I probably was in my 3rd or 4th standard. The science teacher asked us to do a home experiment wherein we had to germinate seeds. I was super-excited. After reaching home, I couldn’t wait to collect all the materials that were required. I set the seeds in some water-soaked cotton in a small plastic container. And now I only had to wait. The wait was endless but was all worth it! When the seeds germinated and tiny plants popped out, the feeling was incredible. The experience of doing it all by myself was so satisfying and such fun.
When children get to do and witness things all on their own, their affinity towards learning increases exponentially making the whole process enjoyable and worthwhile.
I was lucky to go to a private school in an urban area, but how do we take this experience to millions of rural students going to our government schools? – By Igniting Curiosity through Digital Content delivered on Tablets and Mobile
This video was shot by one of our colleagues from a government school in Maharashtra, where we had set up a Tablet based Smart ICT Lab.
The video had inspired me the first time I had seen it and it inspires me even today after a few years.
Magic of STEM Videos
Years ago when we were exploring what kind of digital content we should provide to students offline in government schools, one category of content we were very excited about was STEM Project Videos.
We were thinking how do we give rural students an experience of a lab, of creating an experiment and then seeing its results, something that urban students easily have access to.
The STEM Videos that we eventually introduced on our platform were very easy do-it-yourself videos which students and teachers can use to create their own experiments and build models and toys inside their classrooms and now even in their homes. All the material required to do this could be easily available around them. In most cases, you could use the waste materials lying around you.
And the best part was that we made all these videos available in local languages.
Like the kid you saw in the video above, there are many brilliant minds amongst our government school students and access to project and activity videos can unlock their curiosity and willingness to experiment, innovate and create something new. Who knows there is another Abdul Kalam amongst them?
Not to mention, apart from building a curious and a scientific bent of mind, such videos also develop many other skills in students like:
Planning: Children tend to inculcate the habit of planning when they try doing things all by themselves. When they watch an experiment and feel like trying it out, they instantly start to reach out for stuff that would be needed. They begin to plan the littlest of things as to where they can collect the requisites and optimize them to the fullest. In fact, it also helps them to plan and manage their time. They subconsciously set time-limits, plan out their nitty-gritties while trying to complete everything within a stipulated time-period.
Coordination: Going out in the corporate world, perhaps this is one quality that helps an individual the most. Working in a team, coordinating with team members and striking the right balance are few standpoints that children must be encouraged to learn right from their childhood.STEM experiment videos can invariably teach coordination to students. When they watch these videos, they not only work to accomplish an experiment within a group but also try to make it a successful one.
Creativity: As stated above, to do the experiments featured in the STEM videos, a child will require nothing extra but only waste materials lying around him. This indirectly instigates a child to identify and select the resources that are right beside him; and put them to best possible use while conducting his experiment. Thus, using his creative side he learns to utilize even a discarded thing in multiple ways.
These are 21st century skills making a child competent and eventually preparing him to face the outer world as he grows up.
Learning Value delivered right
‘Learn while you play’ is always the best idea to learn. In our rural and government schools where achieving improvement in learning level has always been a challenge, engaging, playway and practical learning videos can be effectively used to ensure students build a deeper and long lasting understanding of every topic.
When you see your concepts come alive in front of you, when you see how what you are learning can be applied in real life, it is bound to build an interest in the students to learn even the most complex concepts and effortlessly retain them for a longer period of time.
Delivering engaging & practical learning directly to student’s home in the post covid world
In the pre-covid scenario, we were taking both conceptual and practical learning to students offline via tablet based labs set up in the government schools. During and post Covid, we have continued doing the same through the iDream Learning App taking digital learning directly into the homes of students. Now, being in the safety of their homes, students can watch animated videos to build an understanding of their concepts and then head to the STEM Videos section where they can build practical experiments to understand the same concept deeply.
Leaving you with the video of Chaya; a rural student who is all keyed up creating and showing off her experiment that she learnt from the app. Her eagerness and the twinkle in her eyes says it all!
If you have experienced student transformation through other means of practical and project based learning, please do share with us in the comments below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to speak with you, learn from you and jointly work to deliver the best of learning and growth value to our last mile learners.
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