Guest Post by: Joseph Porter
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when education was strictly classroom-based and students had to sit up straight in class, and pretend to listen to boring, long drawn, winding and tedious lectures recited by dreary and ill-kept lecturers. There was no technology that could be used to record these lectures in their mobile phones for future hearing, or the use of laptops by which the proceedings could be captured by the webcam and used later for studies. All students could do was to hastily scribble notes on some paper notepads and perhaps stuff it into their pockets to be rummaged later. Use of classroom technology during those times was something unheard of. But the passage of time and evolving technology has changed all that. Nowadays the drab blackboards and chalk/duster have given place to neat and portable Slide Presentations in Power Point, and even in the event of absence of a professor, his recorded lecture speeches could be played in classroom that could cover most of the period session. Mobiles, Personal Digital Assistants(PDA’s) and nano laptops could cover most of the lectures without much efforts and need to stay focused listened to every syllable uttered by the honorable professor, could now well be the job of the PDA, player or mobile recorder and not that of the student.
However, all these modern, innovative and state-of-the-art technology has indeed vitiated and destroyed the very essence of teaching and learning. Education today stands essentially commoditized and stripped it of even the last vestiges of any active intellectual or educational pursuit of lasting value, for both educators and the educated. Technology is indeed for the benefit of technology and not for the benefit of education.
One of the pleasures and lasting effects of gaining education has indeed been its rigors and rules, the robust and unyielding edifice of academic honesty, discipline and values for which students flocked to classrooms to lend their eyes and ears to masterpiece lectures by world-renowned teachers and professors. While there were teachers who put them to sleep in the classroom, there were also others whose powerful delivery, style and content values, kept them riveted to their seats till the last syllable was uttered. It left them begging for more, perhaps the next time round.
Indeed, technology has made learning a more mechanized, easier and convenient form of gaining knowledge but has indeed made it less effective and efficient. The student-teacher communication has lowered considerably, the rote system which was a bane of classroom teaching has been popularized and in short, the very values that education stood for, is gradually, but unmistakably getting eroded, slowly but surely.
It would not be surprising to find, with the advancement of high-tech applications in the domain of education, to have robots instead of professors in the not-too-distant future, who could not only be programmed to deliver lectures for hours together, but also do it without batting an eyelid or twitch a muscle.
The moot question is- Is this true education, warts and all, or is this just commoditization of the critical learning process with a great deal of bane and very little benefits, especially for the taught? Education does need to reinvent itself, dissociate itself from technology and offer original, pristine and wholesome renditions that benefit all that matters.
Joseph Porter is a freelance writer and authentic essay writers in USA with over 14 year’s experience. She enjoys writing about current trends and innovations in education, technology and traveling.