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ABSTRACT

The future of India will be fashioned in the classroom. While India has made
great strides in improving the education system but much still remains to be
done. If you see the current scenario then you will find that there is a flood of
advanced technology all over the globe but our education system is not benefiting
due to the lack of information and knowledge of teachers, students and the
administration. The students have their own restrictions, teachers have there
own and the administration is also admitting the fact that the education system is
really in a poor shape today.
The goal of this paper is to outline how information technology can help to create
an education system that is based on the principles of helping teachers, students
and administration to be effective in what they do, improving the quality and
relevance of teaching learning process.

I. INTRODUCTION
The only constant is change and mankind is in a period of rapid
technologically driven change. Although the personal computer and the internet are
less than 30 and 20 years old, respectively, information and communication
technology (ICT) has revolutionized how we live, work and communicate. The
commercial mantra of smaller, faster, cheaper, smarter has put intelligent mobile
devices in the hands of todays learners, but technology has had little real impact upon
education. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of technology in education
because the problem will only get worse as technology improves.
We will first compare two technological advancement, which is vital for
implementing information technology.
Way back in 1995 the computers looked very old fashioned. These big giant
were merely used for doing processing work and nothing more. But in the present
scenario the computers are equipped with latest technology with very high processing
speed. There has been a massive improvement in terms of technology if you examine
and compare the computers of 1995 with the present computers.
The same holds good for the mobile phone. Way back in 1995 mobiles were
expensive, bulky, high running cost, and with very few features. Now if you see the
present day mobile they are as good as small computers. Again a dramatic and drastic
change of technology but for the betterment. Well so far so good.
Now let us see how schools use to operate during the 90s. Teachers use to explain a
topic via black boards. Students on the other hand could hardly find any extra
reference or material on that very topic easily. Teachers and text books were
considered to be the source of knowledge. Even the teachers used to stick to the
contents of text books which was infrequently updated and contains many errors.
Many other problems also need to be addressed. We will discuss them in the coming
slides. Now if we see the present scenario of school then we are sorry to say that not
much has changed since the 90ies. We still are using black board; we are still using
the contents of text books which are too old to needs updation. Teachers are referring
to the same text books are the only source of information and knowledge available to
most of the students as well as teachers. So we see that almost nothing has changed
ever since. So when a computer technology can change and when a mobile
technology can change why can not the educational technology?

From the convincing point of view let us share some benefits of using information
technology in education:
a) It induces scientific, economic, technological, information and multicultural
literacy and global awareness.
b) It promotes inventive thinking.
c) It develops effective communication which leads to teaming, collaboration and
interpersonal skills. Moreover, it induces personal, social and civic responsibility.
d) It leads to high productivity which given the ability to plan and manage results. It
also gives you a sense of using real-world tools with effective, relevant, and high
quality results.
Now suppose a decision is taken to use technology in the field of education shifting
the focus from traditional teaching to educational technology then a question still
needs to be answered? How and where do we fit in? For this to answer, we need to
explore the various ways of clubbing and implementing information technology in
education.
Aim
a. To examine the education scenario in the present context.
b. To explore various possibilities of implementing technology in education for the
betterment of the students, teachers and in turn the society.

In the world that we currently live in, technology is a very vital factor. With each
passing day a new software or gadget is being brought into the market that serves to
improve our lives in one way or another and make it much easier and also to advance
an already existing software or gadget. However, it is important to note that despite
the fact that technology plays a big role in making our lives easier, it is not the only
role it has.
Technology is increasingly growing its importance in the education sector. The more
technology advances, the more benefits it provides for students at every education
level.

Technology that is made use of in the classroom is very beneficial in helping


the students understand and absorb what they are being taught. For instance, since
there are a number of students who are visual learners, projection screens connected

