Imagine some more years down the line, when children will be surrounded by robot teachers in schools, hammering their students with chapters and sums and ending their days with nothing creative. Can you imagine how would robots teach art-related subjects like drawing, craft or music? We are dreaming of technology replacing humans in schools. And yes, we have already started doing so.
Technology is now an integral part of our lives making our lives easier and more productive. It’s an interesting thought which is giving a new purpose to our existence. The recent additions to this phenomenon are techniques and gadgets involving Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Let’s take a look at the education sector. Our classrooms are getting equipped with e-learning methods, involving big projectors/screens with motion detectors and much more. Also, the representation of various concepts and subjects has become easier with various audio visual tools evolving from different technologies. Technology has helped in education by making conceptualised learning effective and time-saving for sure. Also, with better understanding of concepts comes better skills-learning ability, which helps from the point of view of employment and better career opportunities.
But the question ideally should be, will technology ‘alone’ shape the future of education?
Divesh Bathija, Founder of Dinasim says, “Technology cannot solely sustain education. The very basic thought - Technology is created by humans to ease the extra effort, so that humans can concentrate on things what they are known for — thinking creatively and finding innovative solutions.”
We use a smartphone so we can get all the work done with a click, or through an app... A student can download an app for e-Learning, see videos, give online tests, but will he be able to express his ideas electronically? Brainstorm his creativity? Bathija further adds, “Technology is purely based on an algorithm, which can execute and follow set instructions. However, it cannot suggest or innovate solutions for a child who is losing interest in the subject. It can only provide the data.”
Today, we have access to unlimited sources of information on internet, all of which are convenient mediums to gain knowledge. But the point is, are they all trustworthy or reliable enough? We often come across information that might not be backed by adequate facts. This will make us fall into a vicious circle of confusion, which further creates lack of trust. Will technology prove to be useful then? Certainly not! And that’s why, a basic foundation learning is very important.
“Learning is an experience, which only can happen naturally, for example: there is no rule how to balance a cycle or float in a swimming pool. These can only be experienced. Similarly, learning needs to be experienced by exploring. With technology, we have become used to getting things at a click, which definitely eases many tasks and makes human life easy to an extent that he /she can spend more time exploring” added Bathija. “This basic learning is similar to a situation, where you are taught alphabets first, before you start writing words and later sentences. This will give you an insight and a clearer understanding of obtaining particular information or learning new things.”
One must not forget the fact, that machines and AI cannot teach someone to be creative. Humans have minds, which goes beyond the power and thinking ability of technology. If today they can prove a fact right, tomorrow they can prove it wrong too. A teacher is a human being, who is filled with creative talents and has certain inborn human characteristics, who helps in identifying and analysing the needs and intellect of an individual student. With human teachers, there can be personalised learning in creative ways, which machines lack. Even a minor human intervention can help the students to think beyond existing possibilities.
But one must not deny that there are various options of information gathering available today — thanks to the introduction of technology. Search engines have started collecting various information based on our past searches. Also, access to such information has become even faster. Today, teachers have to act as mentors to the students, guiding them in the information journey which they have collected on the internet and focus on developing an exploring approach.
Will technology shape the future of education? Partly yes! Rather, it’ll be better to say that technology will be a major helping hand in shaping the existing purpose of education, which will make its future more meaningful and effective for students....