Besides emphasising on traditional methods of teaching, it is also essential in this powerful new learning world that we make an effective use of digital education in our knowledge enhancement. Dr Vandana Gupta, Principal, Shreejee International School shares her views.
How important do you think is a tablet for curriculum in your school?
Tablet is very important part of the curriculum as it helps in enhancing knowledge retention, increasing stimulation and improving learning abilities. Moreover tablets are mobile, a feature that encourages students to be more active in the classroom enhancing kinaesthetic learning to make the lesson content more memorable and further a student’s choice of apps makes it easy to build a personalized learning environment. They can also carry it easily from class to class.
Is a tablet only way for the schools to help their students understand the concept better?
No doubt that tablets enhance an ease of learning and understanding but this is not the only way to help the students understand the concept. Interaction mode in the classroom with the teacher, group discussions, interactive videos and various other activities give better experience.
What can a tablet, e-Book and e-Content, not do?
Tablet, e-Book and e-Content are basically un-assertive in nature. They cannot provide learning experience that students get from interactive methods like classroom teaching, group discussion, interactive videos, lectures etc. Moreover, tablets cannot propagate values and ethics which are lacking in the modern world.
How do you evaluate, assess a tablet before selecting it for the curriculum in your school?
The device you choose should meet your school’s learning goals and needs. It should work with your curriculum management style. A school that wants central control over its devices is going to choose a different tablet than a school that wants to leave most of the management up to individual classrooms. However, the schools must emphasize on some of the essential features like wifi support, 3G/4G support, processing speed, memory, freeOS (Android) to get the desired app etc. But one doesn’t have to be so device driven that we lose track of the fact that we are going to be teaching students.
Introduction of digital tools into the classrooms has brought the narratives alive. The traditional tools of teaching are slowly losing their relevance. Do you see any inherent contradiction between the two?
Well you cannot rule out the fact that digital tools have taken the education industry by storm and for a valid reason but I think main motives of education should be to build the overall character and to bring the all round development of the students. There is no point in discussing which teaching method is better than the other.
Although the private schools are far ahead of the Govt. Schools, the new government appears committed to bridging the digital deficit. How do you think should the government move?
Government schools neither have the adequate infrastructure nor the basic facilities. Even the teachers are also not trained properly to infuse ICT in education. This frustrating situation creates a digital divide. The government though has announced many new programmes to bridge this divide but the desired goals of the government can only be achieved through a strict execution and effective implementation of these programmes.
Must the e-content be regulated because it runs the risk of over exposure and doing more harm than good in the end. What is your take?
It is essential in this powerful new learning world that we make our pedagogy twofold; we must make an effective use of e-content to enhance knowledge and manoeuvre in this Information age but we are also bound to teach the ethical parameters within which students live and learn to navigate this space.
The massive open online courses (MOOCS) have brought closer the dream of digital equality in our country. However, the shallow internet density in our country is making a crisis out of an opportunity.
How do you think can the Government come to seize the opportunity?
In recent years the popularity of online courses has increased significantly because learning that is time-dependent and location dependent is not an option for everyone anymore.