Education and Technology

World Teachers Day 2019: Education is no longer just about pen and paper

October 5, 2019

In 2014, MTS network in the USA took the internet by storm for its ‘Born for the internet’ baby; where a new-born zooms out of its mother’s womb only to grab the father’s Ipad for a tutorial to cut the umbilical cord. Although the advert received lots of laughs, it makes a vital point about the technology’s role in this age.

Educational methods are dynamic, continuously changing as research advances. It is no shocker that technology has begun to assist learning making it accessible, simple and quick. Be it in the classroom or at home, education most definitely is not a question of simply pen and paper anymore.

In the classroom

In the popular T.V show The Good Place, Janet can answer any question and complete any task. She does not get tired and will not get frustrated with anyone. This is because she is a robot. Similarly, in education, robots are being introduced in classrooms not to take away a teachers job but to provide support. Robots like the “microprocessor on wheels” robots (boebot), advanced toolkits, (mindstorms) and humanoids are all taking their place in the classroom according to function. Apart from being used to teach robotics and computer science, humanoids particularly are able to engage with students on a more personal level.

Dr Ashok Goel of the Georgia Institute of Technology, teaches his students in the Artificial Intelligence department with the help of Jill Watson his humanoid Teacher’s Assistant (TA). In this large class, Jill is able to answer any question immediately with no frustration or fatigue lifting the burden from Goel and keeping the students attentions.

Similarly, Indus International School has introduced the humanoid – Eagle 2.0, for teaching students of class 7, 8 and 9 with the ultimate aim of replacing human teachers. Developed by a 17-member team comprising IIT alumni, engineers, content developers, and experienced teachers, it took them 2 years to develop the robot and cost around 8 lakh.

At home

Although majority of a student’s learning gets done in the classroom, revision in topics and clarity of understanding often happens at home. Non-profit organisations like Khan Academy provide a perfect platform for students to re-learn any subject. Started by Salman ‘Sal’ Khan with its headquarters in Mountain View California, Khan Academy is known for its helpful videos of tutorials on math problems, information in history and so on.

Unacademy is a Bengaluru-based site, which has students cleared different exams and mentors on board to assist with many topics. Homework can often be stressful for not only students but also teachers who have to mark many pieces of work. MyiMaths is one solution to this problem. This online learning facility allows teachers to set work online that is marked immediately and efficiently helps students with mistakes.

Apps

With everyone including children as young as 11 having smartphones, education must be integrated with these devices. Google play and the App store are teeming with apps for students to take notes effectively and learn new topics which are easily accessible. Some examples are beGalileo – for maths in all boards for K-12 education, Classdojo – for teachers to send parents reports of their children including pictures of progress, and ITunesU– which allows access to various audio and video resources from reputed institutions around the world. 

More options

Today learning is unrestricted to age and subject. Technology has created opportunity for scholastic enthusiasts for intellectual and practical endeavours. Duolingo, a platform for language learning is host to over 300 million users and is available on a website and an app. It offers courses in a maximum of 34 different languages depending on the chosen language of learning.

HowStuffWorks is a infotainment website providing its audience with simple, witty explanations on as the name suggests how stuff work which would be particularly attractive for young learners with fun quizzes to recollect their knowledge. Even a game like Geoguesser provides global insight as it challenges its players to virtually move around an unknown locations and find their where they are in the world.

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