We are living in an age of rapid change. Young people often teach the older generation the use of technology, social media and machinery as they are constantly upgrading and evolving. Children traditionally looked to their parents, teachers, spiritual and other leaders for guidance, training and instruction. However, in the modern day many of our elders are looking to the younger generation for guidance, training and instruction. ‘Please update my phone, install this software, teach me how to use this equipment… ,’ are common requests from our parents, relatives or grandparents.
These occurrences do not only take place in the home but in schools and colleges as well. The instructor may not be up to date with adapting technologies whilst students have the vigor and enthusiasm to constantly keep up to date, seek out and engage in technologies and trends. Most of us know children who at the age of 3 are manipulating iPads, televisions, computers and other devices found in the home. These children are unknowingly learning and developing new skills needed in the 21st century.
Our children on the basic education scholarship and in the Homes we reach out to, deserve to have the same experiences and exposure to technology. With the launch of Ruzivo smart learning platform this enables children who previously did not have access to utilize technology in their education a chance to do so. Learning 21st century skills gives our children the platform to compete with any other child when it comes to employment.
However, students are taught by teachers and educators have to be capacitated to respond to the needs of the curriculum, their students as well as the rapidly changing environment when it comes to technology. Teachers need to know what impact technologies have on the classroom, what skills they have to acquire to be effective in an ICT based environment, ICT policies and infrastructure and impact on personal development. Teachers are the most important factor in education that is why they have to be equipped with skills necessary to help them in the classroom. Teacher training in ICT has multifaceted benefits which include:
- Technology applications allow for better quality lessons
- Increases lesson pace in modern society
- Technologies encourage independent and active learning
- Life is increasingly becoming digital making it necessary to keep up with changes
- Technology allows quicker lesson planning
- Trained teachers take advantage of the opportunities technology provides more effectively
- Online technology allows access to educators outside traditional classroom times
- Increased collaboration and discussions within classrooms and educational institutions
- Assists educators in assessing individual student performance
- Assists educators in providing individualized lessons for students
- A technology enhanced session provides stimulation for both teachers and students
To realize the benefits of ICT in education the key is to TRAIN the educators. Training has to be continued and ongoing personal development for the investment to be realized. The introduction and existence of ICT’s do not in themselves change teaching and learning but they are a tool to enable teachers to create learner focused environments where teachers can challenge students’ strengths and support students weaknesses. Moreover, ICT’s provide engaging platforms to learning such as the use of presentations, LCD projectors, television, electronic whiteboards, e-learning platforms, podcasts, webinars and videos. For example, these tools can help science students in rural areas understand the process of condensation, evaporation, osmosis and science experiments that the school may not have the facilities or science labs to provide a practical demonstration.
Higherlife Foundation is playing a significant role in training teachers to utilize the Ruzivo smart learning platform.
The better trained the teacher is, the better our students are