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This blog discusses the experiences of a consulting professional currently working at EmPower Research, a firm that provides decision support services to clients through offices in NYC, San Francisco and Bangalore, India.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Technology Impact on Education

While watching my nearly 2 year old son play with tech gadgets like the computer, washing machine, TV, etc., a thought struck my mind. How is it that all new generations have such a comfort level with technology at such a young age?

I also came across other blogs where US teachers have begun adopting technology in the classroom through computers and interactive whiteboards. They have begun teaching students as young as the 1st graders, the latest in technology like wikis, podcasts and blogs! Sounds incredible isnt it? It does, to me, atleast!

My boss was mentioning that her daughters are most comfortable with the computer AND the internet and often visit YouTube to listen to Nepali songs (at the behest of their nanny!) Imagine a 2 year old mumbling geek words like buffering! What is the world coming to? Wow.

A matter to think here is whether the onslaught of technology makes children brighter or whether it dulls their instinct to use their mind as technology does the thinking for them in some way. Let me illustrate:

In my days as an engineering student, we had to physically make the drawing using a mini-drafter and a Staedler pencil. However, these days, students learn to draw using CAD software and do not physically do the drawing themselves. Got the difference??

Similarly, the log tables have now been replaced by the scientific calculator. :-(

Another example would be the kind of games, our generation played. Crude but with a clear intent to learn something! Like marbles or chipri (aim is the most important need), kites (how to use the wind to your advantage) and several conventional games like cricket, hockey, football, etc.

Sometimes I wonder whether my son will also get a chance to play these games in his times? The advent of technology threatens this chance.....given choices like the XBox, etc.

Guess I can only wait and watch what happens!!

What do others think of this?

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