Guest Article: Technology in the Classroom
This article is written by Khalid Umar who does a lot of work in the energy sector in Third World countries. However, he has an interest in primary technology. It is interesting to note how similar his observations are to the way things are in Irish classrooms. Thanks Khalid for your insightful thoughts.
Talking of changing trends in the education sector one can easily find a pattern of new educational practices that generated with the revolution in ICT. The popularity of electronic products and the use of touchpad technology have outdated the paper and pen traditions. As a result we witness a paper free environment today. The use of ICT in classrooms has gone beyond computers. Computers mainly assisted the personal level learning but Interactive whiteboards have helped the collective cause of a classroom environment.
Elementary schools have benefited the most from interactive whiteboards. Whiteboards have certainly helped the “show-and-tell” requirement of small children. The graphics and the visual display options that an interactive whiteboard offers can help address the queries of such delicate age. It has been a great source of creativity and imagination among the students in grades 1-5. Teachers have the flexibility to introduce a variety of subjects using an interactive whiteboard including music, art, writing, math and science. Preschool students can play with colors and shapes while older elementary students can be aided by tailoring activities to complement textbook lessons.
As an elementary level student one would like to have fun along with a learning experience. A blend of fun and knowledge is what makes the interaction interesting. Interactive whiteboards have contributed a lot from this angle, by using element of convenience for the teachers without damaging the content and standard of education.
But a point of caution is not to overpower the tool, rather value the knowledge which is being shared. A school offering boards to the teachers must ensure that the faculty is trained prior to its use and practice in the classrooms. At elementary level, students are familiarized with the use of IT in education which can prove to be very fruitful in their coming years of education.
The author Khalid Umar has been involved in improving the teacher-student interaction. His work revolves around adoption of technology in third world countries and has been of great influence on local educational and energy sector’s (Commercial Solar Power and residential solar market) infrastructure.