Let’s go back a few years i.e. even before when computers were introduced in our schools and try to visualize how our classrooms were run. A teacher enters into the class, uses blackboard and chalk to teach a particular topic in the 30 to 45 minutes she has. A good teacher would in between ask all students whether they are understanding the concept and if they have any questions. After these 30 to 45 minutes, in all probability this topic might never be discussed again. And this used to keep happening class after class, day after day, subjects after subjects.
If we look at the above way of learning from a child’s perspective, a teacher is making certain assumptions:
- Every child has learnt equally in those 30 to 45 minutes
- Every child has the same ability to comprehend what she has taught within the time available
- If I keep doing this day after day, all children will be equally ready for the exam at the end of the year
Do you think these assumptions are valid? Imagine yourself being a child and in that environment before answering the question.
We at iDream Education believe that the above assumptions are not so valid in the modern world we have today. We are failing to understand that every child is unique and therefore has his or her own ability to hear, read, understand, comprehend and remember. Some may be fast learners while some may be slow. Some may like to read more, others may like to watch more, while some others may simply like to experience things to enable learning. It is not that these aspects of a child’s personality have been unknown to us. Our education system however refuses to accept this fact even after years of extensive research in this space.
In fact, with smart classes or e-learning labs, we have merely created an extension of the teacher led classroom experience for the child. When smart classes were first introduced in schools, it was considered as the most innovative step. What educationists and researchers failed to understand that the one computer system, which has been placed in the e learning lab, is nothing but a replacement of the teacher. The child still has 30 to 45 minutes to watch animated videos, understand the topic and be ready for the exams. While it may make learning a little more interesting, but smart classes fail to appreciate the uniqueness of each child.
Another issue with smart classes has been teacher’s reluctance to use them. A good number of teachers in our government schools are not tech savvy and to them using and maintaining a costly machine appears more like a burden.
So, you may ask, what’s next then?
At iDream Education, for some years now we have been experimenting with one of one learning. This essentially means that we shift the power of technology from the hands of the teacher and give it to the child. Imagine a child in a government school holding a tablet filled with reading material, audio stories, animated multi-media content and app based learning games across all subjects he or she studies. Every child is now free or independent to choose the way they want to learn. They are sitting in a very non-judgmental environment where they know they are not being judged on how fast they learn and how quickly they can be ready to give the exam. Whether a child takes 30 minutes to understand a topic or an hour, a child can keep practicing the concept unless the child feels confident to move on. This tablet based ecosystem also helps a teacher to get more involved in her role as a facilitator and a mentor.
The tablet based interactive learning is the next wave of innovation happening in the education space. These are still early days though and we shall have more updates in the times to come on how learning on tablets or smartphones will really have an impact on improving the learning levels of children in the government schools.
If you would like to know more about our tablet based initiative, please do visit the link below:
We would also love to hear your views on what do you think whether tablet based learning is the answer to truly engaging the child and improving the quality of learning in our government schools.