Technology embedded education for an augmented learning experience – Times of India

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Jai Decosta, Founder & CEO, K12 Techno Services Pvt. Ltd
The worst of times, like the unbearable storms that disrupt life, sometimes have a silver lining which paves a new path. The pandemic crippled life and economies, and many saw death and suffering while many others watched as their business dissipated and they were left in ruins. Everyone had seen the worst side of life. Social life was disrupted as was family life. Work and education were affected. But the hardships brought forth a revolution which would otherwise taken a decade or more in normal times. Technology benefitted and people were forced to adopt to the new genre of information flow. It saw a change in the way we worked – WFH, the way we were educated – online education – the way we shopped, the way we lived. And this proved that we can change for the better and we can handle adversity with newer technologies. Fortunately, education was a big gainer.
India has made significant progress in access to educational facilities in recent times, culminating in the rise of student enrollments across academics. However, due to a lack of sound strategy, many students are currently facing a breach in their academic learning. Technology can be utilized to help address this issue and enhance educational experiences. As technology advances new devices are being developed to assist students in their learning. It not only makes learning fun, but it also involves students in the process making the learning multidimensional. Teachers can use technology to create a more creative and dynamic classroom, which in turn helps in efficient learning. Traditional methods of utilizing blackboards, chalk and textbooks, while still relevant, are being complimented with the modern-day technology in the classrooms. This has helped make learning more visually appealing and engaging, thanks to the development of interactive smart tools. 
Integration of technology in the classroom
It’s time we ensured that technology plays an important role in education. We have to make it seamless and ingrate it with the education system. Technology embedded education is a necessity for modern education. And it need not cost you the earth.
It’s a common fallacy that technology integration costs money.  It doesn’t have to. Children don’t always need their tabs, iPads or computers to flourish digitally. For audio-visual learners, using multimedia tools can increase student attention span and knowledge absorption. Low-tech solutions like PowerPoint, quizzes, online written assignments, and online evaluation systems can help track a student’s progress. Students who are familiar with Microsoft Office and Google Drive can create spreadsheets, slide shows, and exchange papers to receive immediate performance feedback. 
PowerPoint presentations can be used to showcase one’s ideas in the classroom while also allowing for everybody’s participation. References to films that accompany the topics offered in the presentations can be integrated in addition to images and information. Many teachers can today upload course work on the internet (through learning systems such as Blackboard, Brightspace, and Moodle). Homework is also made conveniently available, which can enable learners to become more organized and engaged. Educators can also use online assessment strategies to record grades, monitor student attendance statistics, and handle transcripts.
Several schools are already using apps to help students, parents, teachers and principals stay connected and communicate regarding any issues that they might be facing. But besides this, schools can also use apps to keep them updated on daily, monthly and yearly activities and lessons being taught in the schools. Such apps can also be used to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the education system and make any rectifications necessary.
Engage students for better learning
Technology can not only help keep a track of a student’s progress, but it can help teachers use several learning methods. While the pandemic led to a surge in online learning, some of the impactful tools in this era can be used as school education is transitioning to an offline mode. This includes using videos, audiobooks, interactive online educational games, etc. to keep the students engaged.
As students move into a higher grade, teachers can also guide them in utilizing this technology. This in itself will become an essential life-skill for students. Many organizations, and careers, use at least one aspect of Microsoft Office and Google Drive on a daily basis for a variety of purposes. Besides this, with most children engaging with different technological aspects in their lives, another important life-skill to be taught to them would include financial literacy. As children grow up, it is of immense importance for them to understand how they can manage their own finances and avoid any kind of fraudulent activities online. With the help of technology and tie-ups with financial institutions to provide guidance, these lessons can be easily imparted to students.
Modern technology is in our face literally. It behooves us to take notice of it and to use it efficiently to make our lives better. It demands that we use it for improving the teaching and learning standards. Children will be more capable of handling the future if they are ready for it. The information age is omnipotent with data and information that can be altered and miscommunicated. We can make children more receptive and understanding when educated rightly on the way information has to be used. Technology is a wild horse that needs taming and children can do it well if they are taught well. 
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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