Early Childhood Education and Changing Technology
Modernity has been a widely debated topic in the field of academics, in general. It refers to the structural change that society went through as a result of industrialization, urbanization and political changes. A modern society is a society capable of providing more options of growth, individualism, and a society demanding exploration of new ideas. The technological advancements in a modern society have been significant in their contribution and ability to inflict positive change. From the period of initial industrialization in the west upto now, technology has guided and defined various sectors of our lives for a very long time now. It has changed our understanding of nature, enabled us to explore avenues that were unknown to us, and made such significant impact in our day to day lives that to comprehend a life without some of these advancements seems highly improbable today.
Technology: Changing ways of education
Technology in education, in general, is still a very recent phenomenon trying to be more inclusive and productive. With the fruits of globalization enriching the market, the education system in India, in the past few years, has seen a trend towards digitization of education. Although there is a long road ahead of us, it has already done enough to keep everyone interested and invest more in it. It seems to be the answer for many problems our education system faces today. For starters, technology does not discriminate. If made inclusive, it can play a huge role in wiping out some of the crucial differences in society by providing equal opportunities to everybody. Secondly, technology, by its very nature is interesting and invites unhindered attention of children, making it easier for them to learn. It serves as a great alternative to the conventional ways of teaching, improving the cognitive abilities of children and making the whole of process of learning more participatory in nature. Thirdly, technology also helps to reach out a larger section of society and educate them, which is otherwise a very challenging task. It can incorporate multiple languages; adjust according to the needs of every child, thus encouraging plurality. It is also effective, reduces the possibilities of human folly and is beginning to enjoy great admiration from the teaching community.
For all these reasons, and many more, technology has been the driving force in the field of education lately. It has been brought to the classrooms by ways of presentations, interactiveworksheets, online assessment by teachers, speako pens and many more.
Modern ways of learning
The concept of smart classes has been at the forefront of this tectonic change in the ways of teaching. The classical method of reading and teaching from a book has been almost removed & replaced by the new concept of smart classes, especially in junior classes. It refers to a way of teaching through presentations, slideshows, use of animated characters, and much more. Basically, the idea is to make the classroom an interactive place by using alternative methods that entice children into learning. This is done by using good quality 3D animation where popular cartoon characters appear & grab the attention of children. All such presentations are designed with a particular purpose in mind; what the teacher intends to teach through that exercise. These classes are specially designed in 3D or HD quality to provide an enriching experience to students.
The concept of smart classes also focuses on the interactive part; it is not just about one way learning. Personal attention is given to every student by inviting them to take part in many activities that it has to offer. This is done through LMS. LMS are basically interactive worksheets for children. There are activities like fill in the blanks, match the following, colouring, pick and drop etc. which children can participate in. Students are invited one by one and made to work on these virtual worksheets, making the whole exercise of learning more students friendly.
In addition to the smart classes& LMS, another recent technological introduction in the field has been of speak-o-pens. These are basically pens that help children to read the text of their books for them. Enabled with a software, all that children have to do is to place this pen on the text they want to read & the pens reads it for them. It provides them with the meaning of difficult words and a lot more. There are specially designed books that come along with this pen. Still in its early days, this new technology is yet to achieve its full potential and reach out to a bigger audience. However, it does have the potential to change the ways of learning & reading by making it more entertaining, easy & helpful for children. The pen works on the cognitive abilities of the children & helps in developing their brains faster. This is because of the combination of touch, visual, and sound that the pen provides. This boosts the concentration level of children while studying & invariably leads to better retention capabilities and improved reading habits.
The way forward
Access of technology to children, as a general topic of debate, has seen both acceptance and rejection among parents. Some agree to it while others believe it is best to keep children away from it as much as possible. However, by and large, there is a consensus that technology & introduction of it in our lives is inevitable in this day & age and that controlled access should be given to children. Such a consensus seems to be a step in the right direction as technology has potential to both empower & spoil the children. Parental control makes sure that children do not miss out on the positive side of the picture while staying away from its vices.
Going forward, technology is going to make a lot of changes to the ways we teach our children and to the advantage of our children. It has the capability to overcome problems that conventional ways of schooling face today without compromising on the quality, and seems well poised to inculcate among a large section of children, the knowledge that we have always wanted them to achieve.