USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE SCHOOL EFFICIENCY
(Dr. Prabhat Kaushik)
Technology plays a transformative role in all walks of life. The technology has transformed sectors like banking, insurance, medical, diagnosis, manufacturing, music, arts, cinema, travel, and retail etc. All these sectors have been changed fundamentally by the effective and innovative use of technology. These sectors have brought in “convenience”, transparency, and efficiency through early adoption of technology their day to day operations..
Currently the students, their parents and teachers are increasingly using technology to find information, carry out transactions and connect to other people and services as and when or where it is needed. In the same way, the lives of students have also taken a leap towards easiness with abundant information available at any time on the internet.
TECHNOLOGY @ SCHOOLS – What does this mean in India?
Technology should be a tool to help educators meet the educational needs of all children. As such, technologies cannot function as solutions in isolation but must be thought of as key ingredients in making it possible for schools to address core educational challenges.
But while schools may have abundant computers, schools may not use technology in the best ways to enhance learning or improving the school efficiency. With multitude of independent operating solutions, schools often spend large portion of their time in “authentication” of data. Dependence on “outdated application and lack of effective support / training” leads to lower quality of information output and also becomes the source of dispute / delay in support services.
In terms of utilization, technology has expanded from use primarily as an Instructional delivery medium to an Integral part of the School Environment. Increasingly Technology is serving at least four distinct purposes in the schools:
To teach, drill, and practice using increasingly sophisticated digital content.
To provide simulations and real world experiences to develop cognitive thinking and to extend learning.
To provide access to a wealth of information and enhanced communications through the SMS, Internet and other .
As a productivity tool employing application software such as Education Plus to manage information and operation in the complex environment.
This article covers the extensive support lent by Technology in the 3rd and the 4th area mentioned above, sharing examples on how technology has come to the rescue of improving School Efficiency in today’s complex and ever changing routine.
The article aims at sharing how we can transform the current role of a Principal from being a “Passive Information Generator” to an “Active Decision Maker” using modern tools of Technology.
FACTORS AFFECTING TECHNOLOGY USES IN SCHOOLS
Why isn’t technology used effectively in schools in sustainable manner?
Why can’t innovations that seem to hold great promise be adopted by schools in spite of great efforts? Or simply speaking, why are schools still shying away from using technology to improve their efficiencies ?
In my mind, there are 4 factors that inhibit successful implementation of technology in schools.
a. Organization factor
b. Teacher factor
c. Technology factor
d. Fear of failure, fear of transition, transparency, accountability (may be included), old mindset which restrains from experimentation.
At the same time, there is “no reward to successful implementation” as well!
UCSKM WAY OF TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION
To start with, we looked at Technology with a different perspective. Just by having a “computer science” course does not lend itself as advancement when every work in the school was being done on paper.
If in class we were teaching about Internet, our own staff was using paper and pen to communicate with each other. This in itself was a gap for us to bridge as it was making students wonder the “impact of the technology” in their lives.
We are often criticized by parents of being very impractical – teaching subjects / topics which may not have an impact on childs future. But here was a classic example where we had a subject which will 100% influence every student even before he passes out – COMPUTERS. We had to look at our learning slightly differently we had to “walk the talk”
Obviously, we had to break this first. Unless we make our own teachers adopt the modern technology, the learning for students will remain “theoretical”
Keeping this in mind, we focused on identifying a common solution which can aid …
Use technology for personal productivity of every eco-system of school viz. Staff, Students, Parents, etc..
Use technology to support learning in a subject area through effective communication.
Design or adapt technology-supported learning activities ( lesson planning automation )
Manage student-centered, technology-supported activities (communication beyond classrooms between teachers and their students)
Assess Staff skills within the context of technology-supported activities.
Analysis , optimization and utilization of HR skills of school staff with the help of technology.