adequate- This challenge places the onus on the teachers to up skill themselves to capitalize on the emerging opportunities.
- Teachers were asked to adopt a harder duty routine, combining screen time with messaging and responding.
- Not considerable as a permanent option- Despite the high momentum, online options are still not considered permanent alternatives to classrooms. The sector can at best make a useful supplementary learning system.
- Childhood is now fully exposed to the attractions of the virtual worldand there is no one to offer a safety net. Young children’s access to the Internet brings them face to face with self-styled video teachers of every subject, manufacturers of video games, fantasy app makers, and coding instructors.
- This can expose children’s to manipulative advertisements, violent entertainment and pornography.
What is the way forward?
- Government needs to step in to make new system of learning possible for all.
- Parents have a role to play– It is important that parents acquire a level of digital literacy, they can get help on using parental control apps. These apps will completely block sites that are inappropriate for children, such as porn sites, Online games can also be restricted.