The changed learning path : ‘Change is the end result of all true learning’
The changes and complexity of today’s world present new challenges to our education system. On the one hand the goal of education is considered as the transmission of knowledge by the teachers to the students, on the other hand the goal of education is to facilitate students’ self learning and self expression.
It has always been a chalkboard, desks and the books for the teachers and students. Centuries have passed, and the day still begins and ends with the ringing of bells and this has defined what all of us think is the school. In fact, we have come to believe that the chalkboard, desks and the books are the only way that students learn. With this conservative belief, we have taught students. But the world has changed which means that our model of learning must also change. In order to implement a successful learning culture, there must be a paradigm shift.
Everyone should focus on teaching students how to learn, instead of teaching them what to learn.
How to teach more effectively? How to learn more efficiently?
These are the two questions that have puzzled educational professionals and students from the very start ofeducation.
Teaching has been there for thousands of years and it changed and adapted many new patterns in the course of history in order to satisfy human hunger for knowledge. It has evolved constantly and eventually has become the mass education as we all know today.
Thanks to mass education, everyone has the right to learn and has access to knowledge, so they can prepare themselves for the challenges they meet in their personal and professional lives. More importantly, from time to time, the mass education system brings to light brilliant minds that are able to give a better future to the entire humanity.
The problem is that students do not often find it interesting to learn what is taught through the standardized methods and curricula. This is mainly because the learning materials aren’t engaging enough, they have a hard time putting up with traditional learning, or simply because they don’t see the purpose of the subject.
Students often make important discoveries about themselves and the world around them when they make learning happen beyond the traditional school and outside the traditional school walls. Learning does not start and stop when the bell rings.
Technology and media have made a positive impact on the field of education today. In this rapidly changing world, education too cannot escape the impact of technology. The presence of internet itself has revolutionized the process through which we access and disseminate information. Use of animation, videos, multimedia aids have transformed traditional learning methods to laptops, educational apps to online courses; technology has changed the face of education today by making it more engaging, filled with fun and entertaining.
As any educator knows it is essential to keep students engaged with today’s tech-savvy generation, we must use modern technical tools like laptops and iPads in the classroom. Today’s students have grown up with all this technology. So schools must change with the times and adapt to the way students learn best.
With technology in the classroom the traditional student and teacher roles have changed. The student has become a lot more active and engaged rather than just the teacher repeating the information while the student absorbs and recites. The teacher has become more of a facilitator than just a dispenser of information.
Replace the Text Books
The concept of textbooks is completely changing. It is no longer limited to merely text and pictures. Today’s textbooks have web-based sites that include assessments, animations, additional materials, videos and such other materials to support the self-learning process.
Speaking of textbooks, e-books are becoming more prevalent in schools with the advancement of e-readers and tablet computers. In the future students are not likely to carry around big bulky bags filled with heavy textbooks.
No Note Books
The students may not exchange notes in class anymore and they will text one another instead. It’s just another way how technology has changed education. With devices like iPads for example, students are no longer confined to a computer lab. As soon as an assignment is available, students can work on it inside their classroom, at home, while waiting for the bus, in between classes, etc.
Mobile classroom technology can bridge the gap between classroom and home learning.One of the characteristics of the modern classroom is collaboration and technology helps to empower it. With classroom technology students can collaborate with other students and their teachers in and outside of the classroom quickly and easily.
Lessons can be customized to fit each student’s progress and learning style. Through these learning tools educators can provide opportunities for students to enable them to work and excel at their own level and pace. Mobile learning is the newest method of modern education. Many mobile applications have already become popular means of education because of their innovative approach as against the traditional learning methods.
Some students do not respond to classroom learning which has often been termed as ‘boring’ and ‘uninteresting’. Such students are effectively lured into studying through digital aids which provide a perfect blend of joy and learning.
Move from Guided to Self Learning
The changed learning path implies an expansion of educational experiences offered to the students that occur outside the traditional classroom settings or school buildings such as internships, research projects, online classes, travel and community related projects. Many schools are incorporating alternative learning options for students. However, this is not comfortable for learners who are accustomed to listening to teachers for instructions about what, when and how to learn.
Some teachers allow learners to choose their learning methods. For example, one learner may choose a visual depiction of content such as video, movie, charts or pictures. A few others may like to read from text books. Some of them may choose projects while others may go for a personalized learning step.
We do not see teachers standing and lecturing in the class rooms any more. We see them engaged in activity and we see students collaborating, discussing and debating.
Every day new programmes and web based tools are used for learning the content which was once in a paper book or on a chalk board. Students are given autonomy to use technology, time and space and to become owners of their learning process.
The Secret of Change is to Focus All of our Energy, not on Fighting the Old, but on Building the New. –Socrates
Padmini Sriraman, M A in History and Economics, M Ed and M Phil, is the Principal of The Hindu Senior Secondary School, Chennai. She is also the Vice Chair person of Chennai Sahodaya Group of Schools.
She received the CBSE National Award in 2012 and the Best Principal Award from the Bombay Stock Exchange. She has also received awards from Mylapore Academy, Rotary Club, recognition from various other institutions and the International School Award from the British Council.
She has written social studies books for Classes 6, 7 and 8, EVS books for Classes 1 to 5 and articles in educational magazines.
She has conducted workshops in Social Science, EVS, Classroom Management, Handling Slow Learners, Life skills, Value Education, CCE, and Study Techniques in various states in India, also at Dubai and Doha.
She has learnt Carnatic music, does oil painting and was a basket ball player during her school days. Her personal vision is to create a positive impact and motivate everyone with a ‘can do and never give up’ attitude; to encourage inspire and motivate everyone to discover and develop their potential while igniting their passion for life and their dreams. Contact – email@example.com mobile –9841131685