Archana Goenka, trustee and academic director, C P Goenka International School.
As a parent what would you prefer? A child who resists going to school or one who excitedly leaves home, looking forward to going to school. Learning and having fun with friends and preparing to etch their impression on the world. Obviously, the latter.
School should be a place where children love to go as they spend a large part of their day here. They should look forward to the learning teaching that takes place in a way that learning is so much fun that it no longer seems like a drudgery or something they resist.
The methodology and pedagogy is of prime importance. This is what will help us provide the learners with an ambience that they look forward to.
Contrary to this, if we look at our education system, it’s largely redundant and doesn’t align itself to make a child future ready and a global citizen. This leads to disinterest towards learning. So how can this be addressed?
Yes, smart schooling is the answer to making learning interesting, purposeful and giving a direction to a dream and pathways to achieve the same. Undoubtedly most schools recognise this need and are working towards it. The advent of digital boards, online tools and programmes, the media links and modules are some of the basic smart school tools. But the need is far greater and below listed are some ways of changing the game.
App-based Learning: This tool is immensely useful for accessing mobile learning resources. Whilst you are on the move, you can access the app and revisit concepts taught in various disciplines namely maths, sciences, social studies etc. Besides being easily available it also provides a learner friendly atmosphere and could be helpful as it also addresses the need for learning strategies.
Video-based learning: Giving a face to the name helps remember someone. Same is with teaching and learning today. Instead of written theory, a simple yet impactful way to reach the child’s mind is the use of video-based lessons. Adopting digital tools to impart learning makes understanding easy especially so for a visual learner. Today the tools available in this medium are so vast that you can use it to enhance any learning activity. Right from using it in the classroom to showing virtual experiments which doesn’t require learners to use labs, teaching art through this medium and many more. Teachers’ classroom lectures can be recorded too which can be of help to students who can’t attend school due to various reasons or students who don’t understand can revisit lectures at a later date.
Use of Artificial Intelligence in schools: Digital content is created using robots with the same proficiency as that of humans and is extremely popular given the short period of time that they are created in. Digital text books or digital learning interfaces are user-friendly and child-friendly. Digital lectures, video conferences help better the understanding of a child. Additionally they help in the other aspects of academics like correcting home assignments and test papers. This is where teachers spend a great deal of their time, which can otherwise be spent in the core areas of facilitating a child’s learning. Artificial Intelligence helps here by automating grading methodology which also makes it more accurate.
Virtual Lecturers: The virtual facilitators is a new phenomenon that responds just like an actual teacher. Although one can never replace a teacher learner interaction in class this definitely is a great substitute for various contingencies like teacher absenteeism , illness etc. This can be done by combining 3-D gaming, animation and artificial intelligence and is already in test mode at many educational institutes. Once fine-tuned, these will be very popular in the classrooms.
While some of the enlisted methods are already in practice across many schools, the integration of all of them will truly translate to the advent of smart schools. And with the pace at which these are being developed and tested, education segment will see a major breakthrough in the next five years with teaching made fun and accessible to many.