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Digital Transformation in Schools – Technology and Teachers

In today’s time, Digital Transformation is the need of the hour. However, it cannot be a successful paradigm shift without every stakeholder- management, staff, parents, and children- being involved. It is important to understand the benefits of digital transformation in education and communicate this to key stakeholders. It requires a complete change in mindset for all concerned.  It is only then that the true efficacy of digital transformation can be achieved. The creation and dissemination of the awareness that digitalizing education is essential, is of paramount importance. Understanding and communicating the value this will bring is the key to success; therefore, prioritizing awareness is essential.

A key factor in making Digital Transformation a reality is the role of infrastructure to support it.

There is a need to provide enough resources, both physical as well financial, to be able to bring about Digital Transformation. It is here that the promoters of private schools and the government, both at the centre and state, play a major role in spreading the importance of such a transformation. Contemporary digital tools and technologies such as visual and low-code platforms can help schools easily optimize internal processes, reorganize routine activities and streamline communication between students, teachers, and parents.

Another important contributor to Digital Transformation to take place effectively across all areas is training. In particular, training teachers who are involved in the first- hand task of promulgating curriculum in a classroom takes priority. It is relevant here to gauge how receptive these teachers are to this kind of digital transformation. Are they open to the use of tools in a classroom? Are they technically savvy? Do they know which tools to turn to? Do they know where to get the training?  It is in our nature to get used to doing things in a certain way; therefore, we become reluctant to leave our comfort zone. When we have to adopt a new technology or system, we are afraid of failure and reluctant to learn new skills or processes. The very first step to combat this is to clearly understand the benefits of such changes. There is a digital skills gap and a need among educational institutions to drive forward, fostering a culture of continuous learning within the establishment, up-skilling the current staff, and making the most of the available talent.

It is imperative for educational organizations to ensure that the right learning and training platforms are provided to teachers.

It has to be a combination of myriad factors including the right kind of trainers, the right kind of resources, the right choice of tools to turn to, how to use them, how to procure these tools, how to use them effectively in a classroom situation, and to ensure that learning takes place with greater efficacy and joy.

Lastly, a question that needs to be addressed is that, can the advent of Digital Transformation in education reduce the human element of the student-teacher interaction? While it is indeed true that technology can open doors, expand minds, and change the world of education, but it’s not the panacea that it’s been made out to be. As much innovation as a laptop, tablet or the internet may bring to the classroom, it is not going to replace a teacher anytime soon. In fact, the influx of technology means there is an even greater role that teachers need to play. At the touch of a fingertip, a laptop or an ipad can give information, but a teacher can lend a hand, or an ear, and determine what’s necessary for a student to succeed, and to make him or her want to succeed. Hence, the answer is yes, technology is going to play a critical role in the future of education, but not as big a role as that of a teacher.

What are your thoughts on this? What steps are you and your school taking to smoothen the process of digital transformation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Encouraging Educator

Written by Dr. Neeta Bali

Director- Principal and Head of School at G D Goenka World School

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Rachael Horsman

Mathematical Creativity- Developing Life skills Embedded in Maths