Technology in Education is one of my interests. With the advent of low cost tablets and ubiquitous cloud computing, the way we teach and learn is bound to change. But it is not enough to simply provide technology. We need innovative ways to harness technology.
A small team from KCG Social Causes Club tried a few experiment at a couple of public schools in Chennai. We observed a few things.
- Kids are excited by tablets and smart phones. They seem to have an intuitive understanding of touch computing and require almost no training to discover their capabilities.
- While there are lots of free games and content available in English, there is not much for people in other languages. In Chennai at the middle school level students speak a mixture of Tamil and English.
- There are huge gaps (and opportunities) in using tablets, smart phones and cloud connectivity in innovative ways to engage students. Our college students who were guiding the school kids found it a big challenge. So some of them started building apps for education.
- We cannot simply leave the task of innovating to schools and teachers. Technology companies need to play an active role in translating teachers’ ideas into simple apps for kids.
- Knowledge is required in areas of user centric design, app building, gamification and we need to experiment with lots of different ideas to engage students and learn how they learn.
It is nice to see NMC and CoSN Release the NMC Horizon Report on the trends, challenges and emerging technologies for schools. Reports like these provide us a broader view and helps us understand the trends and challenges of using technology in education.
The report covers:
Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years
… identifies BYOD and cloud computing as technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. Games and gamification and learning analytics are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; The Internet of Things and wearable technology are seen emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.
More after I digest the report. I do need to work on an action plan for the next batch of the Social Causes team at KCG Tech.