The following is a Q&A with Pradeep:
DNA: What is Taylor's philosophy when it comes to how technology is being used as a teaching tool and a learning tool?
Pradeep: Technology is a valuable tool which enhances the teaching and learning experience.
The countless new applications produced every day offer varying platforms for our teachers and lecturers to keep students engaged learning. We are also a firm believer that learning never stops, and that technology enables learning to take place anywhere at any time.
DNA: What do you feel are the technology trends, both positive and negative, that will shape how education is delivered?
Pradeep: Positive – it increases engagement, offers instant information, creates increased interest in learning, allows for real time responses/ interaction.
Negative – while technology offers various positive enhancements to the education environment, there are possible ways where it could be misused. Issues such as unreliable sources of information and poor time management (addiction to social media sites) are among the issues faced by students.
However, these issues can be addressed through effective engagement and the implementation of boundaries for students when engaging online. For example, lecturers can educate students how to cross-check facts.
DNA: Are there any faculties that are most and least affected by how technology is used to deliver lessons?
Pradeep: Entrepreneurship courses are being offered online to anyone in the world via our Massive Open Online Course or MOOC.
DNA: Do you look for anything different in the faculty you hire today, versus say five to 10 years ago?
Pradeep: We look for tech-savvy individuals who are in tune with the latest technology advancements used by youths – and those who are able to educate students on how to optimise technology to get the most out of their education.
DNA: Conversely, your most senior faculty will likely struggle the most to adapt to using technology in delivering their lessons. How has the university helped them adapt?
Pradeep: Fortunately for Taylor’s, our faculty members are open to adopting technology to enhance the delivery of lessons. Also, the user-friendly features of technology and gadgets today has made it easier for all generations (young or old) to learn quickly.
At the same time, easy access to technology on Taylor’s campus encourages a tech-savvy culture (WiFi, iPad compatible projectors, Blended Learning).
DNA: The alarmist among educationists fear that the generation of university students coming through the system, adept at googling for everything, are rapidly losing the sense of curiosity and discovery that they will need ever more when in the working world, as the pace of what is relevant knowledge is changing so fast.
Is this a concern Taylor's shares too? How are you trying to teach them that they need to be continuous learners and that using the Internet is not the be all and end all of their education process?
Pradeep: By utilising a multi-approach to helping students learn (mixing technology with time-tested techniques of learning). We tend to view technology as an enabler and not replacing the teaching profession altogether. Our lecturers are more facilitators and not teachers.
We also develop students’ curiosity by facilitating independent learning and inculcating a continued thirst for knowledge with the mindset that learning takes place between everyone, and not just in a classroom.
DNA: Do you think students enjoy a richer learning experience today because of technology?
Pradeep: Technology has definitely made learning a more exciting and interactive experience. The Generation Y and ‘linksters’ of today are curious, resourceful and have strong opinions. Technology is big part of their lives.
As such, it is the best platform for educators to engage with and deliver knowledge to this new generation of students.