Why ICT based learning is a must for young minds in 2017?

The beauty of learning is that it holds much scope for flexibility, adaptability, and innovation. Technology intervention has caused a paradigm shift in all aspects of our lives including education and the drive for creating new paths to quality education has grown stronger. Undeniably, the future of learning is technology.
Today, the emergence of new education technologies is triggering fundamental changes in how students approach learning and education. This evident transition from traditional learning to tech-based education was inevitable, as conventional methods were failing to keep up with the changing scenario.
Psychologists explain how a strong foundation increases the probability of positive outcomes as it is the early experiences that shape how the brain gets built. Early experiences and learning create a deep impact on the architecture of the maturing brain. Hence, it is imperative to arm children with the right skill and mindset to stay ahead in the increasingly competitive rat race. Moreover, in this digital day and age, it is imperative to provide and support innovative pedagogy.
Studies reveal that the creative use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education has the capacity to increase the quality of people’s lives by enhancing teaching and learning.  This is why an increasing number of schools are integrating ICT in their primary school education system.
Information and Communication Technologies have recently garnered massive interest and is recommended by many scholars around the world. Through this technique, student gain an authentic learning experience, collaboratively constructing their own knowledge and applying their understanding in a real-world context.
ICT creates a better environment throughout the school, leveraging technology to benefit the overall primary school atmosphere. The use of ICT in learning has a major motivational influence on a student’s learning capabilities as well. It is proven that students express positive feelings towards work and education when they use computers to complete tasks, encouraging and motivating them to learn. Such students who used educational technology in school have increased self-esteem and self-confidence.
Widely followed in Japan and many Western countries, ICT is yet to pick up pace in India. From learning through webinars/video sessions over air, to learning through 3D printed models and AI-based apps, there are various companies today, which are developing educational content, with the ultimate goal to explain to the students using computer aided methods. In Japan, when students live in countryside where preparatory schools (tuition centre where students study to pass university entrance exam) are not available, they take satellite learning class. For each subject, students can choose their teacher and can take classes in real time. Whenever students have any doubts or questions regarding classes, they can ask questions to teachers online. This system benefits students who live in countryside where options for preparatory schools are quite limited since most of these preparatory schools are available in urban area only. This also helps to solve educational inequity between urban area and countryside.
Additionally, depending upon their stage of development, children can benefit from this methodology in the long haul. For instance, children may use presentation software in primary classes, to create language experience charts. Later, in senior classes, the same software can be used to create complex presentations using audio, video, text and images to create and display their projects.
Alongside, here are a few more benefits that make ICT learning a must for young minds:
• ICT tools enable better tracking of students, resulting in enhanced behavioural management, thus creating a more positive schooling atmosphere for both students and teachers
• It emphasises on understanding fundamental core concepts, through narrative stories and high quality animation. Through ICT, images can easily be used which greatly improves the retentive memory of students
• Teachers can easily explain complex instructions and ensure students’ comprehension
• This methodology creates interactive classes which makes the lessons more enjoyable, which could improve student concentration and attendance.
• According to the strengths and weaknesses of a student, classes can be tailored to enhance the learning curve
• It encourages active and independent learning, self-responsibility and maturity for learning
• Learning is flexible with anytime, anywhere access
• Development of writing skills through the use of word programs, improves the fluency, originality and elaboration as well
• ICT tools enhances their ability to solve complex geometric questions without relying on formulas, and sharpens their spatial reasoning capacity
• Students and teachers can maintain a record of a child’s journey in the form of an electronic portfolio, and can add immense value to the learning process.
In an ideal classroom environment, children gain a myriad of enriching learning experiences, crucial to their future success. ICT plays a dynamic role in not only in a student’s academic growth but recognises the child’s cognitive, social and emotional development significantly. Moreover, it extends the child’s immediate learning environment, offering incredible opportunities to push learning beyond the confines of the classroom.
Authored by: Ms. Mitsuyo Tamai, Founder & Representative Director, KIWAMI