Tech Skills are seriously lacking in Universities
(: September 18, 2019)
It goes without saying that technology has made our lives so much easier. It has created a metamorphosis in the way we think and function in every sphere. The advent of smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets has dramatically revolutionized every aspect of society. Ordering food, booking cabs, buying flight tickets, being connected on social media and so much more from the comfort of your own space at the click of a button on your smartphone are all possible only because of the marvels of technology.
Having said that, it would be appropriate to point out that there is quite a huge scope for improvement in the field of education as far as incorporating technology is concerned. A significant percentage of teachers in the educational system in India is not technologically savvy, and hence, not much has changed in the process of imparting education. However, there have been initiatives to integrate technology in the field of education in the form of E-learning and smart classroom in schools, colleges, and universities, there is a remarkable gap between the urban and the rural educational establishments.
While a small percentage of universities have consciously transformed into going the digital way, providing complete digitalization of all functions from filling up an admission form to simplifying teaching and learning, there are thousands of colleges and universities who are yet to see what a computer looks like, on the other. Therefore, there is a long way to go until complete digitalization happens, and we do away with age-old concepts of textbooks and blackboards. Newer methods of imparting education, which combine the best of theory, digital tools, and of course real-life practice, are synonymous with the evolution of modern day education.
According to the research made by Pro-Papers expert editors, a large number of teachers still believe in the traditional methods of teaching, which are primitive forms of securing knowledge through textbooks and reference books acquired from the library. Not many are accustomed to using hand-held tablets, smartphones, or PCs. As a result, they are not aware of the wide gamut of research material available through the miraculous medium known as the internet, and therefore, have not been able to adapt to the transition yet. At the same time, there are also a number of students, who are still very technologically challenged and are not well versed with something as basic as sending out an email or using digital platforms such as net banking and are often seen taking help from their peers. There could be various factors responsible for this – limited access and training to digital tools, presentiment in adopting new and innovative methods of teaching and learning, lack of interest and infrastructure, to name a few.
The analysis of the quality of education in colleges and universities, mostly in rural areas, is a matter of grave concern. With outdated practices of teaching, insufficient teaching materials, a shortage of technically skilled and qualified teachers and lack of exposure to technology, digital insertion in the higher education model at the grass root level is indeed proving to be the need of the hour.
Unlike in countries such as Japan where technology is incorporated in almost every sphere of the society, countries of so called 3rd world has a long way to go to get even somewhat close. Many professional segments do not believe in digitalization of their processes and continue to perform tasks that involve traditional methods of implementation. The education segment is a classic example of one such. Teachers and professors in many colleges and universities still do not implement the use of modern methods of teaching, especially in non-metro cities. Most are, in fact, not open to the idea of changing with the times and adapting to new age techniques and processes. As a result, though the number of Internet users may have increased over the years, the transition to complete digitalization will indeed take time.
With the use of digital devices, there is definitely more scope to gauge the potential, strengths, weaknesses, and monitor the learning curve of the students. Additionally, device based teaching and learning will enhance interacting with study material directly. Besides, catching up on lectures on videos will allow the student to make up for what he may have missed. Virtual reality, in general, will make it possible for students to venture into e-learning platforms and make distance learning an easy task.
With all things considered, advancement and growth have been seen in areas, which need it the most, such as education. However, new and innovative methods, which involve digitization need to be incorporated to enable more people to adapt to changes and thereby, become tech-friendly. Therefore, the world will get more professionals and highly motivated people who are willing to create innovations.