Naveen Rajlani, Senior Vice President and Head – School Division, Pearson Education India, talks about the increasing role of tables in K-12 education in conversation with Pragya Gupta, ENN
How do you see the role of tablets in augmenting the delivery of education in the classroom and beyond?
Technology is playing a decisive role in the future of education today. As technology is advancing, it is being deployed to benefit students of all ages in the learning process. Technology used in the classrooms will help students under- stand and grasp information better. For example, some people are visual learners and projection screens linked to computers allow them to see and comprehend study material instead of simply listening to a teacher delivering a lecture. Tablets are the future of smart learning and have been able to capture a significant market share amongst the school-going children. They offer a platform that gives school children access to more effective, personalised and collaborative digital learning with rich digital content, 3D animations, quizzes and videos. Software can be used to supplement class curriculum. The digital programmes provide study questions, activities and even tests and quizzes for a class, thereby helping students continue learning outside the classroom.
Please share your experience with the schools with their hands on tablet?
Today’s school-going children are smarter and sharper than ever before. They want phones, laptops, tablets and other devices that are snazzy, cost-effective, eco-friendly, and in a way read their minds and understand their needs well. Our latest product, MX Touch, has the curriculum framework at its core while being a platform that offers interactive learning to students. It is a flexible combination of graded content and exciting new digital resources. Its assessment module personalises learning and analyses progress. It also helps reduce the burden of schoolbags as textbooks will now go digital. With MX Touch, we have brought the best of our global capabilities as well as our own ability in content development to India, thus living up to Pearson’s principle of efficacy and top-notch standard of education. This product has been used as a pi- lot in several schools and the experience and enthusiasm among the children has been over- whelming.
In the course of the pilots, we realised that children found the process of learning from tab- lets quite enjoyable and felt that the variety of media resources, like presentations and animations, helped them understand better. The class- rooms became more interactive through the use of tablets, and even at home, children could easily recapitulate what they had learnt since they could access digital resources over and over again. The mo- bile experience of learning was enjoyed by students everywhere while teachers and the school administration admired the ease at which assessments could be conducted and analytical reports could be generated and shared.
What are the five things schools can expect from tablets in the year 2013?
First, schools can expect a user friendly device that will help teachers personalise the learning process for students keeping in mind the diversity of learning types in any classroom. Second, they can expect smoother processes of evaluation, thanks to the assessment module that allows teachers to generate pop quizzes and home assignments as well as test papers for groups of students and individuals. The assessment module will also help teachers generate reports that analyse a student’s performance in comparison with his own past assessments as well as in perspective to the rest of the class. Third, they can expect classrooms to become more interactive and focussed as tablets take into account the needs of large classrooms, and allow teachers to lock students’ access to anything but the text or the resource in discussion. Fourth, they can expect tools that facilitate administration like message boards that allow parents and teachers to interact, records of attendance and calendar of events. Last, they can expect a cost-friendly, eco- friendly mobile learning experience.
Please share your plans for the Indian education segment? What kind of products are you planning to launch for the education sector?
The Indian education industry is very versatile. Information and communication technologies are playing a pivotal role in transforming the method of imparting education today. Interactive whiteboards have become common in school classrooms and the popularity of online courses is helping improve access and quality of education. Indian education space has surely embraced technology with unbridled enthusiasm and will continue to do so in the times to come. Pearson is at the forefront of technology and innovation.
Pearson has come to be perceived as an agent of change, thanks to the pioneering products we have launched over the last many years. We were the first to integrate technology in a pedagogically sound fashion. Starting with e-Books that acted as audio-visual aids to teaching, we moved on to ActiveTeach, which introduced blended learning at its best to Indian schools. Our latest offering is MX Touch – pedagogically sound textbook content loaded on a tablet with digital re- sources strategically embedded so that the teacher in the classroom, and the student while studying at home, is aware of how to progress in a logical fashion from one topic to the next without getting lost in a sea of content.
Please tell us more about MX Touch.
MX Touch-ActiveTouch variants are available in 7- and 10-inch tablets from our preferred tablet manufacturers, Samsung and Micromax. These tablets have been affordably priced keeping the interest of the learners at the forefront. It is available in the following versions: MX Touch – ActiveTouch, MX Touch – DigitALly and MX Touch – Ultimate. MX Touch – ActiveTouch has pedagogically sound, graded digitised textbooks already loaded on the tablet. ActiveTouch is available in four subjects — English, Science, Mathematics and Hindi — for classes 3 to 8. Engaging animations, captivating videos from BBC Motion Gallery, and a host of interactive activities and worksheets will help the teacher add to their lessons. ActiveTouch instantly cuts the environmental impact of printing multiple textbooks and helps avoid the hassle of carrying a huge number of books to school. MX Touch – DigitALly is loaded with DigitALly Student Edition, another edition of Pearson’s patented and award-winning teaching tool. DigitALly includes animations, videos, self-explanatory diagrams, worksheets, quizzes and several hours of experiments for different subjects designed to make the learning more engaging. MX Touch – DigitALly SE (student edition) can house an entire curriculum of a grade on a device and offers access to it not only in the classroom, but also outside and at home. MX Touch – Ultimate is a bundled version that includes MX Touch – ActiveT- ouch and MX Touch – DigitALly SE.