to computers could be put in classrooms to let the students see their notes as opposed
to simply sitting down and listening to the instructor teach.
There is a number of very good software that can be used to supplement the class
curriculum. The programs make available to students quizzes, tests, activities and
study questions that could help the students continue with the learning process when
they are out of the classroom.
Today, technology has been incorporated into a good number of curriculum even
those that do not belong to the technology and computer classes. Students make use of
computers to come up with presentations and also make use of the internet to carry
out research on a variety of topics for their essays and papers.
Students also get to know how to use the technology available in the world today
through the tech and computer classes. This gives the guarantee that following their
graduation, the students will not have any difficulties with using technology when
they are out there in the work place, which might serve to make them more
competitive compared to an individual who has no access to a certain software or
technology in school.
With the continuing advances in the technological world, students are getting
improved access to such educational opportunities. Every time something better and
new is brought into the market, the price of the existing technology is decreased
which makes it much more accessible in the educational setting even to those schools
that might not have a lot of financial resources available to them.
Technology has greatly grown to the point that it is also available today to assist those
kids who are yet to begin school. There are a number of educational systems and
video games for the small children that assist them in getting ready for school and in a
number of situations also give them a head start on their education.
There are a number of people who are of the opinion that technology spoils children.
For instance as opposed to sitting down and getting to know how to count, they will
opt to get a calculator. Despite the fact that there are people who are making these
arguments, technology still remains to be a very vital component of the society we
live in today. By introducing it into our schools and classrooms, we will ensure that
the students are equipped with much better tools and knowledge to make their
transition from school to the work place a very easy one. We need to face the truth,
technology is the in thing in the world today and it has become necessary in each
and every aspect of our lives and education has without doubt not been left behind. It
is very useful in providing more knowledge to our students and also on making them
competitive in the job market.

Reasons which make Technology is Important for Education

We live in a dynamic world surrounded by almost endless amounts of information.


Riding the coattails of information is all of the technology we have at our fingertips.
For as prevalent as technology is now, is it replacing real lasting education? Does
technology have a place in our classrooms?
I think any level-headed educator would agree that children must be able to use
technology to be competitive in the workplace after graduation. With all the trends
and advancements in technology no one can argue that we will go backwards from
here. I dont foresee technology replacing passionate teachers educating their
students. I simply see it as an important tool to help the education process and prepare
students for the future.
From the studies Ive read, teachers want to use more technology in the classroom.
The kids seem to really enjoy it and are excited about using it. Those interested in
embracing technology need to educate themselves on whats out there. Here is a small
sliver of the advantages we gain from using technology to educate people.
Equality: School districts across the country are not created equal. There is so much
disparity in educational resources depending on the wealth, or lack thereof, depending
on certain areas. Students using technology in low income districts gain significant
skills and advantages in the learning process. Using the same technology is an
equalizer for disadvantaged students.

Future: The world is moving towards technology at a breakneck pace. Educators have
a responsibility to introduce, encourage, and help students master technology, as well
as subjects, as it applies to school and the future. Technology will be used in every
aspect of the professional lives of current students. So upon graduation, whether the
next step is college or career, technology will be used daily. Why not use it daily in
school?
Mobile: Using technology the classroom can be taken anywhere. With all the
knowledge and resources contained and deliverable on demand in a mobile device,
students can learn at home or in the field. Mobile technology allows for greater
collaboration between students promoting strong foundations in group work.
Motivation: Technology tracks and reports students progress instantly. What fun is
running a marathon if you dont know how long it takes. Runners can get instant
feedback for hundreds of data points as to their condition. This feedback provides
instant motivation to improve performance.
Similarly students who use technology are motivated to improve performance. Just
like they do at home on their gaming consoles. Trying to beat high scores at home and
trying to beat high scores in math use the same psychology.
Social: This runs along the same lines as motivation. Creating a social element to
educational technology can allow for healthy competition amongst peers both in the
same classroom or across the country. Performing well and earning badges to gain
virtual social status is of the heart of many social applications today. Personal
identities do not have to be used, instead students could use avatars to hide possible
confidentiality breaches. Using technology to make education have social elements
can make learning very addictive.
Savings: The savings which result from using technology can come in many facets.
On a basic level technology can replace infrastructure. Desks, books, lab equipment
and other items are a heavy cost burden on schools everywhere. Technology and
devices can help save on these costs. In addition geographically isolated or
economically disadvantaged children can benefit from access to online software or
resources which would be cost prohibitive without technology.

