Revolutionizing teaching – Teachers, are you ready to embrace technology?
Indian education system is based on memorizing the textbook rather than emphasizing on the need to grasp real world applications. Every time you ask a student about the learning he or she has had, they would invariably talk about a teacher who never gave up or went out of the way to help understand the concepts. It’s never the bookish knowledge that helps. Yet we are stuck with the age old British established manner of learning, where we are helping bring about good head clerks!! (That’s what they wanted.)
The traditional learning environment, where books are prescribed and syllabus is dictated, students do not enhance their skill sets; they rather focus on securing better grades at tests. There is no accountability to innovate teaching techniques and the large group of students in a class becomes difficult to manage. The limited time also adds to the woes of a teacher.
In India, we have various kinds of educators – teachers at school, the ubiquitous neighborhood tuition master and the corporate trainer. All of them depend on a classroom like ambiance to share knowledge. But what happens to all those who have a thirst to learn, but do not have access to physical classrooms?
Online learning platforms, which enable anytime-anywhere collaborative learning opportunities with a near in-person experience, could be the viable alternative we have been looking for.
Rise of online learning habits and its impact on teaching
We are in the midst of a digital revolution. Everything is available at the click of a mouse, including information on anything and everything. It’s much more difficult these days to educate students. Thanks to Google, nothing is a mystery anymore. No one is waiting for the teacher to teach.
In the face of such a radical shift in learning habits, teaching methods needs to evolve. It can’t be curtailed to what is prescribed. It needs to become more students’ centric, dynamic, need-based and self actualized.
Teaching should revolve around what students are learning, why they are learning it, and what they are doing with what they know? A paradigm shift from pure academics to initiating creative thinking habits is much needed to increase student engagement.
New ways to teach old lessons – Tech in classrooms
Innovative methods to teach has become the need of the hour. Teachers need to let go of the shackles of old classroom teaching and embrace tools of education technology to add logic/coherence to education/learning. Good structured instructional materials can be sourced from the likes of Google, Amazon or Apple. These help the struggling and advanced students to comprehend matters better. The online libraries can be made use of to explain topics in detail. Teachers can make use of these to learn and re-learn.
Teachers need to blend Internet into traditional teaching. A few examples would be using projectors, hearing aids, laptop computers in a classroom or directing students to a newspaper article link that explains new advancements in a particular topic. It adds as a better teaching aid as well. A virtual tour of an industry is another way to incorporate technology into a vocational classroom. It helps students to understand the industry and the work culture easily.
Introduction of online learning platforms is another way to incorporate the tools and techniques of technology into teaching. Each individual has a different pace of learning, it becomes difficult for a teacher to explain a point repeatedly in a large group; and not everybody feels comfortable discussing learning difficulties in the open. An online learning platform allows each individual to tackle the subject at their own pace with the help of interactive tasks.
Technology doesn’t stop at providing better tools; it inspires and motivates to think creatively, and therein helps acquire new skill sets. Technology is a tool that can and should be effectively harnessed and utilized in the practice of education. But remember, the tool is only as effective as the user.