The dynamics of technology in revolutionizing education and research

Arun H. S Kumar
Editor in Chief – JNSBM University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
DOI: 10.4103/jnsbm.JNSBM_129_17


Education and research are fundamental to the process of progress by which we create an efficient and sustainable environment to live. Interestingly, education and research have unique dynamics wherein by influencing each other they contribute to progression. This dynamic influence, which has occurred collateral to the evolution of life, is been significantly enhanced following advancement in technology, broadly referred to as Internet of things. The influence of the technology has continued to change the way we educate and research. Starting from the early learners who were self-thought to an era where learning materials can be widely and freely accessed; we have come a full 360° and are probably entering into a phase of self-learning although with better resources available to self-learn and self-educate [Figure 1]. The availability of technology driven open access resources, put into question if the traditional approaches to learning should change to better meet the requirement of the real world. This is specifically true for most curriculums wherein only a significantly smaller fraction of learning outcomes are ever applied in a day-to-day work environment and more often need further on job training to efficiently meet the multidisciplinary work requirement or to catch-up with rapid advancements in technology. While without any doubt advancements in technology has contributed to refinement of the education process, its time for introducing the replacement component, wherein learners have a choice of pursuing education based on their strength, weakness, interest, passion, and emotions (SWIPE). It is necessary and timely to build the component of flexible and programmed learning within our educational institutes to suit the needs of a learner. Hence, it is essential that the educational programmes are learner driven based on SWIPE rather than on any pre-set curriculum, and I believe that the available technology is suitable to deliver such a revolutionized approach to education. Adopting a technology-based revolutionized approach to learning has several collateral implications and the educators in future will have to change to newer and refined roles. For instance in higher education, the role of an educator will change from someone delivering the learning materials to someone who is facilitating and directing the learning process. We will also see a considerable change in the learning resources, which from the current print to digital ratio of 70/30 will change to probably 0/100. In my view, the significant benefits of such advancements will not only be reduction in the escalated cost of higher education but also a wider accessibility of high-quality learning resources to audience worldwide. Nevertheless, a greater vision and geopolitical will overriding the commercial interests is necessary to effectively educate and optimally skill the global audience. Good quality education should be in par with essential medicines and should be affordable and available to everyone worldwide. Read more…

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