Schools of the 21st century and quickly adapting to the use of technology in the classroom. While many parents are wary of the use of technology, and have the misconceptions that the overuse of technology will cause our children to be dependent on it, the truth is our children are growing up in a world where they are thinking differently, receiving and processing information faster due to technology. This means that our classrooms must also quickly adapt to newer methods of disseminating information to students and so technology must be when used wisely and thoughtfully in our classrooms. This does not mean that teachers will soon be obsolete. Teachers have and always will play a vital role in the classroom, and technology in fact is only meant to act as an assistant or a tool.
Gone are the days of rote learning, where students were made to memorize their alphabets in the early years. Now a days, teachers are using storytelling videos, and apps to provide a multisensorial and more engaging approach to the topic.
The Bull’s Eye
The true advantage of digitization of the classroom comes in allowing personalized learning and differentiation. At the early years level, many schools use online based reading and literacy programs. Such programs allow teachers to give students assignments based on each student’s individual reading level. These programs may in turn ask the kids to create a recording of them reading books out loud, which the teachers in turn can use to check the proficiency, fluency and pronunciation of each child. But more importantly, it allows children to complete tasks at their individual level, so no child is reading a level far above, or far below their proficiency level. Children may also be given a range of books to choose from, which allows them to engage in the topic which interests them, thus fostering their imagination as well as their decision-making skills, and thus teaching them to be masters of their own ship.
Information collected from such digitized classes allow teachers to differentiate students from diverse group of students with diverse learning needs, in the same course, classroom, or learning environment. Students with similar needs can be grouped together for specialized lessons, thus making sure that in a classroom as a whole, no student is too far ahead or far behind the others.
The Changed Scenario
While the traditional education methods do have their advantages, the one size fits all model may not be appropriate for all. Digitization is there for key in assisting the teachers in the classroom. E-learning and digital classrooms allow for customization tailored to each student’s need, capability, interest and understanding therefore keeping them more engaged as they progress. As the 21st century work moves more and more towards digitization, it’s only right that the classrooms do as well.
(This article is written by Rohan Parikh, Director of The Green Acres Academy for Entrepreneur India here.)