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EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND EDUCATION

By: Sadaf Munir and Isma Hira Khan (MS-ITE3)

Education is an important pillar for any technologically advanced/developing country. In a recent report by Alif Ailaan which indicates that 25.2 million children of age 5-16 year are out of school. Even if they were in school we couldn’t have managed to give them quality education (equipped with 21st century tools) with the existing resources. These statistics are alarming and soon we’ll not be having enough physical learning resources to meet the challenge of increasing enrolments.

Currently, in our schooling system “teaching” is a mere dictation of notes which teacher had copied down when they were students. Further, the assessments are tests of memory rather than knowledge/skill. Under these conditions, with our conventional classroom designs, we can’t expect to provide quality education and equip our next generation to meet future challenges.

Further, UNESCO-Pakistan statistics tells that there are only 189 teacher training institutes across the country. All these stats indicate that we need to restructure our education system, so that we can take advantage of on our limited resources in terms of faculty, class rooms, labs, libraries etc. Recent advances in the science of learning and the availability of cheap android devices interconnected through some telecommunication network. In fact, it become easier than we think because the new alternatives are incredibly cheap and immensely engaging. It is possible to double the amount of learning at less than half the cost.

Now there is a need to build a model innovative classroom where technology mediated model of blended learning will be implemented to achieve a sustainable and economical education system.

In order to design a ground-breaking advanced class room where teacher deliver high quality interactive courses and the progress of each learner is recorded and can be investigated for upgrading, one needs to build following three competences and abilities ;

One is to develop the Capability to design interactive multimedia learning applications that can run on cheap mobile and android devices. The design of the interactive applications should be based on right mixture of pedagogy and available technology which can cater the needs of the learner, for this purpose teacher with no ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) awareness, should be guided accordingly to cater the need of the modern classrooms.

Second is to develop an appropriate database system which works on backend, that records individual progress, analyzes data, and suggests improvements in the basic design. Though these systems are already designed somehow but the proper implementation and acceptance of such systems could help improve the educational standards and could meet the SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals) requirements. Last but not the least is to have infrastructure with GSM or broadband Internet facilities in order to collaborate between learning communities and to provide the better learning resources to every stakeholder in the process of education system.

Summerly, there is a crucial need to build a technology equipped classrooms where blended learning should be executed to achieve a sustainable and economical education system.

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