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Technology and Education – the dynamic duo

By: Arhum Khan and Shoaib Raza (MS-ITE 3)

In the 21st century, we all think we know what technology is. We believe we deal with it on a daily basis. In fact, the word ‘technology’ has become such a broad and dynamic term that sometimes we cannot even come to the right way to define it. It can’t be contained. So – if we were to think about it, what would we say – Technology is fancy gadgetry? Technology is the Internet and the World Wide Web? Technology is a virtual world with seemingly endless possibilities? Ultimately, technology is, and has always been, any and everything that has brought ease and comfort to human life.

In this modern age, we have limited the definition of technology to its ‘digital’ form – because that is the form we are most aware of. But technology has always been around us. The wheel was one of the earliest technologies. It helped develop numerous other mechanisms that assisted in human living. Early cave paintings depicted a form of communication and awareness. How they were drawn were also through technologies of that time. For the last 50 years we have been witnessing new ways of doing things in various areas be it agriculture, industry or education. The changes have not only been in the form of gadgets but also in form of services. All these discoveries and innovations one after another led to deeper learning and understanding, and surely led us to the development and advent of the computer age. Computers, mobiles, tablets have paved an all-new direction to learning.

The greatest innovation of such devices is the concept of ‘customization’. These technologies are not merely just physical devices. They are ‘tools of learning’ and it is up to us to extract their true potential. This can done through multiple ways: creating interactive learning environments, developing applications for learning, designing games, creating simulations, etc. The word education has already transformed greatly with pedagogies like MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and SOOCs (Selectively Open Online Courses) that have opened new horizons to online collaboration and learning. Technology has helped people relate to subjects through new methods of interactivity and engagement. Research shows that learning happens the most when it is active and now applications are being developed and launched to teach students a variety of subjects like biology, chemistry, history and many others, in which students can fully visualize what they are learning and be actively involved with the content being taught.

Educational technologies support formal and informal learning and also self-regulation and self-discovery. They have opened the front to new possibilities and innovations that were inconceivable only a few decades prior. The rate at which they are developing is soaring a great deal. Now is the time to make conscious and well calculated efforts to bring such technologies to Pakistan so that each and every citizen in any nook and corner can enjoy the fruits of knowledge and become a part of a revolutionary change.

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