Technology in the Classroom

Technology has been praisedcriticized, and feared in the classroom.  The tumultuous discussion of “pros and cons” is all the more evident in today’s new media landscape.  To this day, many instructors resist the incorporation of technology for a number of reasons.  To some, the idea of new media in the classroom is frightening because it requires us to acquire new technical knowledge.  Do I even have time or want to take the time to learn how to use Word Press or Twitter?  The same concern relates to students: will new media technology widen the socio-economic technological, digital divide?  Will students pay attention in class, when they could easily be on Facebook or shopping for shoes?  How would technology benefit my students’ learning?

We have to discuss both traditional and technology based teaching and learning.

Traditional Teaching and Learning

The traditional learning model requires students to sit attentively and take pencil and paper notes as a professor lectures at them.  For decades, this has been lauded as the best teaching and learning model.  Even though students are sometimes encouraged to ask questions, by and large, this is to a more top down, teacher/student divided environment.  Indeed, this was the way that many teachers learned during their years as grade school, university, and graduate students.  However, is the traditional lecture model the most effective today?  Are students learning more this way?

I’d like to briefly depart from my broader questions to some anecdotes from my career as a graduate student.  In my first year of graduate school, I recall being in a course where we were told by the professor on day one that no technology was allowed.  Notes were to be taken with pen and paper no laptops, tablets, cell phones, or the like.  At this time I was all on board with this idea, as I learn best (or thought I did) when I listen and take notes on paper.  Based on my years as a student, I had learned that writing things down helps me understand concepts.

This bled over into me as a teacher where I imparted the same set of rules upon my students.  I promised my students that going one hour without their cell phones or laptops would not be painful, and that I would make things as interesting and engaging as possible.  In my evaluations, I had no complaints about this method.  This method must have been working, right?

Teaching with Technology

The adoption and incorporation of technology in the classroom is often talked about as at odds with the traditional method of teaching (i.e. pros and cons of each method, rather than how they could be blended).  Various studies have boasted how beneficial technology is in teaching and learning.  One high school teacher talked about how he used Twitter in his classroom, and how it encouraged more students to participate.

He found that students felt more comfortable sharing their ideas through a medium that they were already using on a daily basis, and, even the kids that typically were shy or didn’t have many friends felt like they could fit in.

Another argument for the incorporation of technology in teaching and learning is that it prepares our students for the workforce by gearing them with the knowledge and skills required today.  Learning new media and related software is more than a resume booster.  For many jobs, having a basic understanding of a variety of social media platforms and software will be the minimum requirement.

Indeed, many of our students want a career in social media related fields and these jobs are aplenty.  Countless job posts are looking for “social media strategists”.  When we would have put programs like Microsoft Office or Photoshop on our resume under the “skills” section, this newer generation of students might note proficiency in Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, and Buzzfeed.

My Changing Orientation as a Teacher

The notion of a traditional teaching method and classroom was complicated when took classes of my students.  Since my early days as a teacher, I have loosened the reigns and allowed students to use their cell phones, tablets, and so on in the classroom. When I cannot answer a question, I invite them to Google the answer which has fostered richer classroom discussions.  More than anything, this shift has empowered students.  The classroom feels much more interactive, engaging, and interesting.

What do you think?  How can media and communication studies benefit from technology in the classroom?  How do we, as media and communication scholars and teachers, best serve our students?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Influence of Education on Personality

 

Being educated has become norm in our society. Higher education is one of the main criteria for employers when considering a job candidate. It serves as an indicator that helps people to form opinions about each other, and the presence or absence of higher education often impacts the life of a person significantly. The meaning of higher education, for a modern individual, cannot be overestimated.

Education plays another significant role besides the social one: it noticeably affects personality. Students often choose their major in accordance with their ideologies and values, as their formed identities are usually already in place when entering a university or college. However, the nature of the material that students learn about and the methods used to master disciplines learned can influence their world outlook and beliefs.

When I entered the faculty of arts two years ago, I did not think about the changes that this specialty would invoke in me. Most of all, I cared about earning a higher education degree, and though I had some interest in literature, I had no intention of going any deeper into it than was necessary to pass the exams. But as time passed, I found literature more and more absorbing, and when I passed my post graduation, I was a completely different person compared to the times when I was just a graduate.

One cannot study successfully without perceiving and analyzing new information and the faculty of arts is a place where students constantly receive large amounts of data. Every concept had to be scrutinized. This process was impossible without a critical evaluation of the comprehended material. We agreed or disagreed with famous thinkers, argued in favor or against theses and came up with our own interpretations. We were in a condition of permanent choice, sorting out the material, and choosing those paradigms that matched our outlook at that moment. This way we built up substantial intellectual capital, which shifted our outlook and made it more complete and versatile.

 

It is not only the nature of the information which students receive in educational institutions that affect their personalities, but the way in which that information is passed on to the students. The lecturers I got in my post graduation were the ideal teachers everyone wants to have in their lives. These ideal teachers make students to think in a particular way and when a person constantly thinks in a particular way they get accustomed to think in that way. This manner not only influences the way of thinking, but also the way of cognizing and interpreting the surrounding reality and one’s attitude towards it. It also contributes to changes that occur in students’ identities.

