Prime Minister NarendraModi in a recent programme stated that the focus needs to shift from quantity to quality of education. Using this as a premise, technology can be a significant driver of quality education, so that increasing number of schools can provide a holistic and interactive learning experience to make our students future ready.
With the advent of various free applications, teaching processes are fast evolving from teacher-directed monologues to learner-centred explorations. These technologies not only come at minimal costs, but also upgrade the learning experience to become more immersive and interactive, allowing students to go beyond textbooks and classroom walls to fuel their curiosity. Here’s some technology-aided plug-ins to help teachers become facilitators and classrooms become student centred learning spaces.
Google classroom: One of the biggest challenges we face in India is the widening teacher-student ratio as reported by Brookings Institution, Washington based research organisation. Technology can help mitigate this challenge with the use of free softwares such as Google Classroom. This tool helps teachers create an e-classroom experience with space for appending reference material as well as assignments. The teacher can also go through assignment submissions, export score sheets and give constructive individual feedback to each child. This can also help the teacher save time on clerical work and bring to the table latest relevant topics of interest from various websites and also by using group dynamics for inquiry learning.
Kahoot: Gamification in classrooms is widely used to aid learning, as it makes the process more interactive. Kahoot helps teachers make assessment fun. With gamification elements added, students interest is piqued leading to a better and more productive outcome from them. With colourful avatars and animated messages, the experience of assessments can be transformed into a fun, online learning exercise, for free.
Flipgrid: This allows students to record short video responses and share it with their classmates on the subject grid. The tool also provides a platform to interact, discuss and respond to videos made by each other, so that diverse and novel perspectives can be exchanged. With the help of such softwares, the traditional teacher-directed rote learning methodologies can give way to peer-learning and self-learning approaches, which work more efficiently due to its explorative and interactive nature.
The need of the hour is strategic investments for better tech-competency in the teacher community, introduction of e-learning methodologies and encouraging collaboration between schools across countries as well as continents. Moreover, low adaptation costs of such softwares are a boon for upscaling quality and helping it reach billions of learners. Such tech-integration will certainly lead to the flawless and efficient evolution of Ed-India 2.0, faster than we could have expected a decade ago.
The writer is an international educator