By Asha Nair Ganeser
Swipe left, swipe right, checking followers’ updates and hunting for "likes"; spending time on social media is routine for us these days, slowly developing technological culture deep into society. As Bill Gates once said, “the advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life”. Technology has aided us since the beginning of time, from the first light bulb by Thomas Alva Edison, to the first telecommunication device by Alexander Graham Bell. These innovative inventions have become the cornerstones that built our society to the level it is today which is often taken for granted.
As quoted by Matt Mullenweg, “technology is best when it brings people together”; this could relate to the implementation of technology in a classroom. Technology has widely expanded in the education sector where 21st-century teaching and learning methods are being used to teach the students from school level up to tertiary education. Technological devices have eased the burden of students carrying weight-bearing books and papers to classes, and improved the delivery of lectures from the once graced blackboard to a modern slideshow. With the creation of online learning platforms such as MOOCs, Khan Academy and podcasts, students can access the resources easily and at any time, with just one click.
Educators are presented with the opportunity to enhance classroom teaching through digital simulations and models to facilitate their students’ learning experience in a more fun and less stressful manner. The Open Learning platform is considered as one of the technological marvels for educators to post updates and assignments about from their classes. It opens two-way communication for both students and educators in exchanging questions, therefore it can also be documented for further references in future teachings. As technology tightens its grip day by day in the education field, the dependency on paper can be greatly reduced. With cloud storage as the ideal depot for information, it allows the environment to grow and the education system to thrive.
Technology offers students an “out of classroom” teaching and learning experience that is extremely beneficial as they progress on to working life. Education is not contained in just the four walls of the classroom; the vast application of technology improves students' work-life capacity as the knowledge and education they learn provides them with a foundation to build their empire upon.
At the International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW), technology and online tools have long been used in the teaching-learning process. Malaysia’s Movement Control Order meant the University had to make the switch to fully online education.
Seen by many as a challenge, IUMW embraced this as an opportunity; lecturers are using this time to build on their online platforms and provide even more engaging content for students; using tools such as Google Hangouts, Google Classroom, and TED-Ed Daily. This is a chance to increase student participation and interactivity with lecturers, and provide brand new learning experiences to students; something that could become invaluable to them in their future careers.