The 21st century has seen rapid technology developments and upgradation majorly centred around Information Technology which has impacted every other industry including the Education Industry. The technology developments aimed at the reduction of human intervention and mechanising the entire process has led to improved efficiency of systems.
Interestingly enough, the Education industry which is the backbone of all these developments and advancements has had one of the least impacts of technology modernization. A few major innovations through technology intervention in the Education sector include the introduction of Smart Classrooms with smart boards, the facility of live and recorded lectures etc through Tablet/Mobile/Computer.
On evaluating the real impact, technology has only upgraded and modernised the means to education and not “Education” itself. It has also caused more harm than benefit to students, especially the young kids. Early exposure to gadgets, as early as kindergarten, is adversely affecting the overall well-being of kids. The introduction of gadgets has seen gross changes in the behaviour of kids. Today kids have much less interest in outdoor activities and games, social interactions, poor reading and writing skills, reduced and fragmented concentration because of over-dependence on gadgets. Such behavioural modifications will have a lasting impact on the personality development of these kids which is our future, thus a matter of grave concern.
According to a study conducted by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), 2017 found that 83.2 percent of Internet users are children between the ages of 5 to 17 years old. 93 percent of Internet users are children using smartphones to access WhatsApp, Telegram, and any other applications that have a communication element. Furthermore, studies found that 75 percent of children do not get enough sleep in their daily activities, which would affect their development due to the impact of the use of gadgets.
Kids at a young age are more vulnerable to the impact of technology in both ways – positive and negative, and thus it becomes very critical and crucial to regulate the usage of Gadgets by kids. This regulation implies both time duration and content being exposed to kids. However harmful, the hard fact is that, now humans including students, cannot imagine life without gadgets. This is where our education system and teachers have a vital role to play by designing and delivering curriculum and other learning to young kids with technology dependence only when it adds more value than harm.
While schools based on our education system are increasingly promoting the dependence on gadgets for education, the need of the hour is a new wave of schools and education systems which are gradually and swiftly nurturing a culture where education becomes the primary focus, not the fancy gadgets for kids.
In The Samhita Academy (TSA) situated in the IT city Bangalore, students are exposed to a healthy mix of technology and opportunities to learn in the physical space.
TSA’s approach prioritises academic proficiency, responsibility, and confidence.
This is done by placing emphasis on fostering creativity, learning from experience, independent thinking, emotional skills and healthy social interactions, while maintaining an appropriate reliance on technology. At TSA, the students, especially the young students are motivated to use technology and gadgets in order to be at par with global developments and supplement classroom learning where appropriate. They regularly involve and engage students in outdoor sports, art, social interactions, social causes and other physical activities. All this plays a pivotal role in shaping students’ futures to go beyond the mere reliance on gadgets by providing them with the necessary skills and mindsets for success in the real world.
By fostering a balanced approach, we can ensure that our students develop healthy habits, maintain their well-being and grow in a technology-rich world.
It’s highly critical and important to envision a future where education focuses on empowering students, by inspiring sensible usage of gadgets and technology that makes learning more meaningful, and thus have a positive impact. Institutions like TSA are leading the way in ensuring this balance between education and gadgets.
Although technology has rapidly evolved and grown in the last century, this is still just the tip of the iceberg. With the invention and mass introduction of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, the extent of technology dependence will grow exponentially only to realise one day that technology has overpowered humans by enslaving them. Education systems are required to be upgraded to make humans ready to make technology and gadgets work in our favour rather than our master. This is possible only when today’s children are motivated to pick up habits and pursue a lifestyle that is technology independent. This will lead to the mental and physical development of kids who are prepared to deal with technology-overpower in times to come.