Remember those days when you’d forget to bring your eraser to class, and the stingy fellow sitting next to you wouldn’t let you use his. You were then forced to try and erase the mistake in your copy by rubbing your finger on it, thus turning the sheet from white to steel-grey? Or when you were finally allowed to use pens in class, and you brought your dad’s favorite fountain pen to school to show off, only to find that the ink had leaked in your pencil box and stained your copies to boot? Well, how many kids today know how to fill ink in a fountain pen?
Technology has managed to impact and invade our lives in more way than one. The lives of the school-goer is no different. The student community has come a long way from sitting under the open sky for classes or in cramped little wooden benches in tiny rooms, to modern, glitzy classrooms with neat tables, chairs, big shiny blackboards, and what not. The school buildings have become humongous; housing classes are now from kindergarten right till the 12th standard. Remember those stand-alone buildings with a handful of classrooms?
Most schools now have quite a few amenities, ranging from a gymnasium to an indoor playing area, a playground, infirmary, canteen and so on. Electricity is available almost all the time, and there are backup generators too for uninterrupted power-supply. These changes in the setting allow the students to pay better attention to what is being taught and free him/her of other distractions.
Today, the teachers have a plethora of teaching material at their disposal. So, they remain updated with the latest developments in all the subjects. The process of writing on the traditional blackboards is now gradually getting replaced, especially in institutions of higher studies. Visual-education in the form of presentations with the help of projectors is a rage now. These presentations can then be distributed among the students, sparing them of having to jot down every word the teacher writes on the blackboard. The process of teaching the students has become highly compartmentalized, and various subjects are handled by different teachers. English Grammar and Literature may no longer necessarily be taught by the same teacher.
Which brings us to the next important factor impacting education – the teachers. There was a time when teaching and learning were much simpler, less complicated processes. There would be a teacher, or a guru, who would be given the the duty of imparting education to his disciples, the shishyas. They would hand down the wisdom of the ages to these fledglings, the culmination of the wealth of knowledge that had been generated and preserved over the ages.
Rewind to a couple of decades and we could find the children sitting under a tree or in small classrooms. The students were tightly packed together with a writing slate and a piece of chalk in hand. They used to listen attentively to their Masterji speaking on some subject or the other.
Jumping back to the present times, we find a completely different scenario. The teacher is not merely restricted to the figure who walks in to the classrooms to the sound of a dozen chorused ‘Good Morning’s and spends the next hour or so trying to drill the next portion of the school syllabus into their students’ heads.
The rise of modern forms of communication has ushered in a new age of learning and a new breed of teachers. Thus, we have educational programs on the television, materials and books on the internet playing the part of a teacher in the modern students’ lives. The classroom has expanded, and the student now has access to practically any information he/she desires, at any time of the day.
It is not merely the advent of technology in processes of teaching and learning that is improving the condition of education in India. Other factors too play a part in it. Better infrastructure such as roads and transport facilities, good civic planning, change in the nature of the economy, all have a role to play in it. Behind all of this, is the overwhelming influence of technology. Indeed, everything right down to the alarm that wakes you up in time for your exam is a product of this technological advent!
It must; however, be noted that the rosy picture painted above is largely restricted to the metro cities. Large parts of India still lack basic amenities, and schooling remains a distant dream for many. Schools there are nothing like those found in developed areas and are a throwback to the ages gone by. So, even though technology can, and is, helping improve education in India, what remains to be seen is whether it manages to dissolve the boundaries between the rich and poor.
Technology has certainly revolutionized education. Online education is doing quite well in the education sector. And we at Toppr are exponents of online education! The #1 preparation app for JEE brings you great study material, online test series and doubt clearance from the experts! Check us out here.