Dr Niyati Chitkara
Principal, Chitkara International School, speaks about the school’s focus on technology and the teaching-learning pedagogies to suit the needs of current generation
The year was 1992. Students were set current generation ting in their class and waiting for their teacher to start with a new chapter. They were sitting there without having any previous knowledge of the topic and without doing any prior research regarding the topic. Their sole source of knowledge and information were their teachers and books.
It is 2016 today — the era of Generation Z learners. There are again students sitting in a classroom but they are not waiting for a teacher to introduce a topic to them. They are already engaged in a webinar and having deep discussions regarding the topic with students from a school in Dubai, university students sitting in Vancouver, Canada and supported by an industry expert, sitting in England. Along with the teachers and the books, these students have also become a source of knowledge and learning.
These students are inventing, inspiring and creating new concepts during their school years itself. They are undergoing online courses as part of their curriculum, they are interacting with students from different countries and breaking all boundaries as far as learning is concerned. Therefore, the Learning Pedagogies have evolved accordingly to cater to these students at Chitkara International School.
Since inception, our focus has been on building a world-class school that offers a blend of nationally and internationally acclaimed educational opportunities. Our school has been developed on the format of industry to kindergarten education, rather than K to 12 education flow.
Our vision is to take a hand, open a mind, touch a heart and shape a future. We aim at creating DNA of research scholars in varying fields that can further multiply and add value to the world. To embed this in every Generation Z learner and create different DNA altogether and further multiplying it to serve the mankind is clearly the mission of our school.
Technology is one of the major tools that have helped us in fulfilling our vision and mission. Office of Online Support Services at our school was created to instill useful technologies into the school system — be it in proper organisation and planning of processes, efficient communication between various stakeholders, 24-hour redressal of parent queries or training the teachers to use technology in the most effective and efficient way in the classrooms, diagnostic and scientific assessments and just-in-time feedback to the parents.
In classrooms, we take the help of technology in providing personalised learning. Our students undergo a variety of courses through MOOCs. They are given various assignments throughout the session, but it is left to them how they want to undertake them. One may give a video presentation, one may give a live project or it could be in the form of a mind map/flowchart. Technology has assisted us in giving freedom to the learner to choose the way he/she wishes to learn.
We extensively use technologies like ERP system, Google Classrooms, Google Earth, Edmodo, Skype Sessions, TED Talks, Webinars and iTunesU in our school on day-to-day basis. These tools have helped us tremendously in better functioning and also, efficiently imparting learning to our students. We have witnessed increased levels of participation and interest shown by the students in the learning processes.
Technology has also helped us in creating a better and strong bonding between all the stakeholders. Through our school’s ERP system and a user-friendly mobile App managed by the Ofice of Online Support, the parents are more involved and connected with their child’s education. With a click of a button, they can communicate with the teacher, management, access their child’s topic-wise diagnostic assessment and keep updated with daily learning activities undertaken in the class. Using online polls, we take parent’s opinion in various decisions on school’s functioning, be it in deciding the agenda for summer camps or participation in international conference.