Interactivity in Education Led by Technology
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Interactivity in Education Led by Technology

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Technology in a ClassroomBy Jaivardhan Varshney

Technology in a classroom should focus on enriching learning without compromising on any of the three types of interactions involved in the learning process

The rapid development of computer and Internet technologies has dramatically increased the ways of teaching and learning. From the typical classroom to online courses – all learning processes are witnessing changes. However, most of such technologies are finding it difficult to merge seamlessly with the pen and paper method of learning. Before we understand the importance of interactivity lets broadly classified learning interactions under three categories: i) learner-instructor, ii) learner-learner, and iii) learner-content.

With advent of smart boards and online content, classrooms are witnessing a change, though not the one we would like to see. The content gets played on the smart boards. Though it may help the school to standardise the content, the teacher gets marginalised and the learning flow gets compromised leading to a lot of to and fro between the content and the teacher, when actually the interactions should be more between the teacher and students.

Moreover, the learner-learner interaction also gets impacted to a large effect. Students fail to learn from amongst themselves. The class assumes a shape of lecture based learning rather than a discussion based one.

Thanks to Anoto’s dot-patterned digital pen and paper technology, classrooms are getting efficient without losing the golden touch – the touch of pen and paper. The education solutions built around this technology are capable of capturing everything students write with digital pens on their paper notebooks and show it on an interactive whiteboard in front of the class. The content so displayed can be used as a basis for discussions.

The entire classroom progress is digitally saved and stored along with audio so that teachers can continue from where they left or playback classes. This solution allows to save individual student’s work, and track progress seamlessly and effectively.

All this to bring the focus back on learning, where it should always remain. These solutions enrich the overall learning process by:

  • Encouraging discussion-based learning
  • Enhancing students’ attention in class
  • Leading to increased content retention

The teacher is able to carry out oneon- one interaction in a classroom setup where all the content is saved digitally. Automatic Test Administration and Grading frees up teachers’ time to focus on teaching. All this is achieved with simple pen and paper technology that does not require teachers or students to change their habits. Nor do they have to undergo extensive training on using the solutions.

Technology in a classroom should focus on enriching learning without compromising on any of the three types of interactions involved in the learning process. And that can be achieved only when the level of interaction remains as high as it was before implementing the technological solutions, if not less.

(The author is the Chief Operating Officer of Xcallibre India. He can be reached at jai@xcallibre.com)

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