University and college students are not the only learners who use laptops, iPads and other tablets these days. Toddlers and the aged are learning to use the latter two mentioned gadgets. In the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, preschool education is being started to be incorporated with tablet-facilitated learning. At the same time, elderly persons are beginning to learn to use laptops, iPads and tablets.
Very young Dutch pupils in a number of schools pioneering tablet-based education learn without textbooks, workbooks or any other printed reading materials. The role of teachers in this set up have been reduced to a coach, guiding the very young learners on how to learn through the use of the digital devices. The same is true for some schools in the UK. Some teachers in Britain are apprehensive that a huge portion of the overall educational needs of the young children will not be addressed with the limited role of the teachers.
Effect on Teachers
A few teachers in the UK are afraid that parents and families who cannot afford to provide their children with the expensive gadget will feel a societal division. Meanwhile, the Dutch government has been pouring funds into the use of the digital gadget in the classroom. The implications of this development can only be actually felt after a couple of years. They are specifically, questions as “Will teachers be outdated?” and “What would be the impact on the teaching profession?”
On the other hand, elderly people from around the world are starting to use laptops, iPads and tablets. They are beginning to feel the technology generation gap, have felt the need to cope with it, want to learn how to use the devices and are starting to learn now. Tablet computers have become literally the pill for the “home sickness” they are feeling in the information and communication technology age.
Aged persons who are starting to feel the generation gap now learn how to use the highly advanced computers to help them catch up on how the hi-tech generation are communicating. It is not only about receiving and sending messages. It is a way of life. The elderly are now learning and actually catching up, figuratively and literally. And why not? The tablet is user friendly enough to help the aging learners cope.
Bridging the Gap
Older grandparents are now bonding with their toddler grandchildren through laptops, iPads and tablets. While these devices have been the hi-tech age toys of even the youngest kids, they are starting to be used as a means to facilitate their education. The older generation of the aged is also using the gadgets and they are starting to catch up.
Sunrise, Sunset and Tomorrow
In a couple of years, the people who are in the afternoons of their lives will be able to know what the persons who are still in their lives’ sunrise know. But a few years after that or even while still along the way, new technologies will be developed and adapted by civilisation. Then, another episode of gap in the knowledge and skills of the old and the young will happen.
Teachers do not need to worry. While there is something to teach and while there are children, young and adult learners which will now start to include the elderly, they will always have something to do in their lives. In other words, the world will always and forever need teachers. This is because the world does not stop studying and needing to learn. Tablets or any other gadgets or devices will not and cannot take the place of dear human teachers. In fact, they are even instruments that call for more teaching work to do. Aside from being new tools which need to be studied with the help of teachers, they also give rise to more sets of learners. As mentioned, the elderly people in this case.
“Work on weaknesses and secure the strengths,” this is my strategy in work, academics and life. I am a wide reader and the literature I consume range from the historical to the current, be they trivia like encyclopaedia to informative like recent psychology essays.