Updates: I recently read an article that reported students using 10 year old textbook in
school. Updating textbooks can cost lots of money and do significant damage to
budgets. On the other hand, updating software and educational content is not as
expensive or cumbersome. With the help of technology course curriculum can reflect
real world data. In some applications students can be exposed to real-time
information.
Assessments: Assessing students performance can be done instantly with technology.
Its more than just test scores, simply understanding students grasp of the subject in
real time can be done on tablets in classrooms. A classroom could be questioned with
a multiple-choice problem. Students could then input their answer and the feedback
score is instantly given to the student and teacher. Corrections can be made long
before examinations.
Global: Students and classrooms or even schools can be connected to anyone in the
world instantly. Devices coupled with the Internet can allow for a free way to
communicate globally. The chance to understand international or different cultural
perspectives on the same topic is incredible.
Convenience: Having children carry heavy backpacks, text books, and binders isnt
very efficient. A new lightweight laptop weighs less than 5 pounds and can have an
internal storage capability of more than 2 million illustrated pages. In addition to an
internal hard drive, access to the Internet can provide an almost unlimited source of
information. Ergonomic issues and back pain are a real problem in children. These
conditions can lead to chronic problems throughout adulthood.
Education coupled with technology is overall a very positive thing. Its still in relative
infancy and progress will continue to move forward making better systems. Teachers
will still retain control over learning.
The school of 10 years ago looks very different from schools today. Also, students are
being inundated with technology at a very young age. The transition has already
begun. Education of the future will be delivered with current information delivered
through traditional teaching methods and fantastic technological tools.

II. THE TWO COMMUNICATION CHANNELS


The teacher and student plays an important role in education where teacher acts as a
facility center of information and knowledge and student acts as a learner of
information and knowledge. The teacher after gathering information from specified
sources like text books, personal notes, library etc communicates it to the students.
That means communication plays a vital role in the delivery of information and
knowledge from teacher to student. Now, if the teachers as well as students scope of
gathering information and knowledge is limited how can you expect magic and
wonders from teachers as well as students?
So far we have explored those aspects of the problems faced equally by the teacher
and student. Now let us explore those aspects of problems which the teacher, students
and administration face as an individual.
A. The students perspective (with technology less education)
The students are facing the following problems in a technology less educational
environment:a) They are missing information.
b) They do not know exactly what to learn.
c) They go to classes that were cancelled without any notification.
All of this decreases the motivation level of the students.
B. The teachers perspective (with technologyless education)
The teachers are facing the following problems in a technology less educational
environment:a) They do not know what students are doing.
b) They have difficult with spreading information.
c) They are hard to reach for students.
d) A majority of teachers themselves are either not updated or under-qualified and due
to lack of information & knowledge they do not benefit from new advances and
continue to teach outdated material.
e) They have often complains of high work load.

C. The administrative perspective (with technology less education)

The school administration is facing the following problems in a technology less


educational environment:
a) Significant absenteeism of teachers in schools.
b) There do not appear to be mechanisms in place to ensure that the curriculum keeps
pace with developments in the fields being taught.
c) There do not appear to be any established principle on the timely revision of
textbooks.
These above problems were identified when they have no idea of technology and its
use in the field of education.

III. BENEFITS OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION


Now, in order to convenience the teacher, student and management to use information
technology in education we need to share the following benefits:
a. It induces scientific, economic, technological, information and multicultural
literacy and global awareness.
b. It promotes inventive thinking which induces the following:
a) Adaptability & managing complexity.
b) Curiosity, creativity and risk taking.
c) High-order thinking and sound reasoning.
a) It develops effective communication which leads to teaming, collaboration and
interpersonal skills. Moreover, it induces personal, social and civic
responsibility.
b) It leads to high productivity which given the ability to plan and manage results.
It also gives you a sense of using real-world tools with effective, relevant, and
high quality results.

IV. EDUCATION WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY VERSUS EDUCATION WITH


TECHNOLOGY
To measure the benefits of using information technology we are dividing education
into two categories:If we impart education without technology then these are the outcomes:a. It is Passive.
b. It is formal.
c. It is instructor driven.
d. It is time dependent.
e. Content defined by others.
f. Grade is given only after final evaluation.
g. Not all the students fully participate.
Now, if we impart education with technology then these are the outcomes:a. It is Active.
b. It is informal.
c. It is student driven.
d. It is not time dependent.
e. Content defined by students.
f. Individual contribution is measured.
g. Progress is accessed throughout.
h. All students fully participate.

