Consider missing the class but attending the video lecture later! Working on your laptop in the library or in a coffee shop, according to your convenience, or discussing your course online with your professor online, without physically attending the lecture in the classroom. All these were merely a dream about a decade ago, but now it has become a possibility and a complete reality!
IT has changed the world in a way that the information is communicated. “As educators, we have to take account of the fact of the information age and participate in it,” says Jack Lightstone, an educationist. The facilities and infrastructure of the Information Technology will expand in the next 5 years. The classrooms may be upgraded with wireless IT capabilities for learning and teaching purposes. New faculty development programs will provide professors with expertise on the effective use of IT in teaching.
In many developed countries, the students are also given access to the modern technology, while many already have computers and Internet access at home or work, the educational institutions now provide computer labs and libraries equipped with laptops. All the classrooms, common areas, offices and lounges are linked with wireless networks.
Course websites and online courses are found to have access to educational opportunities, accommodate different learning styles and meet the needs of the diverse student community. For many students, complicated class schedules, work, family, or sheer distance makes a course over the Internet ideal, convenient and appealing.
Further, “Only-online education system is inevitable,” according to political science professor Julian Schofield, who teaches a fully online course on United Nations. Although, he cautions that while the fully online format is undeniably successful, ” there are limits to the ability to communicate large amounts of theoretical information to students online”.
While the classroom will remain a vital part of University learning, a growing number of professors are approaching to new technologies, supplementing their classroom lectures with course websites that might include video lectures, class notes, selected readings and references. This is mainly because using web technologies work perfectly well on programming. Such communication tools are especially useful for graduate students who rarely meet their colleagues.
So the research study question is “How the teachers can best turn this access to information into knowledge?” The answer lies in the fact that new initiative in technology integration will continue to be a part of the academic planning process. As online learning emerges, education without physical classrooms, human contact and social support will become a thing of the past in future IT world!
As new technologies continue to bring rapid changes in education, the experts are of the opinion that a renewed scholarly approach to teaching and learning is required for critical understanding of the impacts of new technologies in the classrooms. The educators have high expectations for new directions in education through IT. In the next few years, students who have grown up in the midst of IT, will have a renewed vision and creative ideas that will redefine education in the 21st century!