Is Digital Tech Disrupting Teachers Comfort Zone & Business Of Teaching?

The quality of education also remains a significant issue, but there’s a possibility the technology could be part of the solution.

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Classroom Classmate Insight Education Digital Concept
Classroom Classmate Insight Education Digital Concept (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

Technology has revolutionised many industries — and teachers, as agents of change, need to venture into a different mode of teaching.

In a column published today for the Mail & GuardianDr. Motladi Angeline Setlhako said new ways of delivering information should be of concern to teachers because they are no longer the major source of knowledge who control and direct the cognitive development of pupils.

“Technology should make life easier for teachers and pupils by making information readily available,” she wrote.

Dr. Setlhako is the manager of the teaching practice unit in the College of Education at Unisa and is a member of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association.

The educational system is changing — and, if it has not done so, it should, noted Dr. Setlhako.

“Society in general and the pupils we teach have changed, which means the role of teachers needs to change.”

African countries have worked hard to improve children’s access to basic education, but there’s still significant work to be done.

Today, 32,6 million children of primary-school age and 25,7 million adolescents are not going to school in sub-Saharan Africa.

The quality of education also remains a significant issue, but there’s a possibility the technology could be part of the solution.

The digital revolution currently underway in the region has led to a boom in trials using information and communication technology (ICT) in education – both in and out of the classroom.

“Research informs us that education is now about developing multiple intelligences and this demands a holistic education system committed to enabling pupils to achieve their full potential,” noted Dr. Sethlako.

“The learning environment in the 21st century needs to encompass a multiplicity of places, ideas and people; it must be technologically driven and often exist in a virtual rather than a physical space.”

She added that the teacher of the future needs a new set of skills and competencies to manage and implement new technologies.

“Using technology, especially in the classroom, creates a world of new discoveries and exploration. This means teachers need to assume new roles that allow them to accommodate the knowledge of the new world.”

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