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Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra*
Tablets: I-Pads…..with no monitoring are the in thing today.
“Teachers are no longer the fountain of knowledge; the internet is. The hunt of knowledge, information, identification and above all validation has been the choice of masses world over. What is mounting of interest towards negativity is the very assembly of the traits for the students today who are guarded of their own intelligence through this time machine of information giving a blow to their abilities, and the say of the teachers. The parents say “Learning by Heart is useless for Google Generation”. The researchers quote that the brains of today’s youngsters work differently to their parents’, and that multi tasking with digital devices, such as using the internet while listening to their MP3 players, can help them to develop critical thinking skills. Over and all, kudos to leaders like Akhilesh Yadav who in his very first cabinet meeting announced to provide 2.5 lac tablets free to all students passing grade Xth exam this year. Developments like these clearly indicate 2012 to be a turning point in education industry where we will observe delivering education to the masses.
The current generation of kindergartners to 12th graders those born from 1991 to 2004 has no memory of a time before Google, says Sara Scribner, a researcher. But although these students are far more tech savvy than their parents and are perpetually connected to the Internet, they know a lot less than they think. In a time when information literacy is increasingly crucial to life and work, not teaching kids how to search for information is like sending them out into the world without knowing how to read. The teachers need to dwell to this scenario with pace and tactfulness in order to be of time and standards towards 21st century learning environments. We need professionals to advocate for teaching information literacy from an early age. As the students are made to learn through plugging is the way to listen the song. Much of the time they opt for Google, which is like being tossed into the ocean without a paddle. An info-literate student can find the right bit of information amid the sea of irrelevance and misinformation but this is not common all the time.
Above all, closing libraries for the Google generation, which in any case is happening now in our country, a big way, could be disastrous. In a time when information literacy is increasingly crucial to life and work, not teaching kids how to search for information is like sending them out into the world without knowing how to read.
The truth of the matter is that, Students are closer to the Technology than we are, especially the Hand Held Devices or the Ubiquitous resources as their comprehension of these resources is exponentially, which you will discover only as you get close to them. It is possible that by the year 2020, no student would have to go to school or college. The entire curriculum might be available on the cloud, which students might be able to access from the comfort of their home or even the playground. We expect broadband connectivity to become widely available by 2020. Earlier we had been thinking that a vast digital library of all the lectures will get developed, but now library is the not the point. Just about every bit of knowledge that we have developed could become available in the cloud.
However, every country of the world has to deliberately formulate their e-policy and redesign their Curriculum to incorporate the use of Technology. The format of presentation has to be redesigned as the whole thing gears towards the new paradigm shift. Yes, the Students have to learn the Technology, so that they can learn through the Technology and learn with the Technology.
GG the Google Generation is bound to betray the YOUTH of today. As out of conclusion, for today’s youngsters, tedious rote learning is pointless because such basic facts are only a mouse click away via Google, Wikipedia and online libraries, a better approach would be to teach children to think creatively so they could learn to interpret and apply the knowledge available online.
The demand for tablets in schools over the months has been on the cards. With the fact that the Tablets offer enhanced ebooks feature with images, video and audio, the learning is faster and innovative. It is a wonderful replacement for the existing books with the fact that it allows the students to highlight text, take notes in the margin and access a dictionary directly within the book itself but the fact lies that how far they take it seriously. My doubt about the probability of their minimized windows of FB and CHAT buttons with their mates globally. It is just not possible for the teachers to have a check on the online reputation and updates of the children in parallel.
The researchers say that because they have become so accustomed to using electronic devices, the students are increasingly expecting to use them in classrooms. According to a new Nielsen survey, 35% of tablet owners said they used their desktop computers less often or not at all now, and 32% of laptop users said the same. Most tellingly, more than 75% of tablet owners said they used their tablet for tasks they once used their desktop or laptop for. While tablets can’t totally match laptops in terms of functionally (yet), they can get today’s students most of the way there. Also above all, In a national survey, teachers say they believe that using digital games in the classroom helps students maintain concentration and enthusiasm for learning, while making it easier for teachers to differentiate instruction and assess students.
The survey of 505 teachers who use digital games in their K-8 classrooms aims to identify what teachers think about game-based learning and how digital games affect students beyond academic achievement. It offers a mix of qualitative interviews with quantitative data to offer a more rounded picture of teacher opinions.
If your kids are like mine, they are already comfortable using Google Apps in the elementary, middle, high school and college levels, just as they have become accustomed to doing Google searches for their homework assignments. Where is the learning here. The teacher’s role is that of a facilitator or just a computer operator in the classroom but of any information giver. The touch of the key makes them perfect of knowledge and the desired degree, where is the role of the teachers reflect here. Above all, as Facilitators, we must be upto date in our padagogical approaches. But most importantly, we must move towards Andragogy, enabling the students to assume responsibility for their learning.
Over the months, the cloud computing has empowered the quality learning scenario. They have become ever more popular with colleges and universities, which are looking to deliver synchronized experiences that are device agnostic. Above all, the Tablets align well with this trend, given their portability and options for constant connectivity. With tablets and cloud-based systems, students can work anywhere on campus and make sure that their work is saved in a central location and accessible from all of their devices. They also don’t have to pay for computing power that they no longer need. The Indian scenario to this applicability is yet to come across in mass but the time expected is a couple of months when we already start hearing about the implementations.
Another astounding success reason for Tablets as a priority for learning tool is the Lower price points which has made tablets even more appealing to colleges and universities. What is now required is a frame of mind to be Digital and open to change.
Whether we like it or not, tablets are finding their way into education. Some think they are “expensive toys” or “books that glow”. However, the reality is that teachers and, most importantly, students are increasingly finding them to be an useful addition to teaching and learning. As also, it quotes anytime, anywhere learning with an update option for loading educational APPS.
It is ever so easy to get mired in unhelpful dichotomies: we must use tablets or no tablets at all. In my view, it’s not a question of either/or but rather as well as. Surely if teachers and students are comfortable using this technology, why not let them develop good practice in which tablets are used… as well as… other, more traditional methods?
*Vice President (Academic Trainings & Assessment) Next Education India Pvt. Ltd. Hyderabad www.nexteducation.in