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25 November, 2015 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 November, 2015 11:42:54 PM
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Trending now- ‘technology’ in higher education

Kazi Mohua
Trending now- ‘technology’ in higher education

What’s trending now? It’s not about twitter only. In order to have a break up with the outdated world swing and move forward, we need to know everything that is trending now. We are living in an age where politics, culture, business, communication, education, everything is forecasted. Education is the most predicted one among all sectors as it is the bedrock of all of them. It is important to judge the current trends of education to predict the knowledge economy. Higher education has never mattered more in the current world paradigm as it is now and technology has more to contribute, than ever. Technology remains to be the main helping tool of human civilization as it can support and extend human capability.
Higher education needs to be in the proper direction for a country to develop in its expected way. In order to make a better future, there is no denying that education is the most powerful ‘weapon’ of any country. Moreover, Universities can play a major role in shaping a country’s growth of economy. Research universities specially are the incubators for new discoveries and innovations which directly impact the local communities as well as global landscape. Breeding innovation through higher education is important, and that’s why institutions need to be structured that allow scopes and spur results. In Bangladesh, Higher education is not a right for everyone; it is the privileged segment of the society who gets this opportunity. Though an increasing amount of private universities are established these days, a very few of them are well prepared and equipped to meet the necessary requirements.
By saying well equipped I tried to mean ‘well equipped with all the tools of technology of education’. Around the world, technology and students are going hand in hand, literally.  Smartphones, Tabs, iPad and low cost of internet are influencing how the students see the world, relate to their courses and faculty. They absorb information quickly and use them as needed. As most of the world class universities are turning their libraries more electronic driven then paper based, the classroom environment is turning more communicative between teachers and students by the use of technology. And the trend continue to be using technology in higher education.

Growth in online Education
MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, where a faculty leads a course with large number of students through online video lectures, is probably the biggest story of higher education over the last few years (since 2012). Academicians and experts expect it to reshape many aspects of education industry in the coming years. The top tier universities around the world have at least some online courses and they are doubling the numbers of students. This trend continues as the late adopting schools move online.

Innovation around the classrooms
Students gathering together in a large auditorium to listen lectures are now out of date. Lectures now are prepared, pre –recorded and pre- supplied. Students can use the core content anytime, anywhere and as many times as they need. This concept of ‘flipped’ classrooms is getting popular day by day.  The idea is to give students more time to learn in their own pace at home so that they can use the quality time with teachers in different productive ways.  Again, the online learning platform is providing the teachers with learner analytics, teachers now have more data on who is learning, what they are learning and how. So they have the scope to design the classroom time with innovation, whether through discussions, group exercise or quizzes. Wireless bandwidth is being used in some classrooms to allow web conferencing and other methods of remote communications. Along with large displays and screens are being installed to enable collaboration on digital projects. So the university classrooms is trying to resemble the real world work and social environment.

Digital Credit
Online education companies can’t succeed without giving graduates credentials to show. Some of the top tier universities are trying to find solution for this problem. For this, virtual badges are being offered to the students which show the course content and how it was earned. Some of the online schools meanwhile offer verified certificates. Over time the online education industry are expected to move to more granular credentials. Smaller span of two or six months of focused training, courses of special skills are also on the trend.
Adaptive Learning
Technology is helping to stablish adaptive learning among the students. The traditional education system is built under the premise that students learn at the same pace. On the other hand, adaptive learning tools, mostly done by data science and artificial intelligence, is resetting that expectation. Educational institutions like Pearson offers digital courses that adapt to each students needs as a course progresses.

Demerits  
Though technology made it much easier for all, the prevalence of knowledge and information have lessened the interest to learn it. Some people claim that students having the power to pull knowledge instantly from their personal technology, losing the interest to retain it. They already have that in their phones and tabs, they don’t need it fully from their professors or universities. At the same time, this revolution of technology in education is harshly challenging higher education’s business model, affecting the industry to a great extant.  The online learning explosion, mostly free, made knowledge easily reachable to anyone.
Technology is redefining and reshaping the future of higher education. In the classrooms, libraries and laboratories, the future students will have the greater role in driving the curriculum. They will be filtering knowledge and course requirements through technology. Traditional classroom examinations will less rely on regurgitation of knowledge, more on regeneration of it. But in this age of globalization and knowledge economy, Bangladesh is lagging behind in academic excellence of higher education. Once the ‘Oxford of the East’ cannot even now enter the 5000 list of the world universities.
There is no alternative to practice higher education to ensure the survival and prosperity of the country in each and every sector. And as much as I look forward to be on the campus of future, I see some highly motivated, tech friendly and advanced students learning and sharing through technology.  

The writer is a senior television journalist

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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