I believe that we teachers live in the most exciting of times EVER. From lesson plans to content and the way we transact the same in the classroom can be different for every section and for every class that we teach. My teachers however had to depend on a few books and their notes which were handed down from generation to generation.
The student today, no longer has just two sources of information, the sage on the stage (us teachers) and textbooks. She has this boundless space called the Internet. I remember my days in school when getting a project or an assignment done with extra information was nearly impossible. Everyone waited for the few reference books/encyclopedias in the school library . Assignments done with parental help got the grades while those coming from less privileged homes had to resign themselves to lower grades.
For this and many other reasons, technology has come to be the great equalizer. Research after research from different corners of the world (my favourites being Dr.Sugata Mitra’s TED talks –A hole in the wall and A school in the cloud) has shown that all children can learn !!!!!
Now isn’t this the BEST news for someone whose vocation is teaching and for someone whose prayer every night is for her/his student to achieve their highest potential. While it is often thought that teachers perceive technology as threat, my experience leads me to believe that increasingly and at quite an astonishing pace teachers are adapting and adopting technology (in their classrooms and their lives).
The excitement with which I see teachers, both urban and rural using whatsapp, viber, youtube and many other apps with ease is heartwarming. Similarly in the classroom the teacher and the taught are sitting together learning with technology. Video conferencing or a Skype IIT JEE session in a remote village, SMART classrooms in towns, individual tablets/Laptops in cities and the Smart phone, everyone is using technology to LEARN and that is a FACT.
As technology evolves and gets embedded with accessibility features, it also becomes a Universal Design Platform. Assistive Technology will ensure ‘No Child is Left Behind’ in the true sense, which means that the future of India and the world will have more human resource than ever before because the marginalized will join the mainstream and walk together hand in hand into a brighter world for mankind.
This Guest Post has been written by Manju Balasubramanyam, DPS North Bangalore Principal
Read Manju’s other blog: Technology and me … and the learning continuum