V ACCEPTING THE TRUTH (EDUCATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY)


Now suppose a decision is taken to use technology in the field of education shifting
the focus from traditional teaching to educational technology then a question still
needs to be answered? How and where do we fit in? For this to answer, we need to
explore the various ways of clubbing and implementing information technology in
education.
f) Ways of implementing information technology in education
We can find the following ways of implementing Information Technology in
education:
a. Becoming a volunteer in promoting Information Technology in the field of
Education by using blogs, forums, etc.
b. Adapting to e-learning techniques.
Becoming a volunteer in promoting information technology in education
Now looking at this slide we can see how a volunteer can help himself and the society
in promoting information technology in education. Presently, we see the old face of
the volunteer i.e., as a consumer mugging up outdated text books. And the new face
looks very promising in which the volunteer plays the role of a
a. Creator
b. Contributor
c. Communicator
d. collaborator
e. coordinator
a) Changing Teacher, Student and Administrative Perspective (with technology in
education)
When students have access to up-to-the-minute, current information, and when that
information is shared with their peers and faculty, the learning experience changes
dramatically. Teachers, who used to be the subject matter experts and the deliverers of
all content, will transfer more of the learning process and responsibility to students.
Students then become responsible for understanding where to access information and
how to collaborate in a Web-based environment. Students must ask themselves: How

do I learn? How can I use information and technology to gain information? Such an
experience prepares an individual to be a life-long learner, which is critical for
success in the workforce of tomorrow. So the whole learning paradigm changes. On
top of that, technology enables students to express themselves differently than they
ever have before. Students are no longer limited to using a piece of paper and a pencil
or pen, but instead have a unique online environment in which they can express what
information they have been able to gather, internalize that data, and then integrate it
into their assignments.
b) Information Technology Tools
A volunteer can find the following tools useful in promoting information technology
in the field of education:
Blogs, Forums, Communities, Webcast, PodCast, User Groups, Picassa (Google) and
Flickr

(Yahoo),

W3Schools.com,

Webopidia,

Wikis,

Webconferencing,

VideoConferencing, Chat, E-mail, Instant Messaging, Bulletin Board, VOIP, Data


Conferencing, Shout Box, Image Board, YouTube, SlideShare
A. Adapting to e-Learning Techniques
We have seen the volunteer part of implementing information technology in the field
of education. Now see the administrative part of implementing information
technology in the field of education i.e., adapting to e-learning techniques.
A new model should be developed or an existing model could be used which contains
the following features:
a) A model for designing relevant curriculum
a. A system that encourages the mass participation of experts, teachers, and
students in shaping and updating curriculum in a timely manner.
b) A model for authoring training material and teaching aids
A system that :
a. allows teachers and students to comment and discuss sections of text books.
b. Link supplementary material for further study.
c. share lectures, assignments, exercises, tests and so on.
d. allows development of training material for helping teachers and administrators
update and enhance their skills.
c) A model for providing access to teaching aids

a. A system where every teacher is able to access and use teaching aids developed
anywhere, and by anyone.
d) A model for teaching students A system that can provide flexible ways of teaching
students, in the face of socio-economic pressures that make it difficult or students to
attend regular classes, and systemic pressure that have resulted in a shortage of
qualified teachers.

Learning
Learning is based upon four tenets: meaningful learning is more than accumulating
knowledge; knowledge and skills are linked; learning requires far transfer, being able
to apply principles to a new situation; and cognitive load, transfers between long-term
memory and working memory are unlimited (recall), but transfers between working
memory and long-term memory (learning) are limited because working memory
(seven unique pieces held for 20 seconds) can be easily overloaded (Cook &
McDonald, 2008). Behaviourists and cognitivists (direct instruction) believe
knowledge can be transferred, so they divide learning into small chunks from the
simple to the complex. Constructivists believe knowledge cannot be transferred, but
must be constructed by the individual, so they use open-ended questions to let learners
construct their own answers (cognitive constructivism) and group discussions on
answers to correct misconceptions (social constructivism). But an instructional
approach must only be as complicated as necessary to achieve learning (Spiro,
Feltovich, Jacobson, & Coulson, 1995).
Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark (2006) believe that minimal, constructivist-based
instruction: is less effective than direct instruction for novice and intermediate
learners and only equally effective for expert learners; and may have negative results
as learners make errors constructing knowledge. Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark (2007)
feel the search for answers forces novice learners to overload their working memory,
with little transfer to long-term memory and weak guidance causes cognitive overload
as learners form weak problem-solving strategies. A novice struggles to learn new
material because everything is new. An intermediate learner does
better because they understand some of the material. Expert learners easily separate
material to concentrate on central arguments or concepts.
The greater the correlation between the learner's expertise and learning, the easier the

