“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela
A traditional approach to learning is usually the main teaching approach in Jamaican schools. A traditional method of teaching is when a teacher directs students to learn through memorization and recitation techniques thereby not developing their critical thinking problem solving and decision making skills. These teaching styles employ traditional learning instruments such as whiteboards and chalk/blackboards.
However, with the implementation of communication technologies, learning and teaching styles have been centered around the use of technology. This type of learning is usually referred to as a blended approach to learning and teaching (technology based learning). The term blended learning is generally applied to the practice of using both online and in-person learning experiences when teaching students.
Therefore, with technology, there has been a change from whiteboards and chalk/blackboards to smart boards, projectors, audio speakers, application softwares (such as Powtoons, Prezi, Youtube, PowerPoint), e-learning platforms and so much more.
The implementation of technology in education is a great initiative that is being pushed by the Ministry of Education. More information about this initiative can be seen in the extract below adopted from Jamaica Information Service (JIS).
The previous Minister of Education, Rev. Hon. Ronald Thwaites, said that steps are being taken to revolutionise the country’s education sector through the incorporation of technology. He noted that the introduction and use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the classroom, coupled with traditional ways of imparting knowledge, will only contribute greatly to the benefit of the country.
The one-year pilot is being implemented in 38 educational institutions and involves the distribution of tablets to benefit 24,000 students and 1,200 teachers in six pre-primary schools, 13 primary schools, five all age and junior high schools, 12 high schools, one teachers’ college, and one special education institution.
The initiative also involves the distribution of computers and multimedia devices, including interactive whiteboards/projectors, scanners, printers to pre-primary and primary schools. This is in addition to the installation of Wi-Fi at all 38 educational institutions.
Therefore, as seen, technology in the educational sector enhances the teaching process as teachers can better communicate and interact with students. Also, technology gives students immediate access to an abundance of quality information which enhances the learning process. Lastly, students and teachers have access to an expanse of material: there are plenty of resourceful, credible websites available on the internet that both teachers and students can utilize.