Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

New Instructional Tools

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September 14, 2017

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson

Greetings from The Progressive Teacher.

When we look at education in this new century, the possibilities of new instructional tools seems immense. Some of us belonging to the old guard, find the developments in science and technology affecting classroom teaching, mind-boggling. I was researching/reading on the internet (as is the norm today) what is the progression in classroom instruction, and was blown off my feet by the startling advances made in this field.

What will classrooms of the future be like? Emerging technologies such as cloud computing, augmented reality (AR)and 3D printing are paving the way for the future of education.

Virtual field trips are possible with AR. Students may be able to see supplementary and interactive information appearing on historical artefacts for them to get to know more about its history.

What can be a better present for a ten year-old than a LEGO set? Soon there will be 3D printers specifically for children. The 3D printers will really be essential in classrooms. Instead of being restricted to what they can play with, pupils in the classroom of the future can print out 3D models for various purposes, including show-and-tell. The decreasing cost of 3D printers will lead to teachers being able to reconstruct complex concept models to teach theoretical concepts.

The excuse – ‘My dog ate my homework’ – will not be acceptable to teachers in the near future. In the future classroom, students may just need an electronic device to access all their homework and all other learning resources in the Cloud. The digital library will be accessible even when the campus library will not be.

Cloud computing will virtualize the classroom. Schools will be able to leverage cloud technology and set up online learning platforms for students to log on and attend classes in a virtual environment. Assignments or even tests can also be easily disseminated to the class.

Social networks allow students to share their ideas freely, while teachers moderate. Furthermore, this many-to-many interactive learning where ideas are allowed to flow freely will be more aligned with real-world scenarios where collaboration is usually the norm. Social networking tools can be incorporated to enhance collaboration and team-building initiatives.

Extremely light, paper-thin, A4-sized digital paper prototype will be in use in the classroom. Laptops and even smartphones will be out-dated.

Another concept adopted by educators does not focus on the gameplay or interactivity; rather, it emphasizes on how learning the game design process can educate students. In Gamestar Mechanic, the idea is to impart students with basic game designing skills (without the complexity of programming) to create their own games and consequently help them develop broad skill sets such as language, systematic thinking, problem-solving (through simulation, trial-and-error, etc), storytelling, art and many more.

Students will soon be imparted with the wisdom of seeing learning not as a chore, but as a critical and gratifying part of their life which requires their proactive involvement.

Thus, the future seems to be full of all kinds of exciting possibilities for learning.

In this issue of The Progressive Teacher, Geeta Sehgal and Purbasha Roy discuss the instructional tools of the new century; Leena Satuluri wonders about the relevance of such tools in classroom interaction; Ajay Aggarwal looks at Future of Education and Skilling; Virender Kapoor has a new take on the new tools where he emphasizes that reading, the age-old tool used in the classroom, is a very important tool even today; Steve Heisler reminds us that the Same Old School will not work in the New Century with the New Kid; plus there are many more articles which will be of interest to all of you.

The Progressive Teacher started its third series of its annual Teachers’ Conclaves with the first one in New Delhi which was held on 26th August, 2017 (two more are to follow this year) together with S Chand’s Teaching Excellence Awards. You will find extensive coverage of this event in the subsequent pages of this issue.

I invite you to share your views on Teacher as a Leader through the pages of The Progressive Teacher which will be featured in the next issue. I look forward to your responses.

Happy Teachers’ Day to the entire fraternity.

With best wishes
Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson has over 40 years of rich experience as educationist including over 30 years of experience in school leadership positions. She is the former Chief Executive and Secretary Council for the ICSE, New Delhi.

She is a consultant to a number of corporate houses and educational institutions. She is serving as a Member of the Board of Governors/Managing Committees of some of the most prestigious schools and colleges of the country.

She has vast exposure to the education systems of Japan, Germany, England, Thailand, Singapore, Sharjah, Dubai and Finland. She has initiated, conducted and organised workshops for school teachers and principals all over India With a B.A. (Hons) English Literature, M.A., M.Phil. (English Literature), B.Ed. to her credit, she has edited three series of English readers and work-books for school children.


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