Democratizing education with technology

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
technology, low cost tool for teaching and learning through the Internet
technology, low cost tool for teaching and learning through the Internet

Technology is now presenting educators and students with a new, low cost tool for teaching and learning through the Internet.

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It is for this reason that the Springboard, Your Virtual University, a radio programme on Joy FM, used last Sunday’s edition to look at how to explore technology and learning to transition one’s career.

The show, which is hosted by Rev. Albert Ocran, had the Chief Executive Officer of TECHAIDE, Mr Kafui Prebbie, the Human Resource Business Partner at Ecobank, Mr Nii Koi Kotey, and Mr Derrydean Dadzie, who took listeners through how they could develop themselves through personal learning and some of the opportunities that existed in it.

Rev. Ocran, in his introductory remarks, said personal development and informal learning gave people the power to learn whatever they liked, as it puts the power in the hands of the individual.

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“In personal learning, nobody gives you what you learn, you choose what you want and learn it. There are no limitations,” he said.

How education has transitioned

Touching on how education has transitioned from old time learning to what exists now, Mr Kafui Prebbie said: “We started from the classroom which was purely text based, then we moved on to an era of computer-based training.”

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“Then we moved to man-based learning management systems where you could sit in one portion of the school and access content in a different portion, and we got to the dotcom era where we had everything on the Internet,” he noted.

“At that point, education went online and could be accessed anywhere and anytime. Today we have gotten to the post dotcom era which allows for online courses which are organised by many actors, not only necessarily universities but institutions who offer online courses have all joined that era and the world has now gone virtual,” he explained.

He added that “today with cloud-based systems, the mobile devices are being the way to access online courses.”

Centrepiece of education

Mr Derrydean Dadzie, for his part, said technology had now become the centrepiece of education.

“Over the years, we have grown more knowledgeable as a society and when knowledge comes there is more desire to measure, more desire to be real time so there is a new real-timeness to everything we are doing now,” he stated.

“There is a lot more context now. With technology now, people are contextualising the way they learn,” he added.

He said technology was also helping parents to determine what was good for their children, the space they needed to learn and also help them to monitor the data the children were churning out as a result of what they were learning.

“Technology gives us proper context when it comes to assessment, it helps us get critical data that will enable you to make a good decision for your child and this is being pushed across different levels,” he said.
“One area that innovation should kick-start is education, as it will give people access to learn without being present at a learning location,” he added.

Mr Dadzie, however, pointed out that the way people wanted to learn had not really changed, but what had changed was the fact that there were now more capabilities to enable those ways of learning.

He said distance learning for instance had been in the system for a very long time now, but technology had just helped make it better and easier.