assimilation and less assistance or scaffolding required. Their personal expertise


makes them an expert and learners use prior learning or schema to incorporate the
learning into their reality. The smaller the correlation means the learning is harder and
more scaffolding is required. The learner functions as a novice, since their prior
learning does not apply and can actually be a hindrance.
All learners try to leverage prior learning to complete tasks regardless of the
complexity of answers, until the prior learning does not work or they find a better
way. Failure to complete tasks does not mean learners are motivated to learn and they
can choose not to learn for any reason: not important; too difficult; or differs from
their world-view. Learners are comfortable stepping outside their own reality when
they perceive a need to learn new material or Ausubels meaningful learning (1962, as
cited by Novak, 1998). If the learner does not perceive the material is important, the
learner will use memorization, which is easily forgotten or Ausubels rote learning (as
cited by Novak).

Digital Natives vs Digital Immigrants


lives surrounded by and using computers, video games, digital music players, video
cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age (p.1) and Digital
Immigrants as the generation that grew up before the digital age, who have adapted to
technology but their fluency is limited by growing up in a non-digital world. Prenksy
contends that curriculum and Digital Immigrants are holding Digital Natives back and
advocates that instructors change to a constructivist methodology with learners using
technology to find answers, with instructors providing support as needed and change
the curriculum to relevant traditional curriculum and new technology based
curriculum. Prenksy (2001b) believes that continuous exposure to technology via
video games has rewired the brains of the Digital Natives and to take advantage
of this, educational video games should be used. Playing a game committed to longterm memory is one thing, but their learning is still limited by working memory,
which has not changed.
Recent research has shown no statistical differences in ICT capabilities for different
age groups
(Guo, Dobson, & Petrina, 2008).
Through the years, Prensky has proposed many technologies as the vehicle for

transforming formal education: simulation (Prensky, 2001c); modding older opensource games (Prensky, 2003); complex educational games (Prensky, 2005a); cell
phones (Prensky, 2005b);
Web 2.0 software (Prensky, 2007); and student created games (Prensky, 2008).
Games/Simulations
All learners play games, so it is conceivable that learners could learn by games.
Digital games are divided into mini-games and complex games (Prensky, 2005a).
Mini-games aremainly recreational based (Freecell, Sudoku), but can be
educational (Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago). Prensky feels that individual
mini-games lack the breadth and depth to educate, but complex games requires a
player to learn a wide variety of often new and difficultskills and strategies, and to
master these skills and strategies by advancing through dozens of
ever-harder levels. ... requir[ing] both outside research and collaboration with
others. So he feels complex educational games could be created for learning.
The problem with creating educational games is summed up in a quote by Will Wright
(as cited by Prensky, 2008) as All games are educationalGood games are hard to
design. But designing a good game around specific subject matter is really difficult.
It is difficult to see how meaningful educational games covering a full course
curriculum will ever exist due to the complexity of curriculum and some learners may
not consider a good educational game to be worth playing. The difficulty and cost of
developing a good video game means that the main
market would be for entertainment, but some curriculum may be able to piggy-back
on to entertainment games such as Second Life.
Prensky (2008) cites examples where students have developed games for learning and
extrapolates this into covering complete curriculums by having different students
create minigame components for a complex game covering the whole curriculum. To
achieve this, he feels several million students will volunteer to create the several
thousand mini-games that will be required. Is this even realistic? How many students
are programmers or have any interest in programming? Even if the mini-games were
created, would other students play them? Can Digital Natives succeed where
professional game programmers cannot? Who would manage and fund the mega
learning project? Designers of instruction (designers as learners) achieve a deep
level of understanding because the process of instructional design forced them to
reflect upon their knowledge in a new and meaningful way (Reeves & Jonassen,

1996). So there is merit in the idea because the individual game developers would
achieve meaningful learning about the specific topic, but would the learning be as
meaningful playing other mini-game modules?
In many ways, a simulation is a game that attempts to model something in the real
world. Some instructors and textbook authors have developed small web-based
simulations to illustrate scientific principles (solar system, sextant, friction, circuits),
that they share with others on the internet. These interactive applets, with some
scaffolding, allow learners to experiment with the principles for understanding.
Experiential learning using the simulations without scaffolding would: take longer;
introduce misconceptions; and achieve weaker learning. If you do not understand
Ohms Law, playing with a circuit simulator will not help you learn it. These
simulations are based upon the experience/requirements of the developers, so the
quality may be poor or the functionality may be incorrect or too advanced. But there
are thousands of simulations with common concepts having many versions, so a
relevant example can typically be found. But as with mini-games, their relevancy for
education is limited.

