Technology: an opportunity or a challenge to IOK?
Technology is indeed inevitable. The world is evolving at a fast pace and our mind has been modernised through the aid of technology. Muslims have to realise that modernisation should not make us dependent on Western thoughts alone. We believe that children, our future leaders, are the best medium for us to channel a balanced kind of knowledge. This is where the implementation of IOK becomes crucial and technology may serve that function. Based on the talk given by Dr. Mahmudul Hasan, one of the main points that interested us is regarding values attained by children. To him, that is the most important one regardless of the medium of education the children are put into. Hence, we would like to explore how technology can be a medium for children to acquire Islamic values.
Children are very curious creatures that they like to explore things on their own. The internet is a vast network that provides unlimited information regardless of its originality. There are countless plagiarised works and false hadith and teachings online. Originally, the children may intend to look up for information on Islam but chances are they might bump into false teaching such as the diverted one shared by the extremist Shi‘ites. Without any supervision, the children might pick up the false information and this might mislead them from the truth. Besides being curious, children tend to pick up things fast. When they watch videos on YouTube or other websites on false ‘Islamic’ practice by the extremists for instance, they might eventually imitate it or at least the idea might stick in their mind. This is where technology may also become a challenge to IOK, where people might obtain the wrong values instead of the correct one.
Regardless of the challenges technology may provide us in the process of IOK, we also still need to acknowledge the benefits it can give us in terms of spreading IOK. This kind of independent learning done by the children has become a challenge for parents as well as teachers. It is then the role of parents and teachers to supervise their activity to ensure that the information gained are the reliable and correct one. They have to strengthen their role as the educator to guide the children away from the negative values. Any information that the children acquire must be enlightened and a strict supervision is also a must. Thus, it can be concluded that technology should be acknowledged for the purpose of IOK with an addition that this young generation today should be monitored, guided and briefed by their parents and teachers regarding the ethics when going online so that technology may serve to provide them with the correct Islamic values.