East is east and west is west. Never the twain shall meet' said Rudyard Kipling. 'Learning is learning and fun is fun. Never the twain shall meet' said a student. It is time to make that possible now. It is time to end the era in which children hated school. It is time to get rid of the old teaching techniques and keep in pace with modern day technology. It is time to stop using the chalk on the board and make a change in the lives of the generations to come. We are making progress. India in the 1 lth century had schooling in gurukuls.
Young boys were taught archery and sword fighting skills. Children used to sit under trees with their slates and chalks and practice sums. Today, we belong to a digital generation that demands innovative methods of absorbing information. Scope in this field is tremendous. Over the years, schools have moved from black boards to smart boards, from typewriters to computers and from a rigid education system to a spontaneous fun experience of school. The oxford dictionary defines fun as 'light amusement' but every individual has his own definition of fun.
We always find it funny when a child remembers the xact dialogues of the latest film but finds it difficult to answer the questions from their history text book. So to create and exciting atmosphere, the interest of a child is crucial. Audio-video and movies with children's favorite stars help in absorbing the required knowledge. Recorded food preparation television shows and scenes from famous plays can be shown. Colorful pictorials and animations speak louder than a thousand words. Learning in groups with friends also reinforces many facts. Occasional challenges like quizzes and spelling bees help in building an attitude f or many students.
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Practicals are very beneficial. It would be great to have a multi touch technology where a science student could perform a surgery or an electronics student could assemble and disassemble a computer or a car on the I-pad. User friendly applications would help art students practice their paintings on the smart board before actually starting on a canvas. Online interaction is fun where social studies are concerned. E-program software can be used to exchange knowledge of cultures over the globe. Software should be made in the form of stories with songs as it reinforces important points in the minds of children.
Students spend countless hours on social networking sites. These sites can be used for group discussions if the students are too shy to open up in class. Teachers should be provided suitable platforms to host classroom online communities. Project ideas can be shared and there is a teacher and student collaboration. The classroom should be extended beyond the four walls. Projects give need for individual research which pushes students and gives them reason to learn more about their subject. A lot of new ideas and creative inventions are needed for transforming the traditional classroom with ophisticated teaching tools.
Visiting destinations of projects is very realistic and enriching. Project tours can be conducted if required, thus increasing the examples and applications of these technologies are growing exponentially. These are the solutions to meet the needs of the 21st century learning environment. Such an exciting environment is a must for an enhanced schooling experience. We do not know for sure where these technologies are taking us but indeed students are finding good strong results. Through everyday explorations like these in the classroom, we are building steps towards the future..
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