Technology
The reinventing of the wheel as different individuals develop simulations for the same
concept serves to illustrate the problem with encouraging individual instructors to
adopt technology. There are also issues that adopting technology in the classroom that
would have to be dealt with: who pays for usage fees; learners without technology or
lower capabilities; learners with different technological skill sets; abuse of
technology; cyber stalking; and eventual obsolescence of any technology, which
requires replacement or redoing course materials.
Technology does not teach, but it is how technology is used that learning is achieved,
so technology for technologys sake is wrong. Technology that makes learning easier;
achieves greater learning; or reflects technology used by industry, have been added to
curriculum, such as computerized drafting for mechanical engineering or Geographic
Information System (GIS) software for geography.

Mindtools
The best use for technology in learning is as a mindtool. A mindtool is any computer
program the learner uses to engage and facilitate critical thinking and higher order
learning (Jonassen, 2000). Reeves and Jonassen (1996) feel education benefits when

learners use computers as cognitive tools to try to represent what they know (learners
as designers). They feel students learn and retain the most from thinking in
meaningful (mindful) ways. Some of the best thinking results when students try to
represent what they know. They feel learners use cognitive tools or mindtools to
organize, restructure, and represent their knowledge. When learners use computers,
the workload is divided into areas each partner is good at: computers calculate, store,
and retrieve information; and learners recognize and judge patterns of information and
organize information (Jonassen, Carr, & Yueh, 1998).

Distance Education
Distance education on the web is based upon constructivism and uses 100%
technology for delivery, such as D2L (Desire2Learn) or WebCT (Web Course
Tools). A constructivist learning environment uses open-ended questions to promote
extensive dialogue among learners (Rovai, 2004). Conceptual change occurs when
learners are confronted with information that contradicts their conceptualizations
(Jonassen, 2006). Jonassen feels that low domain knowledge learners will not notice
the contradictions, low interest learners are unlikely to engage in conceptual change,
and experts are unwilling to change because they feel they are correct. So social
constructivism cannot exist without good quality discussions.
There are distinct advantages from using technology (anytime, anyplace,
asynchronous delivery), but distance education materials can feel like snapshots of
face-to-face courses that can quickly become outdated, irrelevant and broken. So
although distance education uses 100% technology, the technology is being used for
facilitation and not education.
Learning Community Formal educations problem is that it is based upon factory
schools, which treat learners as empty vessels to be filled. Carroll (2000) feels that
teachers from the 1800s could substitute into the schools of today because our schools
have not kept up-to-date with educational theories and must be transformed to meet
the demands of our information age economy. Caine and Caine (1991) feel that the
factory model is inappropriate for teaching for two reasons, it fails: to give students
the relevant skills and attributes required to succeed in life; and to take advantage of
the brains capacity to learn. They believe that schools organized on the factory model
do not open doors to the future but imprison students in their own minds. Carroll lists
the reasons schools have to change are: anytime and anywhere web learning; ICT

allows constructivist learning; workers require upgrading; learning communities have


no boundaries; home is becoming a learning place; and Digital Natives learn from
technology.
It is difficult to see how an individual instructor, who has to deal with the day-to-day
concerns of course delivery, can transform education by using technology. Even if the
instructor succeeds, the students must still deal with other instructors that have not
changed. It is a case of putting the cart before the horse. But by transforming schools
into learning communities that facilitate student-centered learning, the learners can
choose what and how they will learn. The horse or horses can pull the cart any way
they want.
The model can be simple. Elementary stays the same and learners master basic
reading and writing, math and science. As students move into secondary, they become
self-directed.Learners start a learning sequence by negotiating a learning contract that
states: proposed learning; significance; deliverables; time-line; appropriately sized
content; identified resources; and rubric for different deliverables. The contract can be
signed by students, teachers and parents to ensure each understand their roles in the
process. This process allows students to select any method to demonstrate successful
learning: program a game; complete an existing game; write a report; do a
presentation; create a web page; compose a song; teacher-centered instruction if
available, etc. At the end, a teacher and the student assess if the learning was
achieved. The learning contract can be renegotiated if the learning was not achieved
or repeat the process for the next learning contract.
This allows for groups of students to take advantage of social constructivism and
power their way through the required curriculum and individual students to use any
technology. The students are motivated because they can: understand the
curriculums importance; learn relevant content; learn by playing; learn when they
want to; manage their own time; and possibly graduate earlier. As students complete
curriculum, they document all learning with a learning portfolio.
Initial learning may be with partnerships in their school, but as learners become
specialized intoareas of interest, learners can form partnerships with like-minded
individuals on the web. Theteachers role changes from sage on the stage to guide
on the side. Teachers will providesupport for students, which will most likely
involve: management or help for individual learners; problem solving by identifying

