Education

Give them the mobile phone

Dr Manjurika Marik
Many schools and teachers have an uneasy relationship with technology: they decry its power to distract young minds but see it as a necessary evil.As a matter of fact, technology can truly revolutionise education – only if it is used wisely.If we continue to keep students in a technology-free environment and restrict them to use mobile phones, laptops and tablets, we are actually inhibiting them.Reality is, every student will eventually move out into the digital world of today. So, it is our duty to prepare them for the future and arm them to the best of our ability. They have to be familiar with 21st century to be successful in the uncertain future ahead.

 

Students can learn an essential life skill

We live in a digital world and getting familiar with technology is an essential life skill. Rather than blocking resources like YouTube, phones, etc. they should be encouraged to use the information obtained from them for their projects, and assignments. The educator’s duty should be to keep a strict vigil on the students; being aware that today’s students are very smart, tech-savvy and know ways to get around the restrictions imposed on them.

Educators can add their teaching resources to YouTube, replacing paper with more effective videos. This allows the students to interact positively with their teachers. As a result, the learning process becomes more effective, open and result oriented. It will also facilitate students for an integration into the digital world without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed.

Make student independent learners

Technology enables students to be independent learners, where the teacher is the guiding light, assigning collaborative tasks. For example, if a certain app is used by the students to record them reading their lessons and then it is played in the class in front of the teacher. This would help the students in evaluating their fellow mates and themselves in terms of speed, emotion, accuracy, phrasing, intonation. This instils a sense of pride, responsibility and independence in them. Eventually they will learn to leverage digital tools to their own advantage.

Let students sometimes be a teacher

Allow the students to learn a topic on their own beforehand and present it in the class. This way the teacher helps to develop self-confidence in students.


If we continue to keep students in a technology-free environment, we are actually inhibiting them


Quality of education can be improved

Pen-paper education will be there, but as the time changes the increasing availability of software devices can be used to transform boring lessons into very enjoyable ones, encourage creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

Use the power of choices

Give kids some space to cultivate their own interests. Assign an hour or so in a week for the students to work on their passion projects. When students make a choice instead of teacher, they will have a sense of ownership over what is learnt.

Give briefing

Students will be excited as soon as they are assigned computers or devices. Before assigning them the project the teacher should explain the lesson in short. The students will come to know what is to be expected of them before starting.

Curricula to be based on real world problems

Learning through real world problems is not a new idea. For a long time, schools have made sporadic efforts to give students concrete experiences through field trips, laboratories and work-study programs. But these activities have seldom been incorporated into school activities because of logistical constraints and the amount of subject matter to be covered. Technology can offer powerful tools to address these constraints.

Involve parents

Develop trust between the parents and the teacher by making them aware of what is being taught. One can involve them by giving them exercises or documents that the children can explore and toy around with at home. Then the teacher can follow up with quizzes, lectures or any other interesting activities.

Being a teacher with access to technology can be as easy or as difficult as one makes. Some groups of students would prefer a more old fashioned approach, while others would want to explore modern methods of learning. One should try to find a balance. Try and embrace the changes that come with technology-aided teaching and one would see their classroom transform into something one wouldn’t have imagined.

 

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