Education

Learning is seeing

The teacher can use technology to serve up content that is relevant to the student.   | Photo Credit: Freepik

In recent years, the conversation has moved from whether technology should be used in educational processes to how it can be used to enhance learning. This shift has been further accelerated by the pandemic that saw a widespread acceptance of technology. Teachers across the globe were forced to use online learning as a mainstream medium for taking classes.

The biggest use of technology in all the fields that it has impacted is in its ability to bring scale. In education, scale is required in both creation and delivery of content. Traditionally, a teacher was a lone warrior while creating content but, now with the use of technology, is able to look at the work done by other teacher communities, and add his/her own flavour and expertise to help students understand better. Not only does technology offer an opportunity to personalise content for each student but the visual tools also help them bring complex concepts to life inside a classroom.

Today, students are digital natives and learning from screens is a primary habit. However, each student learns and likes different things at a point in time. Even if they are of the same age, two students will have different knowledge states. The teacher can use technology to serve up content that is relevant. Personalisation ensures that students initiate learning on their own which leads to them being effective, engaged and motivated to learn and results in better overall results.

The multimedia effect

Traditional textbooks struggle to find the perfect description when trying to convey a complex idea. Adjectives and modifiers fail to depict what is in the author’s mind. Although complex information could be relayed using charts and stats, this can get pretty boring. A key benefit of a technology-enabled learning environment is the employment of multimodal components for learning. The future of learning is visual, interactive, and designed for deeper comprehension. Marrying visual learning with auditory, reading, writing and kinaesthetic components can reinvent our approaches to learning.

Visual learning formats allow students to visualise complex concepts, hence greatly enhancing understandability. Students can grasp concepts better; thus they learn instead of simply mugging up without understanding. For instance, to teach how magnesium reacts with water, teachers will have to zoom in by a factor of one billion to see these molecules in action. To explain this on a black board is, difficult. But by using 3D videos and 3D simulations, the teacher’s job is easier and students have a deeper understanding of the concept. To make it more fun, the content can be created and delivered in an interactive format, which increases attention, curiosity, and interest.

While the ultimate objective is to help students identify with their learning material, it can also prove to be a powerful motivator to pursue passions and instill a mindset of lifelong learning. While the importance of school remains uncontested, technology-led classrooms will enhance a child’s conceptual understanding.

The technology deficit in the rural parts of India is a challenge. Our best chance to address the digital deficit in rural areas is by using technology as an enabler — using smartphones as a distribution medium — so that high quality content is accessible to students across geographical locations, giving them opportunities to thrive.

The writer is the Chief Content Officer, BYJU’S


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 11:28:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/how-visual-learning-helps-bring-complex-concepts-to-life/article37817991.ece

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