By Rajnish Kumar and Rahul Pachori
The transformative technologies of the future are storming the education sector. Edtech is making people choose sides: Will technology replace teachers? Should policymakers promote edtech so much that children won’t need schools?
The model of schooling has evolved over the years, but one thing that has remained constant is that schooling and education delivery (offline or online) are dependent on teachers.
Teaching is not a job bound by the norms of duty list or restricted to geography or time scale. But a tough part of teaching has been choosing what to teach and how to teach. With the advent of the digital teacher, online classes and availability of content anytime, the teacher is often found entangled in a quagmire.
The future holds extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers, increasing access for divyang students, educational planning and management, respect for diversity, local context in curriculum, pedagogy, and policy. Technology-assisted learning of languages will also be extensive, which will popularise language learning. Learning will be enhanced through innovative and experiential methods, including gamification and apps, multiple modes such as films, theatre, storytelling, poetry and music, and linkages with real-life experiences. The focus of teachers, therefore, needs to shift from active learning to interactive learning. Teachers and students have to co-learn.
Seymour Papert, educator and researcher, has famously said that “you can’t teach people everything they need to know. The best you can do is position them where they can find what they need to know when they need to know it.”
Distributed learning technologies will give learners access and flexibility that traditional schooling does not.
Finally, technology will not replace teachers, but teachers who adopt technology will replace those who do not.
Authors are with the Department of School Education and Literacy, Government of India.