What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘school’? Uniforms? Homework? Books? Yes, textbooks – the one omnipresent thing synonymous with studies. As children, we were thrilled at the prospect of new textbooks every year – portals of wisdom and knowledge waiting to be opened and devoured. But as we move into a new millennium with everything going digital, do textbooks hold the same relevance as they did decades back? Education today has undergone a massive transformation, with digital technology (smart phones, tablets, and iPads) seen as a viable alternative to conventional learning systems. A 2013 US survey revealed that 99% of school-going children use smart phones and digital technology extensively. Another study carried out by American educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt revealed that students using technology for learning witnessed an increase of 20% in their math test scores as compared to students using conventional textbooks.These statistics prompt a very grave question – should we consciously look beyond the ubiquitous textbook to give our kids a sneak peek into knowledge that keeps getting updated every day? Advantages and benefits of digital methodologies in education Textbooks usually come in the same pattern, with the same questions repeated every year, and too many topics falling under one category. In technology enabled learning however, facts and information is updated regularly, making education more relevant to today’s day and age.
- Textbooks are less structured than their digital counterparts. Technology helps customize study patterns in line with the mental ability and grasping capacity of individual students.
- Encouraging the use of digital technology such as iPads and tablets in studies enables students to become independent and self-educated on complex subjects such as science and math.
- Smartphone apps help students incorporate gameplay in their studies, introducing an element of fun in learning. This in turn boosts their self confidence in problem solving and information gathering.
- Technology helps students face competitive exams with ease and confidence.
- Technology enabled education is more interactive, and keeps children engaged with the subject they are studying.
- Mobile technologies in education offer a more flexible learning approach and facilitate one-on-one personalized tutoring.
- Digital technology helps students in creative thinking and problem solving, owing to its intuitive approach to education.
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