How Technology Changed the Classroom.
Technology has greatly impacted virtually every sector of our lives including education. Looking at the past and the present, one cannot fail to see the differences in access to education, collaboration, and the interaction between learners and teachers.
Traditionally, classes existed physically and contained materials in their physical forms. Students had to go into a classroom to be instructed by the teachers. Today, technology has made it possible for students and teachers to interact in a virtual classroom. Within the Covid period, students even sat for exams in virtual setups.
The physical library that demanded books to be stacked on the wall racks has been replaced by e-libraries which are accessible to the students at the click of their smartphones, iPads, or personal computers wherever they could be. The remote access of books has increased access to knowledge a great deal.
Who could imagine 50 years ago that there would come a time when a student would walk into class without a heavy bag pack filled with textbooks, writing books, pens, and drawing materials? Well, today, with only an iPad, a student is set for learning. All those materials are contained in that single gadget.
Technology has thus ensured that collaboration between learners and instructors is enhanced. The student can contact other students or even the instructor remotely and conveniently seek help for a task they are undertaking.
Whereas traditionally a classroom demanded that the instructor use chalks or marker pens and boards, today, a PowerPoint projection only needs a projector, a pointer, and a laptop. This technological development in addition to public address systems has enabled every student to have equal access to the presentations.
It is not surprising then that technology today makes it possible for students to have an expanded reach of information. Students can seek clarification instantly in their gadgets using the internet, something which was so foreign in the past.
So, the class today has an internet and a computer only. Just like the factory of the future, the class of the future might end up having one person and a dog only. The dog will be there to prevent the person from touching the gadgets while the man will be there to feed the dog.
Teachers and students would, at some time in the future, interact by use of AV and VR from the comfort of their homes. Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) would enable them to be in such a way as though they were in a real classroom where they can walk from one desk to another and talk and laugh and even play in the fields.
It may sound as though it is some weird imagination but as with every big thing we know today, it all starts with just, but a dream.
The past required the teacher to mark registers and take roll calls to ensure students attended classes. Biometrics has and will replace all that. Physical Invigilation of students too during exams can be done using CCTV cameras.
Technology is disruptive. The only issue is whether we can agree to the idea that the disruption is positive to a large extent. One fact will remain true though, that like the change in the materials used in the classroom, technology will forever change the way we interact as people as well as the way we interact with other materials.