By Binish Qadri
It is important to remember that ‘education’ includes ‘literacy’, but it is not confined to literacy alone. It involves much more: Education is the acquisition of knowledge or learning, together with technology, which provides skills and the inclination for making profitable use of that knowledge. Since the acquiring of knowledge and improvement of the skill for its application are parts of a dynamic process, education is a lifelong and enduring exercise. It is, therefore, never complete in a continuously evolving dynamic personality. If the process becomes stationary, it leads to inertia, sluggishness and stagnation, which must be avoided by integrating classroom and technology or education and technology.
Efficacious, prosperous and popular classroom- technology integration is more than just getting the tools into the classroom; it is more about how to engage and engross students and brighten their lessons with those tools. When the graph of classroom-technology integration is continuous, smooth and considerate, students not only become more participatory, they begin to take more control over their own skills, knowledge and education. When classroom-technology integration is efficacious and therefore worthwhile it not only brings positive changes in classroom dynamics and subtleties but promote student-centric-smart-learning. Classroom and technology then are two sides of the same coin.
They are complementary and a good interface between the two is sine-qua-non for growth and development of a child in the contemporary technological and digital world. For Domar (1957, as cited by Solow, 2000), investment a dual role. On the one hand, it creates income and on the other hand, it increases productive capacity in an economy. In the same manner, modern techno-sound education has a dual role. On one hand, it develop skills and knowledge, on the other hand, it promotes technology. Smart classrooms, digital tools and technology are not devils at all. There is no good or bad technology. In the same manner, there is no good or bad classroom. Good or bad discourses arise due to good or bad interface between classroom and technology. Now, the million dollar question is: what causes good or bad interface between classroom and technology? It is the interaction among student, teacher and technology.
If the interaction among students, teachers and technology is good, it will create good chemistry between classroom and technology. But, if the interaction among these variables is bad, it will create bad chemistry between classroom and technology. Now, again the million dollar question is: what causes good or bad interaction among students, teachers and technology? The answer lies in the knowledge of technology and its advantages. And, if such knowledge is good, it will generate good interaction among the education stakeholders and technology. And, if such knowledge is weak, it will generate weak interaction among these. Teachers should be well versed in the knowledge of technology. If they are well versed in the knowledge of technology, it is expected that there will be good interaction among student, teacher and technology and vice versa.
Moreover, it is the skills, particularly technical skills and capacity building of the students which have their direct bearing upon the interaction/interface among students, teacher and technology. If the skills, particularly technical skills and capacity building of the students are good, then the interaction/interface among student, teacher and technology is expected to be good which will create conditions for achieving excellence in education and quality Research and Development. But, if the skills, particularly technical skills and capacity building of the students are not well developed, then the interaction/interface among students, teachesr and technology is expected to be bad which will hinder the path for achieving excellence in education, quality Research and Development and hamper the goals and targets towards distinction in education.
There is a two way causal relationship or bi-way causality between classroom and technology. That is to say that classroom affects technology and technology affects classroom. Development of technology or technological advancement which is all inclusive will lead to dynamic classroom learning and classroom which is good and all inclusive will cause development of technology which is all inclusive and therefore, student friendly.
In the contemporary digital and techno-sound age, good classroom and good technology are growth and development driven and growth and development are good classroom and good technology driven, implying that good classroom and good technology spreads as and when development takes place and development spreads as and when good classroom and good technology takes place. Good classroom and good technology facilitates development (Solow, 1956;Arrow, 1962), and in turn development ensures the furtherance of good classroom and good technology. For that reason, need of the hour is to bring a good mix of classroom and technology.
Technology is both a strength as well as a weakness of the classroom. If it is not in tune with classroom then it becomes its weakness instead of strength and vice versa. Since, technology is beyond what is seen and observed the present article argues that ‘Technology of Novelty’ or ‘Technological Innovations’ is achieved only and only if we understand the reality of technical skills and ideas for which technical education is must. That is to say that, good interface between education and technology on one hand and classroom and technology on the other hand is a matter of sound understanding of technical skills, knowledge and ideas. The educational bottlenecks we realize today is a result of how we manage classroom and technology linkage. For reducing these and achieving, a fair distribution of skills, particularly technical skills in an economy it is essential to realize the importance of technology and its role in modernizing education and developing the overall personality a child.
Arrow, K. (1962). The economic implications of learning by doing. Economic Studies, 29(3), 155-173.
Solow, Robert M. (2000), Growth Theory: An Exposition (2nd edition). Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.
Solow, R.M. (1956). A contribution to the theory of economic growth. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 70(1), 65-94.
—The author is a Research Scholar at the Department of Economics, Central University of Kashmir, Editor in EPH – International Journal of Business and Management Science & Academic Counselor, IGNOU. Study Centre, 1209,S.P. College, Srinagar. She can be reached at: email@example.com