A silent revolution is going on in schools, kindling students’ academic interest
CHENNAI: With technology invading classrooms, the teaching and learning process in schools is witnessing a silent revolution. Schools now have a host of online and offline audio-visual aids that are aimed at enhancing the learning process.
Imagine having to read through pages of printed matter as against watching colourful visual tools that instantly explain what a few paragraphs seek to. It is this accessibility that makes audio-visual aids that come in CDs and DVDs an interesting supplement to oral instruction .
“If we were to take a concept like photosynthesis, a good visual explaining the process can make a huge difference to a student’s understanding,” says Rajesh Shethia, assistant vice-president, Educomp Solutions, an education solutions provider. The company has helped set up the ‘smart class’ facility in nearly 45 schools in and around Chennai.
Quality is key
Chitra Ravi, founder and CEO of EZ Vidya, a learning solutions provider, agrees that there is tremendous scope for use of technology in the classroom. However, she emphasises the need for schools to choose content carefully. “While the physical infrastructure is important, schools must also make it a point to evaluate the content that comes with it,” she notes. The company, working with about 40 city schools, has been training several teachers to evaluate the content.
“Learning has to be both engaging and effective,” she says. Technological aids have ensured that the teaching process is more engaging, but a lot more needs to be done to make sure it is effective, she points out.
Some schools may have the tendency to be carried away by the tangible, physical, infrastructure. They have to remember that content plays a vital role here, she adds. “Teachers will have to take up the additional responsibility of making this content interactive and relevant to the students or it would result in underutilisation of infrastructure.”
Schools spend anything between Rs. 5 lakh and Rs.8 lakh for setting up the infrastructure. Poonam Singh Jamwal, chief marketing officer of Extramarks.com, an online learning solutions provider, says online medium offers customised lessons for each student. “Every chapter is offered in different levels ranging from the basics to the advanced concepts. Aids such as mind maps are also provided to enhance understanding,” she says. On Tuesday, the company organised a seminar for school Principals in Chennai.
School heads, too, acknowledge the need for revamping classroom teaching to hold students’ attention and effectively communicate in given time. “Information communication technology can play a valuable role in curriculum transaction, enrichment and evaluation,” says R. Kishore Kumar, senior Principal, St. John’s International Residential School.
Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram Principal Ajeeth Prasad Jain says technology also facilitates a healthy interaction between students and teachers in different parts of the world. “Use of IT in education is a must now. But everything lies in the manner it is used.”
Founder and CEO of Only Success Learning Technologies Vidhya Shankar says the reason for computer games to be so popular among children is its audio-visual appeal . “Computer games usually demand use of both the left and right brain. This keeps children totally focussed. If lessons could also be designed likewise, all the students will concentrate in class,” he says.
While teachers can never be replaced, technological aids certainly add value teaching process, if used effectively, they note.