Students’ take on the use of technology in the classroom

With government schemes to provide Aakash tablets to schoolchildren to help them learn, education has finally turned a curve and embraced technology. But can technology ever substitute the personal attention assured by a teacher or is it just an accessory to help teachers teach better? Is using technology harmful to students due to reduced social interaction? These are the questions that arise when the topic comes up for discussion. The Hindu EducationPlus asks students what they think are the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in education.

Pooja Pradeep, B.Com, I year, Jain University

I think using technology in education is a really good idea. It would make classes much more interesting. With PowerPoint presentations and videos, we tend to not only hear and learn but visualise our lesson, which makes it easier for us to remember whatever we learn. Usually when a professor comes, delivers a lecture and goes, no one pays attention, and during exams you end up mugging up the lesson and forgetting it as soon as the exams end. But in case of PowerPoint presentations it will have a lasting impression on our minds.

I think technology has really increased the power of education. Different people learn in different ways and technology helps those of us who learn by seeing and are not stimulated by listening to lectures.

Arpitha Kadubi, CA, Final Year, PES College

I think using technology in education can really change the way we learn for the good. For me, personally, I do not really require a teacher to sit me down and teach me every day. I hardly attend college but I can still manage to understand things by just reading them in books or CDs or just looking them up online. So, using technology gives me more independence. There is no one telling you how and when to learn. And if you ever need help, you can just go the professor yourself and ask for help. The most important thing is that you understand the syllabus, and if technology can help you do that I do not see any point in opposing it.

Sindhu Ramesh, B.E, III year, Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering

There are many disadvantages to using technology. In our college, as soon as the PowerPoint is switched on the students engage themselves in other activities like texting or they just start sleeping if the lecturer is not explaining along with the presentation and just keeps changing slides. You need basic human interaction to keep you interested. And a lot of people don’t have access to computers and could be put at a disadvantage.

Already, students who have computers and Internet at home are at an advantage as they can prepare better for college. So, there are problems with using technology in education as well. I think the use of technology has its ups and downs in any field. It would only make sense to use technology on a very big scale if we made sure that it is implemented in the right way.

Zuha Junaidi, BBM, II year, PESIT

Ten years ago, only a few people had computers. Today, computers are no longer a luxury item that only a few of us have. They are everywhere, there is easy access. Using technology in education reduces the work load and helps you to understand the subject better; so technology has changed the learning experience for the better. But the classroom method has its advantages too.

There are students who would benefit from personal interaction. And computers can only teach you so much. Let us take mathematics for example.

There are many ways to solve a problem and only a teacher can teach you that; a computer can only teach you what it has been fed.

And computers cannot teach you about poetry or arts. So, they can never replace teachers completely. But as far as they make your work easier, technology in education is a good thing.

Darshan Goutham, B.E, III year, Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering

I feel that using technology can be wonderful provided it is done in a meaningful manner. You can use PowerPoint and videos in a class with a teacher, that would reach out to most students. You can use movies to teach students of social sciences, you can show engineering students computer-generated models. But the downside is that once you start relying on computers so much, the students may feel that there is no need to pay attention in class since they will get notes emailed later anyway. That is why we cannot just computerise the whole learning experience. Besides, a big part of college or school life is interacting with your professors and classmates and learning about more than what is in the curriculum. Some teachers can make you a better person, help you in your time of need. So, I think that as long as technology is an aid for the teacher it is fine. But we cannot do away with the classroom system as it has proven effective so far.