Monday, March 13, 2017

Teacher and technology

Technology is a Tamed Tool in the Hands of Tenacious Teachers
Today I want to talk about the onslaught of technologyand the teaching-learning process. Communication has become smooth as there is one or the other app, website or software to facilitate it. The communication of parents with the teachers, the managing of content and subject matter has become easy. With time technology hasreached new heights and so has its influence in our lives. It has become a common belief and a reality to a large extent that technology is an inevitable part of the education system. Even government schools have adopted smart boards and other technological tools which would help children to learn better. 
I am not very fond of technology as such when it comes to the idea of imparting knowledge but if it makes the teaching-learning process effective then it’s definitely advisable to use. When I probe beneath this overwhelming influence of technology, these reasonsoften cross my mind:
• The spread of technology has been wide; therefore, education cannot remain untouched by it.
• The technological influence has been fascinating to both parents and students due to its immensely convenient usage.
• It has undoubtedly made the task of teachers smooth and easy. Also, in some cases it has helped them by being used as a substitute.
• Basically, the subject material has become compact and concise as it can be easily carried in a tab instead of students being burdened with heavy bags.
Pondering upon the above mentioned points we can conclude that technology has actually become a merit or facility which promotes a school as a whole.
Undoubtedly, technology has given an impetus to the working of the education system. It has become easy to interact with parents and track the progress of the students. Teachers are able to access the material which was otherwise not easily available. But whenever we discuss the effects of overwhelming technology it’s always concluded that teachers can never be replaced by technology. 
This brings me to the question that often pricks my mind. If technology cannot replace teachers then why is it overpowering them? Is it because it’s proving to be superior to teachers? 
We all are aware of the common concept that if two lines are drawn parallel to each other, then one canbecome longer to the other only by one’s extension or by the reduction of the other. In the analogy where these lines represent teacher vs technology, it seems that the potential of teachers is becoming insufficient at the face of technology. It is a fact well known that educational institutes are finding it difficult to get quality teachers who are committed to their profession and enjoy the same. I have mentioned in my earlier articles also, that it is a vicious circle and it is difficult to point out where the deterioration started. Was it is because of the lack of quality teachers in schools and colleges which produced ordinary graduates and post graduates and there after the lack of good teacher’s training institutes played its part in depriving the prospective teachers of the basic skills of teaching? If we have quality teachers in schools then the basic educational foundation of a child becomes solid. Then these students can do well in colleges and thereon with good teacher’s training colleges, good quality teachers can be produced for schools. 
Another concern is that teachers seem to have lost the kind of respect they had in the society and again it becomes difficult as to whom we should blame for it, teachers or the society. After discussing this issue I have realized that it is the inadequate availability ofquality teachers which has given scope to technology to appear as a “bigger line”. But when you think about it, you can easily conclude that the onus lies on the teachers to regain the respect & reputation and make themselves better and as inevitable as technology, rather superior to it. 
Whoever wants to become a teacher, by choice or by compulsion, must realize that a teacher is regarded as a role model by for the young children irrespective of whether they are in this profession by choice or compulsion. So, through this article I would request the respected teachers to ensure that they do the required to make them as real “Gurus”. The future of any country or society lies in the hands of the teachers, especially the school teachers who have taken up this noble profession. My advice to them is to stop comparing themselves to an MNC employee who gets huge packages because they contribute in terms of creating hardware or a software but a teacher contributes in creating good citizens. This is the best thing which can be done in the world. It’s meaningless to compare it to any kind of material gain. Their contribution is like the guiding light which is ushering the society in becoming a better place for everyone. 
I would like to highlight a few things for the teachers and I am quite sure that everyone must be aware of them:
➢ First and foremost, you as a teacher must respect yourself and never let anyone feel “bechara” teacher about you. Once you respect yourself there is always a possibility that others will do too.
➢ Never demand respect but make sure you command it.
➢ To command respect it’s very important to value and respect you students and have faith in their as well as your own abilities
➢ For believing in the ability of your students it’s important to know them as well as their family background. Because if the child is not able to perform as desired then there might be some problem somewhere which the teacher must try to find out. And this is the reason, every child must be treated individually and help and support must be extended according to the need of the child. 
All teachers should know that broadly, there can be four kinds of children and they all need a different kind of approach:
1. Students with high competence and high commitment- they should be facilitated and instructed constantly in a positive direction so as to get the best of their potential.
2. Students possessing high competence and less commitment- their competence should be encouraged and appreciated so as to enhance their sense of commitment. 
3. Students displaying high commitment but less competence- their commitment should be channelized in the right direction by finding out the areas of their interests and helping them focus.
4. Students with low competence as well as lowcommitment- they should be provided with constant motivation, appreciation and attention so as to develop in them keenness, quest and curiosity.
Once the teachers know their students and are well versed in their subject matter, it becomes important to polish their own merits with these attributes which should become a part of their persona as a teacher:
✓ Teachers must be good with their communication skills otherwise the knowledge they possess wouldn’t be imparted effectively.
✓ They should focus on their sound modulation and stimulus variation as and when required while delivering a lecture.
✓ The eye contact with the students must be made in a way that every child feels that he/she is the focus of the teacher.
✓ Proper counseling of the students should be done.
✓ A fair and firm approach should be followed while dealing with the students. A child should not be scolded in front of his friends but should be appreciated for his efforts as and when possible.
✓ The homework or tasks given should be checked in time with proper feedback and positive reinforcements. When notebooks are not checked in time and no feedback is given then the children lose interest in these tasks.
✓ Teachers should be lifelong learners.
✓ I strongly believe that for a teacher there cannot be a better teacher or a critic than a child. Therefore teaching and learning should be a continuous two-way process.
Finally, I would conclude this article with a strong belief and a fact that, technology is mechanical and therefore,would produce machines. On the other hand, teachers are the humane torch bearers of knowledge; hence they create human beings with insight and a world of possibilities. These facilitators when provided with the wand of technology can work wonders par excellence. “Learners in the internet age don’t need more information. They need to know how to efficiently use the massive amount of information available at their fingertips – to determine what’s credible, what’s relevant, and when it’s useful to reference.” So, the need of the hour is to tame the technology and stay updated so that technology remains just a tool and teachers perpetuate being the soul of the education system.

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