Technology-Enabled Education System: Effects, Challenges, Strategies and Ecosystem

Technology-Enabled Education System: Effects, Challenges, Strategies and Ecosystem

Mar - 30 , Prof. Dr Santosh Rane

Every facet of life in today's world has been influenced by modern Information and communication technology (ICT) in the 21st century in the most desirable manner. Manufacturing is progressing with the highest automation. The hotels and tourism industry is diverting towards a supreme digital presence. Online healthcare and legal care are flourishing with the most accessible access ever and many more. Modern ICT tools and techniques have brought a dramatic revolution to the education sector, whether at school, graduation, or post-graduation level. We are experiencing an entirely new generation of education patterns. We moved from the Gurukul system to blackboard teaching and then to PowerPoint presentation and video animation assisted instruction at the beginning of the 21st century. It helped save time with practical education, easy repetition and better understanding and visualising a problematic concept. Further, the Covid – 19 pandemic gifted us one more step forward with online live teaching and streaming of video lectures to all students. This was supported by easy and fast access to internet connectivity, willingness to incorporate modern technology in education by our teachers, professors, and trainers to continue learning, and equal acceptance of students to the online teaching and learning process.
Impact of technology on education:
A move from physical to virtual classroom: Digital classrooms have no limit on the number of participants, repetition of concepts and knowledge sharing.
Advanced teaching-learning process: Active, Creative, Integrative and Collaborative learning should be encouraged. (Kumar Kc et al., 2018)
Overcoming geographical barrier: Digital education has broken the boundaries for educators and students. A student can gain knowledge and understanding from an educator sitting or located in any part of the globe (Kumar Kc et al., 2018).
Round the clock availability of vast knowledge: A student can learn the concepts at any time, throughout the day or 24 hours.
Simplified interaction through learning management systems: Submission of work allocated to students is now easier to submit for students and easy to assess for educators with the help of learning management software (Meenakshi Singh, 2020).
Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence gives learners a new experience.
Augmented Reality (AR) is used for learning Engineering Graphics with more effectiveness. Intricate and complex 2D drawings can be converted into 3D graphics using AR.
Helmets, goggles,/ glass wear can give a better understanding of flows through complex machines.
Affordable and easy access to learning: Low-rate internet connectivity and smartphone availability have ensured cheap and easy access to education, overcoming time and geographical location barriers, as said earlier.
The rapid development of learning resources: Hardware like laptops, tablets and smartphones, software and learning platforms have drastically changed the learning pattern for all education grades.

Development of blended education: Blended mode of instruction can help progressive learning in this lockdown period due to the corona pandemic. It will allow having a practical understanding with small batches and the rest theoretical learning through a virtual classroom.
Physical and Psychological health: Some ill effects of technological education also have been found, like over screen time causing physical health hazards and maintaining workload balance for educators causes psychological issues.
Customised learning: One of the critical impacts of technology integrated education is personalised learning, as one to one interaction with specified needs is possible with the facilities like google meet, Zoom, Microsoft teams, etc. (Meenakshi Singh, 2020).
Systematic record keeping: - In traditional record-keeping in the education system, there were many cases of lost files, the use of information technology in the education system has facilitated safe and Systematic record-keeping, which can be accessed from any corner of the world at any time.
Challenges in integrating modern technology and education:

Acceptance of digital culture: Rural educators need facilities for effective delivery. Simultaneously, students also need to accept the changed culture to continue their lifelong learning. (Roy et al., 2020)
Digital infrastructure availability: Teachers and Students of rural and semi-urban areas in India are still lagging for uninterrupted Wi-Fi or Internet connectivity (Joshi et al., 2020).
Lack of Practical exposure: Science and Engineering field needs practical understanding and execution, which is limited with technology-supported online education.
Need for training for students as well as educators: Students, as well as educators, needs appropriate training for effective use of available hardware and software resources (Joshi et al., 2020).
The distraction of students due to tech exposure: Due to personal gadgets for learning and technological advancement, students can easily manipulate their teachers during lecture time, access the internet, surf, chat with friends, game-playing and many more. Thus, technology provides desirable learning and some contrary effects the same. (Meenakshi Singh, 2020)
Maintaining the balance between health and workload level: Every educator is experiencing the challenge of moving from handwritten notes to softcopy notes and preparing content delivery in online mode. Here, in this initial phase of technology-assisted teaching, educators need to take care of their health by sitting in one place and working for long hours and continuous exposure to screens, causing strain on the eyes, etc.
Fair evaluation and assessment: Technology provides multiple means to students for fraudulent practice during exams which need to be addressed at the priority level for appropriate evaluation and assessment. Maintaining the sanctity of the examination system is a big challenge.
Developing self-motivated learning and online research culture guidance: Often, lack of face-to-face interaction terminates personal guidance and motivation by setting an example.  
Job-oriented skill development to compete in a dynamic world: Ever-changing market scenarios need skill development to acquire jobs, and initiating startups seems a challenge as online education or virtual classroom is performed on screen.
Access to inappropriate content: This is one of the biggest challenges of using technologies in education. The use of technology has given access to pornographic, violent, and other inappropriate materials to students, which has created a horrible impact on society.
Cyberbullying Trap: Giving access to anonymous accounts can only lead to trouble for students. Cyberbullying has become a big problem among youth today.

Strategies to overcome barriers in the path of technology-enhanced education:

Improving educators' pedagogy through rigorous and continuous training to become classroom teachers to tech-savvy educators and facilitators.
Raising the morale of students by conducting seminars and workshops to reduce distraction and improve sincerity and honesty.
Blended/Hybrid learning to improve job oriented skill developments and learning concepts practically rather than only theoretically.

Developing better and more stringent examination modules and systems similar to the learning management systems.
Conducting sessions for educators to make them aware of workload balance and brilliant work instead of hard work.
Providing adequate infrastructure to rural areas in terms of internet connectivity, computer systems and necessary software support to schools, colleges and poor students.

Ecosystem development to technology in the education system:

IT companies shall develop upgraded examination modules and render their service to schools and universities located in rural and remote areas as a part of their CSR.
AICTE and UGC shall form the policies like adopting or collaborating one remote institute with one developed and upgraded institute in the urban area to give necessary technical support.

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