new resources; resource development; development of individualized instruction


modules; and evaluation.
Students will have to learn the self-directed learning (SDL) process, so teachers and
eventually older, successful self-directed learners will provide the scaffolding. Sample
learning contracts will be provided to be used as a guide to help learners to create
their own contract and the size of the initial content will be kept small to help learners
learn the process. As the students develop confidence with SDL, the input from the
scaffolder decreases, until the learner is learning on their own. Teachers are available
to help learners resolve problems.
The curriculum can be the actual secondary and post-secondary curriculums.
Achievement of grades, programs or degrees requires learners to complete specific
core and optional competencies. All schools evolve to become learning centers and
university degrees change from 3-5 years to lifelong learning, with each degree being
unique to the individual. As individuals need training, they turn to the learning

Community.
This process is not new. As defined by Knowles in 1975, SDL is: a process in which
individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their
learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources
for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and
evaluating learning outcomes (p. 18).
Knowles (Hatcher, 1997) believed that by 2020, all education from primary to
postsecondary would be SDL. Knowles (1991) transformative model of education
consists of a network of learning centers that contain information about the
communitys learning resources, including: specialists learning skills assessors;
educational diagnosticians; educational planning consultants; and support staff, and
the organizing principle is lifelong learning, where every individual, organization and
institution of the community is a learning resource.
Formal education does not teach the individual how to do a specific job, so learners
have to use informal learning, which means formal education is the tip of the iceberg
with regards to all the learning that a learner must engage in through their life, so SDL
is essential. The days of working for one company, doing the same job are over. A
career will consist of working for a number of companies, doing different jobs.
Technology will continue to change, making some careers obsolete and creating new

ones. To meet the training needs of individuals and to deal with the challenges of the
future, universities and colleges have to move from full-time programs to supporting
SDL, where individuals are continually upgrading their skills. Gray (1999, as cited
in Kerka, 1999) believes that the Internet is one of the most powerful and important
SDL tools.
So as the internet grows and pressure from technological change increases, the
pressures on formal education to transform increases.

CONCLUSION
Instructors still need to direct student learning activities, but they must also put
responsibility for learning on the students. It is going to be an uncomfortable, but
worthwhile transition. The measure of success should not simply be test scores, but
instead, increased attendance, attention and participation.
Once teachers see their students engaged and excited about learning and producing
thoughtful work, they will find it easier to make the transition from actor to director.
In order to educate students to be life-long learners and successful contributors to the
new global market, educators must change the way they teach and the way students
learn. We need to remember that if we want to help students achieve a high level of
competency and competitiveness, we have no choice but to make technology an
integrated tool in the field of education.

REFERENCES
A. Implementing Technology in Education: Recent Findings from Research and
Evaluation Studies by John Cradler, Far West Laboratory
B. Improving Indias Education System through Information Technology, by IBM
India Ltd.
C. Education in 21st Century, by Matthijs Roumen, Netherlands, roumen.com/en/
D. Information Technology: A Road to the Future? by Keith Geiger, President,
Robert F. Chase, Vice-President, Marilyn Monahan, Secretary-Treasurer, Don
Cameron, Executive Director
E. National Education Association of United States Robert Kozma and Jerome
Johnston. The Computer Revolution Comes to the Classroom. Change
(January-February, 1991).
F. www.sevenseek.com/collegev2
G. Kt.flexiblelearning.net.au
H. www.eduwonk.com
I. www.librarian.net:
J. Teachersteachingteachers.org