By Funmi Ogundare
Educators, school owners and other stakeholders in the education sector recently converged for the second edition of TOSSEtech with the theme ‘Education and Technology: The Future is Here’, via a webinar.
The 30-day edtech dialogue which kicked-off recently, saw participants emphasising on how technology has impacted the world especially during this COVID-19 period, and how educators can begin to embrace it for the future.
They stressed the need for educators to see education as a business and incorporate technology into it with the aim of creating solutions, solving problems and making impact.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director of Edumark Consult, Mrs. Yinka Ogunde said the country has found itself in a situation where technology must be fully utilised, adding that during the first edition of the programme last year, the possibility of the impact of technology in terms of teacher/learners relationship was discussed.
“When we held the first edition, we were talking about the possibility of technology and teachers not seeing their students when they are learning. Now, we are confronted with the reality and we must make the best use of it and continue to live our lives.”
In her keynote address, the President, Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN) Dr. Femi Ogunsanya expressed delight about the online meeting unlike the usual physical one, while congratulating Ogunde for her diligence and enthusiasm about education.
“She has a mindset of making a difference. The fact that we are online has blown my mind,” she said.
The Director, Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls, Oregun, Lagos, Mrs. Olufunke Amba said the pandemic was a wake up call, adding that the new currency for the nation is technology, as the country cannot afford to be complacent.
The Country Director, Google Nigeria, Mrs. Juliet Chiazor Ehimuan, who emphasised on the theme, said the rise in technology “has helped to expand our knowledge in every areas of life, transformed the way we live our lives, democratise the way we access information and the internet.”
In her paper, ‘Digital Transformation is the New Normal’, Ehimuan who was the guest speaker, said with technology, “we can begin to expand our thinking and the way it can be used to transform education.”
She highlighted the uses of technology to enhance teaching to include self directed learning and remote instruction, productivity enhancement and workplace readiness.
“Self directed learning and remote instruction allow us to customise learning, engage students beyond classroom and break barriers. Every business is looking at how to increase productivity and cost with technology. We can have virtual campuses where the number of students are unlimited, with that, we can save cost.
“Workplace readiness ensures that students have job ready skills set. There is an interplay that can be mutually beneficial preparing for the jobs of the future.”
For these solutions to be reliable, Ehimuan stressed the need for reliable telecoms infrastructure and for rural areas to have access to portable devices.
The country director also called for collaboration among administrators and investment in e-learning and skills development, as well as reaching out to other relevant stakeholders.
“Technology is the present and future, collaboration is key. Education is next in line to level growth, we can work together to be ahead of the game,” she said.