In spite of the debate regarding '‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD)', there are schools which have embraced this technological revolution.
The tech revolution story in India has two sides to it: a bleak one, where the schools in India have banned the use of smart phones due to the distraction they cause, and an enlightening one, where some of the top schools in the country are encouraging students to bring their electronic gadgets to school.
While a raging debate is still going on among the educationists and corporates on the pros and cons of adapting ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) in schools and colleges in India, a few schools have already embraced the technological revolution, and are satisfied with the results. After all, it allows students access to the most advanced technology for reading, writing, learning, communicating and more!Here are a few candid insights:
Giving the correct picture
When it comes to learning, the graphic representation of the facts has a better impact on the memory. And this is what the principal of the Delhi Public School, Surat, had to say onhaving embraced the BYOD experience, "While teaching the parts of the body, we use an app where the visual body is displayed. Curious students were allowed to tear down the ribs with this app, see what each rib is made of and rearrange them back. This form of teaching has a greater impact on students who understand the concepts better than those who learn their subjects by rote."
Canadian International School (CIS), Bangalore, had a similar experience when they introduced iPads a few years back; there are hundred and one apps that allow students to learn tricky subjects like algebra or grammatical structures of a language in a fun way, something traditional text books weren’t designed to do. The school is happy with the result and has noticed a positive trend in the grasping power of students since the introduction of e-learning.
The schools under the Universal Education Group have already taken a downright plunge into the tech revolution, by making it compulsory to use iPads as a quick learning tool—a move that is a tell-tale of the reality we live in. However, such schools aren’t allowing incessant use of technology, ensuring that there’s a balance between the time spent on gadget and the traditional learning experience. A controlled use of technology is what’s being encouraged and practiced.
Avnita Bir, the principal of RN Podar School, Mumbai, is an open-minded individual who started a study on the impact of technology in one particular class. She observed that students were able to learn subjects better when something attracted their interest and curiosity.For example, when students were asked to create short video clips and comic strips on a topic, this boosted their eagerness to learn about how things work and grow versus the more conventional practices.
The conservationists would, however, disagree, and would prefer to continue with the traditional methodologies that have a proven track record. Additionally, a number of psychologists are worried about the social impact of extensively implementing technology. Children are developing a ‘distracted’ way of life and are increasingly seen attached to the screens of the gadgets as compared to playing in the parks. Affordability of the BYOD experience is another large impediment towards its growth in India as there is a huge disparity when we look at technological accessibility.These are important issues that need to be addressed by those in the education field.
The integration of technology in classrooms in India will enhance the overall learning experience for students.Technology allows for interactive learning, stronger retention, access to the most current information and so much more! However, by simply handing every child a device will not automatically translate into results.We need to educate our teachers, parents and other stakeholders on effective usage techniques to reap the full benefits of the program.
This article is written by Ms Vibha Kagzi, Founder and Chief Education Officer, ReachIvy.com