 

It can be stated that education facilitates the formation of people’s personalities. Though many students enter a university or college with an already shaped set of values and attitudes, the nature of the material, as well as methods that are used for its contemplation and comprehension can affect one’s identity significantly. I believe that despite the fact that it may sound like stereotyping, people who share the same specialization and the same profession has much in common. It would not be an exaggeration to say that physicians, lawyers, artists, musicians and others share outlooks that are similar to some extent.

 

 

 

Educating the girl child means educating the family.

In today’s time where we have reached moon there are still the girls who are neglected, they are not getting a proper education. I always thought of it as a matter of past or something that happens in some rural areas until one day when one of my friends had to gone through this. She had to leave the school because her parents could not afford to pay both their children’s fees so they chose to provide education to her brother and not to her.

Education of a child starts from the family and mother is the first teacher. But, the irony in India is that although the deity of education is a female i.e. Goddess Saraswati according to the Hinduism, innumerable number of women are illiterate.

They are not remaining uneducated by their own wish but they are being forbidden from receiving education because of the patriarchal families in our society like my friend did not want to leave the school in fact she was the topper of the class but her parents did not find her education as important as her brother’s simply because she was a girl.

Right from the early Vedic period people have been celebrating the birth of a son, but in those days’ daughters born into a family were not neglected and educated properly. However the scene was changed during the later Vedic Age and the daughters were considered as a social burden. Only the girls belonging to upper class families enjoyed the right of education and got proper nourishment. In medieval period the conditions deteriorated for the females and even in royal families, girls could not get the same status as the boys.

In most of the families the birth of a girl child is not desired and if accepted they are thought inferior to boys and their education is not considered important because it seems wastage of money to most of the parents. They think it unreasonable because afterwards they have been compelled to bear a heavy amount towards their dowry. So the female literacy is rate is unsatisfactory and it has a direct impact upon the overall development of a nation and its population growth. If India wants to be one of the developed nations it must concentrate on female education because if we educate a man we educate an individual but if we educate a women we educate an entire family. Again the root cause of all problems facing the women is related to education. If all women are educated, then all problems like female infanticide, dowry, female suicides, domestic battering, malnutrition of women, child marriage and other related atrocities would get vanished from India.

Education provides an essential qualification to fulfill certain economic, political and cultural functions and improves women’s socioeconomic status. At very age and level education enhances the intellectual, social and emotional development of women and enables them to meet their basic needs to daily life. It brings reduction in inequalities in the society.

In my opinion only educated women can understand the needs of the family. They will never send their children to work in any shop or factory, rather they will arrange for their education in good schools. They will take proper care of the health and diet of their children. A mother knows what is good for her kids and how they should be brought up. Thus, educated mothers would promote education for all their children without discrimination. But if a mother (girl) is not educated and gets children then she would do anything without reasoning and harm herself and her children. As she is not educated, she would tend to think that education is only for the male and not for the female and thus, she would ingrain in her daughters the idea that they are inferior to their brothers.

As girls are not educated they remain dependent on their family before marriage, on their husband after marriage and on their children after the death of their spouse. This is the main reason for the unpleasant condition of women. So if girls will be educated, they will no longer be dependent on any one and they can do a lot for their uplift.

I firmly believe that most of the problems of society can be eradicated by educating the girl child.

 

LIFE EXPERIENCE

When I think back to my most memorable experience, I immediately recall it with Mrs. Rakhi malhotra, my English teacher in school. The best so far I have had.

 

What I remember most about Mrs. Rakhi is that she treated me with so much respect. she showed so much love for her profession and so great an awareness of what her role in the classroom was, that her attitude eventually rubbed off on me. She was everything I could have asked for in a school teacher. She always encouraged me to participate in all the competitions because she knew I had a strong stage fear and that I get very nervous in front of the audience, She observed it On her own I never  told  her about my fear which I think impressed me the most. I didn’t know it then, but  she also was a role model for my future.

Mrs. Rakhi gave me the skills to become a strong leader and she taught me how to become a Responsible and productive member of society.

I spent almost all my free time, between classes and before dismissal, with Mrs.Rakhi. I could talk to her about anything and everything; she was always there to listen. I had never before had a teacher who showed that she cared about me; she cared about my fear and she cared about me being a really not so confident person the way Mrs. Rakhi did.

Mrs. Rakhi had a tremendous affect on my life and on my career choice. Still, after I passed my school, Mrs.Rakhi and I Stayed in touch, and sometimes we even meet occasionally.

I will never forget her reaction when I told her that I have registered for B-Ed and will become a teacher. Her face lit up and I knew at that moment that I had made her proud of me. She told me, I was going to be a great teacher one day. Little did She know that it was because  of her I have chosen a career in teaching. It was because of the teacher, who observed my flaws in about a fifty student’s class.  I think it was commendable keeping is mind the burden teachers face.

I hope my students will remember me the same way I remember Mr. Rakhi . I would want them to remember me for how much I would care for each one of them. I just want to be the best teacher like her who pushes every single child to perform to the best of their abilities.