Turn the clock back to a late 90s classroom in India. What do you see? A teacher scribbling on the blackboard explaining chapters which half the class finds too uninteresting. Now turn the clock forward and enter a classroom that is digitally evolved. Screens have replaced blackboards and teachers are finding it easier to explain three dimensional diagrams to calculate the volume of a cube.
“In an non-technological world, when a teacher had to educate a class full of kids, all he or she had were their abilities in storytelling, to sketch or write on the blackboard and some charts which which could be displayed. But now there are tools available to enable even average teachers to make subjects interesting,” says Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO and founder of Next Education.
Digital education also brings students of all learning styles to an equal footing. In the old-school learning environment, analytical learners have an advantage over audio-visual and kinesthetic learners. This is not the case in the world where technology enters the educational space.
Here are a few unique techniques of teaching which are turning out to be gamechangers:
1. Digital textbooks:
The most basic sources of education for any student are textbooks which contain all the information required in one place. Taking this concept to a digital platform has transformed textbooks to more attractive standards. Many education start-ups are coming up with innovative ways to bring the same content to a visual format.
“E-learning content has a lot of audio-visuals to cover the complete textbook along with question answers for students to practice. They have notes and reading material packaged in a customised way for each student,” says Harshil Gala, Topscorer director. He adds that every line of these digital books are animated with audio-visuals and text.
Students can access this content from any device by simply downloading an application. Those who do not wish to depend on the internet can simply buy the offline version of such programmes.
Edu-tech companies like Byju’s and Khan Academy have set the trend through this format. With the support of good teachers, they have shown learning via videos is more informal and engaging. “I think visuals, human writing and colours help to improve your learning. Through online learning, students get the opportunity to explore the ideas and intellectual histories underpinning their subjects,” Salman Khan of Khan Academy explains.
2. Gaming and personalisation:
We all know children are fond of video games over studies. But what if these two are included in one small machine? To ensure that students learn while playing games, educators have been taking the support of tabs and apps to teach quality content.
Last year, ConveGenius Group launched a CG slate where they integrated entertainment and education to engage kids in a fun way.
“We did a research and found that kids are happier when they play games and watch TV. But when it comes to studies, they loose interest. Therefore, we created this slate that analyses each student’s learning style, level and assigns curriculum accordingly,” says Convegenius CEO and co-founder Jairaj Bhattacharya.
In the traditional method of teaching, there is a 1 to many ratio between teachers and students. When students are given tablet-based learning, it gets more personalised and brings the teacher to student ratio down to 1:1.
Similarly a Japan-based company Kiwami has taken abacus to the digital platform to explain techniques of quick and efficient mathematical calculations. “We utilise the faculty of the imagination by integrating ICT tools in teaching concepts like abacus which is a Japan-originated method of calculation for math problems. ICT creates a superior atmosphere for children to grasp on basic as well as complex concepts,” Kiwami sources explain.
3. Digital storytelling:
Among the more popular methods is digital storytelling. This method is especially important for kinesthetic learners who prefer a more hands-on approach in order to understand chapters.
“We develop a story around each topic. For example, we’ve developed a story about strawberries which were stolen from a field and a detective has to locate them. Students act out the story and information appears with audio visuals as the story progresses. By the end of the story, students are able to understand all the properties of strawberries,” says Siddharth Marwah, Kiwami Indian marketing head.
4. Smart class:
Digital classrooms are among the most popularly practiced forms of modern-day teaching. A smart class is equipped with projectors, interactive-boards, audio-visual tools and various other tools to aid in a creative and attention-grabbing learning experience.
“In a smart class, the teacher turns on the screen which will contain audio-visualised content of textbooks. He or she can use different tools including videos, animations, 3D images, audio and other elements to explain the required topics. It becomes very easy for the teacher to switch between the textbook and the audio-visuals as and when necessary,” says Gala.