January 2019
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Let them eat tablets

Still, vast majoring of teaching that occurs in the developing world is rote memorization

Still, vast majoring of teaching that occurs in the developing world is rote memorization

ICTpost Education Bureau

The current media landscape is changing and growing at a fast pace which is increasingly affecting the school sector. Numerous schools all over the world have already focused on the value added to lessons by tablet computers, such as Apple’s iPad. A myriad of learning applications and ways to transfer subject matters are provided on and through such devices.
Tablet form factor computers are undoubtedly an exciting way to interact with technology, especially, when they are touch screen enabled. The intimacy and immediacy of the personal screen and the ease of use and intuitive design of modern touch screen operating systems greatly eases user fears and facilitates user adoption.

This ease of use is exciting technologists and educators, both of whom are thinking of new ways to use technology like the iPad in educational systems of the developing world. Now I agree with them. I believe the iPad’s sleek user interface and ease of use will transform the ICT in education experience – but not for everyone.
Yes, the iPad has great promise, especially since there are now thousands of apps that provide an almost limitless assortment of learning experiences through the touch screen tablet form factor. From simple acts like counting numbers and recognizing letters to reading interactive books and connecting with social media, it’s the wealth of digital content that keeps teachers and students engaged.

According to CyberMedia Research, the overall tablet PC user base is likely to grow at a CAGR of 107 per cent to reach 23.38 million by 2017.

One of the key areas where tablet PCs are expected to make an impact in the coming decade is school education. PrazAs, a start-up founded by IIT-Madras graduate Rajesh Elayavalli and incorporated in New Jersey with a research and development centre in Chennai, hopes that its patent-pending technology will help to transform school education in India, as it does in the West. The company is now running trials of its upcoming product Tabtor (short for tablet tutor) among students of two schools — at Santhome in Chennai, and in Bangalore.

Right now, the vast majoring of teaching that occurs in the developing world is rote memorization. Teachers require training to understand how to teach differently. How methods like student-centric learning can be applied to the classroom, and shown how this learning style will increase educational outcomes. Yet who is investing in teacher training? If you look around, Ministers of Education get excited about shiny, flashy things, not human capacity building. And who can blame them? It’s a lot easier to show off a technology implementation than a trained teacher, and children and their voting parents can see a quick difference with a computer that isn’t so noticeable with a trained teacher. editor@ictpost.com