Is Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in schools to go; or is it the way to go? In the contemporary context, the increasing usage of technology for our daily activities means that the importance of answering this question has increased. Some schools have actively pursued the integration of ICT into teaching, learning and the development of digital literacy in students whereas other institutions see no need for turning towards technology due to issues like increasing costs of procurement and maintenance, etc.
The argument against ICT should not be interpreted in a primitive sense that would entail the absence of all technology within the school. One cannot deny the significant and rising influence that computers have had on our lives, making them so much simpler. However, it cannot be denied that students get exposed to technology increasingly at home. Traditional methods of teaching and learning can fast disappear in the future. If there is increasing dependence on a method that employs the usage of devices for teaching, the student may forget that the method is only a facilitator for learning something and not the end in itself. For example, if a student is always used to learning from concise PowerPoint presentations used in class, he/she may not even refer to textual sources and will just depend on rote learning from such slides, thereby making books redundant. Although this is inherently subjective and may vary from case to case, it remains a source of worry because a turn towards this would mean there was no turning back.
Does modern technology owe pedagogy an apology? Technology itself does not, but a balance has to be struck. It is crucial to drive home the fact that increasing reliance on technology may lead to students being excessively dependent upon them. At the same time, this should not mean that students are stuck experiencing a digital divide as they would have to engage with ICT in some form or the other in their lives.
A solution that presents the best of both strategies is an ideal way out. Only after carefully studying the pros and cons of each method must they be applied in class. The power of thinking is what is imprinted in a child in school and is what will set him or her on course for life. This should not be curtailed in any way possible which is why it is necessary to constantly debate whether the usage of ICT in a particular scenario is beneficial or not, only after which it should be applied.