Thursday, June 29, 2017

Breaking News
   DHS urges public to be pro-active in taking anti-malaria measures   Say sorry! Trump demands apology over Russia probe   China’s fastest bullet train makes debut   US Supreme Court partially reinstates Trump’s travel ban   FY likely to be changed from 2018; Budget in Nov?   Study India’s GST implementation, Modi tells US business schools   No service tax on online rail tickets till Dec 31   Black money: India to gain access to Swiss bank info from Sept 2019   Cash curbs paralyse ops in co-op societies   Margao business, markets reel under liquidity crunch   Customers, bankers kept on toes in Mapusa   Long queues at banks on Day 1; cash crunch hits State   Anger And Scramble To Stash Cash In Black Money Squeeze: Foreign Media   After PM Modi Speech, Hawala (Money-Laundering) Spiked, Triggering Raids   Defence Minister Parrikar\'s Nuclear Remark Stressed As \'Personal Opinion   \'If You Succeed, The Country Succeeds\': Obama Tells Trump During Meet

Sections

Editorial

Byte this

17th February 2017, 05:26 Hrs

In today’s digital age, do traditional methods of teaching still make sense

The idea of giving students access to the internet during their examinations may on the face of it sound counter-purposeful. If one thinks of today’s examination system, access to the internet would imply copying. Yet, Dr Sugata Mitra, who spoke at the D D Kosambi Festival of Ideas, on Wednesday, has revealed that his experiments have suggested that not only does a student’s eagerness to learn grow in leaps and bounds but that they can take themselves, if channeled and challenged in the right direction from zero literacy to the knowledge level of a secretary in a space of a few months.
His method was then applied to schools in UK, where five computers are placed in a classroom of 20 students who are asked a question like ‘How does DNA replicate’. With no teacher in the class, the students are forced to form groups and work together in figuring out how genetic material in the human body replicates by itself and draw up an explanation for the content available before them.
As radical as it may sound, Dr Mitra’s methods do make sense. With easy access to information, the biggest challenge for the future will be the ability to process that information for meaningful results.
Undoubtedly, when the country is still trying to raise its literacy level and mass education is the priority for government and policymakers, such initiatives may be a dream. At the same time, it would be a folly to dismiss Dr Mitra’s methods as impractical or wishful.
For a state that has boasted of having one of the highest cyber literacy among its young population,  its initiatives are limited to the cyberage scheme which, at best can be described as ambitious but not well thought through. 
The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry in its pre-budget memorandum for the year 2014-15 told the government that since “there isn’t proper Infrastructure for providing proper IT education in the schools PCs and Tablets are not used to its potential. Instead of serving as an aid to education, these facilities are proving to be a distraction.” The GCCI was only reiterating a commonly held view. In other words, it’s the content that is provided that matters and not the device itself.
It is predicted that well organised content will soon replace teachers whose jobs will increasingly be taken over by technology. Apps that help you teach yourself skills, new languages and newer subjects are today more mainstream than ever.
One can only hope that the government officials sitting in the hall were listening.

comments powered by Disqus