THE way we approached learning and retained information years ago is totally different from how our students learn today, but it is our responsibility to prepare them, said Google Enterprise head of education (Apac) Suan Yeo.
“In many of the developing and emerging markets that we see, technology is helping the current generation to leapfrog,” he added.
The web has already become a new learning platform where students are actively using it for education, entertainment, sharing and forging new friendships.
Tech-savvy: There will come a day when everyone is armed with multimedia communication devices, be it for work or for play.
There will come a day when everyone is armed with a multimedia communication device, be it for work or for play. And it is just a matter of time before this becomes a reality.
“Everyone is going to come with their own device or BYOD (bring your own device) and access information anywhere and anytime,” he added.
When the learning space in school does not live up to their expectations compared to the ICT facilities they get at home or elsewhere, students are less likely to fully enjoy learning.
“Learning should be fun. If you just put students in a classroom and ask them to read textbooks, it’s not going to work anymore,” shared Yeo.
So how do you teach technology?
A click away: Yeo says that one can access information anywhere and at anytime with their own device.
For one, we don’t really have to teach young people how to use the technology applications step-by-step, he added saying that adults should never underestimate a child’s ability in acquiring IT skills.
“By the time they are two (years old), they would have already figured out how to use ‘touch screen’, the iPad, and iPhone.
“Since technology is already an integral part of their lives, they expect it to work,” he added.
While the Internet offers ample opportunities for learning, it is important to help students understand the potential risks associated with inappropriate usage.
Yeo said there had been many articles about employers who looked up their potential employees on Facebook before hiring them.
“Whatever you put online now will stay with you, and it doesn’t go away.
“Teach them how to use it, but you should not ‘ban’ them from using it. The more you stop them, the harder they will try to get access to it.
“They may then end up using it the wrong way,” added Yeo.
“When primary schoolchildren are starting to come online and establish their digital identities by setting accounts and profiles on social media networks, we should teach them the right and safe way to use the Internet,” he said.
“Internet is where we find information, but it is also increasingly becoming a platform where we have to manage relationships.
“The technology you put in place has to enable collaboration inside and outside the classroom. What happens if you want to collaborate with a user from another school, state or country?
“We are starting to see education being open. You are not learning within the four walls anymore.
“It takes place across geographical boundaries like schools, districts, states and countries,” Yeo added.
The STAR Online Home News Education Sunday January 20, 2013