We are facing unprecedented social, economic, and environmental challenges that are driven by accelerating globalisation and a faster rate of technological development. In this ever-changing landscape of education, to navigate through uncertainty, we need to develop skill sets such as curiosity, imagination, resilience, and regulation. In these endeavours, integration of technology becomes imperative to equip our students with the necessary skill sets. The effective use of technology in the classroom cannot just be restricted to the use of PowerPoint presentations and YouTube videos. The use of technology must be an aid that enhances teaching and learning experiences for students.

Upskilling of teachers

With the advent of AI tools for teaching, learning, and classroom preparation, a teacher can get innovative lesson ideas in just about a few minutes. Teachers need to use these tools effectively and innovatively for better student learning experiences. Today most schools equip their classrooms with smart boards and cutting-edge technology tools. However, it has been generally observed that most teachers lack the advanced skill sets to use it beyond the basic features. Constant upskilling and teacher training play a vital role.

To leverage the challenges thrown by technology, educators must possess a mindset to enhance skillsets to empower themselves. One way to successfully embed technology into the schools is to have continuous professional development of the teachers. Workshops, seminars, and online courses can provide teachers with the knowledge and skills required to effectively navigate through the new challenges thrown by technology. Upskilling sessions should not only focus on the use of specific tools but also on the pedagogical strategies that promote active learning and engagement in classrooms.

Furthermore, collaboration among educators is essential for sharing best practices and learning. Forming Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and online forums allow teachers to collaborate, exchange ideas and share best practices.

Fostering collaboration

Adopting a culture of collaboration, and sharing platforms helps in better technology integration. Support and encouragement from school leadership also play an important role in empowering educators in the integration of technology. Administrators should prioritise technology integration as a key component of the schools’ vision and provide the necessary resources to use it realistically. This includes investing in infrastructure such as reliable internet connectivity and installation of updated devices, as well as allocating time and funding for professional development initiatives.

In addition to professional development and leadership support, educators also need access to high-quality digital resources and tools. Educational technology platforms, interactive multimedia content, and productivity tools can enhance teaching and learning experiences, making lessons more engaging and effective. However, it is essential to ensure that these resources align with curriculum objectives and support the development of 21st-century skills.

(The author is the founder and chairperson, Aditya Birla Education Trust)

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