The role of technology in modern times been ever-changing, especially in education. We can no longer afford to neglect or ignore the impact of these changes, if we want to progress.
Those who have been through the ’90s have been witness to witness to the various results of students who have an option to study through the online mode. There are numerous advantages, the main being that you can learn with others who are perhaps, geographically not in the same region. In addition, students can study at their own pace, and access the material from wherever they are located. It is not a one-time thing, students can read and reread the material at any time they want.
In the field of management education, the early change came in the form of online delivery of MBA courses, allowing global students to be part of an interactive virtual classroom. More recently, Web 2.0 applications such as electronic portfolios, podcasts, wikis, and other collaborative tools allow teachers more options for both online delivery, and for traditional classroom delivery. Further, ‘learning management systems’ such as Blackboard, WebCT, and Moodle have enabled more efficient and effective methods for teaching and learning.
With increasing computing power in the hands of teachers and students, powerful learning simulations compete today with the traditional pedagogies such as case analysis. These simulations immerse students in complex business environments where they are forced to make challenging decisions and equally important, see the impact of their decisions. As such, simulations can mimic the cause and effect (or the action-reaction) nature of real world decision making.
However, many educational professional regret that not much of technology and the media are being used for education today. “Technology is being used, but not as a means, more so as a complimentary medium to support traditional lecture-based teaching,” says educational technologist Devayani Tirthali. She adds, “Even online classes end up being lectures, rather than creative expressions of thinking out of the box, simply because the medium is different.” She feels that education is intrinsically technology related, and the more it is used, the more available gadgets (like mobile phones) and available channels (like social media) can be used for mass education purposes.
This is a phase where students are used to doing everything in real-time. It does not take even a minute to click a picture and upload it on a social media website or email it to a friend. At such a time, if these channels which reduce the time factor drastically, where used for education purposes, there would be a major difference. Integration of technologies (computer, radio, internet, etc) can further lead to an effective dissemination of knowledge. They provide for interactive interaction via the email / chat, computer broadcasting (podcasting), audio video conferencing, text chat, voice chat, etc. Interaction between teacher and taught can be both synchronous and asynchronous ie, in real time simultaneously or may not be time specific.
Technology, while spearheading a revolution in the sphere of education, has also posed a unique challenge. The biggest challenge that we face today is to create more open resources for a better learning process. Some Western universities have already created courses for students. We also have to find ways to create open sources for students.