Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Starting on a new note this Dusshera

The festival of Dussehra celebrates the victory of Good over Evil.
This is the day that Lord Rama defeated Ravana, the ten-headed demon. It is believed to be a lucky day for starting a new business
or for buying anything new.
It is a very auspicious day for people to clean their homes, get new furniture and cars. People decorate the entrance of their doors with a toran (floral arrangement) of mango leaves as a symbol of ushering in the new.
Any resolutions or unfinished chores forgotten over the New Year, Dussehra reminds you that you can still ring in the new.
For characters like JC, it is also a reminder to finish your household chores that may have been piling up for a long time!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Keeping the Gandhian Spirit Alive

Last week, Indians celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a great man who followed the philosophies of non- violence, helping others and changing what he was unhappy with. While we remember the Mahatma only once every year, we need to believe that a single person can be powerful enough to make a difference. The will to see a change and an inner strength to make that change happen, is all it takes to make a difference in the country or even at your local society. Behind a revolution, there is always one great leader. And what is important to believe is that this change can be very simple, it can be something as basic as donating old books to underprivileged or not waste food keeping in mind the hungry.
As Gandhiji said,
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Technology Driving Innovation in Education

Kids, these days, have become ‘screenagers’. iPods, PSPs and computers have become their best friends. How can their texts books interest them when a far more entertaining source, the computer or television screen, is awaiting them?

This shift that has taken place in the preference of children has given impetus to innovation in education. The role of technology in education is now coming to the forefront. Educators are looking out for newer learning methods to be introduced. Given the monotony of the age-old textbooks, graphic books with interactive content are gaining popularity. Involving content, fresh presentation of knowledge and brilliant self-assessment would be the key elements of the next generation textbooks.

The current trend in education is doing away with monotonous lectures and instead gripping the attention of the children with edutainment. Edutainment is a term coined by the new-school educators who believe that retention of knowledge is possible only if the kids like what they learn. The only means of ensuring this is by revolutionizing the technique of teaching. To put it simply, children will like what they learn only if they enjoy how they learn.

A teacher lecturing dryly for an entire class or a dull textbook is sure to take all the fun away from learning. Instead, if one were to work around the interests of the kids and develop an innovative learning pattern, we could be looking at a whole new world of education. If films are what they like, help your kids learn through movies. If your kid is an online gaming fan, look for learning-based games.

Kids, today, are smarter than we can ever imagine them to be. All that is needed is to tap the right source to educate and teach them. We need to play the game as per their rules. For all you know, you may end up learning a thing or two in the process.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Audio-Visual Aids in Education

The profession of teaching can also be looked at as an opportunity to alter the lives of students. How does one do that? Well, as a teacher you can enrich their lives with knowledge.

When it comes to certain topics, it might be possible for students to follow the subject quite easily. For other topics, however, you might have to explain with the help of audio-visual aids. Why audio-visual aids? Well, simply because the use of such visual representation really enhances the lecture and enables better and easier learning for the student. Even research has proved that the greater the number of senses involved, the better is the learning.

Students enjoy it when they are exposed to different styles of learning. As a teacher, you can include ways to increase student participation in class. A great way of doing this is by asking students to make presentations. Besides that, you can also have screenings of movies in class, followed by discussions based on the same.

Another exciting way of teaching is through the experience of educational trips. Organising an outing to the local science centre or planetarium is a good option. One more way of making the lecture interesting is recording educational content on audio or video CDs/DVDs and then playing it to the class. This is particularly useful when learning languages as listening improves our ability to understand.

Using audio-visual aids in class helps make the learning process more fun. Essentially, the education system remains traditional. It is only the method that becomes more contemporary. The idea is to hold the attention of your students and get your point across. Audio-visual aids also give you the opportunity to incorporate different educational resources.

Thanks to the constant development in science and technology, educational audio-visual aids are continuously changing and improving. The use of these aids has helped transform our traditional education system into one which is highly interactive as well as a lot of fun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Education through Games

Education through games? Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But it sure is true. Well, times are changing for sure. With the turn of the 21st century, we have progressed very rapidly in different domains such as personal technology, medicine and science; and education is no exception to this rule.

Methods of education are changing across the world. In India, however, we still have a fairly traditional system of education. So it is time that we revamped our system a little to make it more contemporary and enriching. One useful way of doing that is providing education through games. Games are surely great teachers. For instance, research has shown that video games, which are usually associated with promoting laziness, actually assist in teaching varied subjects ranging from Mathematics to Music. This is because it engages learners and involves them in the learning process.

Robert Kiyosaki, author of the famous book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, is a very strong advocate of the educational abilities of games. In his book, Kiyosaki has created a game called Cashflow 101. It is a board game designed to educate players about the different notions of earning through investments. This was also released in the form of a computer game and both were extremely successful.

Games help kids to become self-reliant in terms of learning. They provoke the children to start thinking for themselves and questioning ideas presented to them instead of merely gulping them down and reproducing them in examinations. You will come across several instances where kids lose concentration after sometime while sitting in a traditional classroom.

The great thing about education through games is that kids are made to think and process information while they are playing them. Games also appeal to others kinds of learners for whom books might not work such as children who prefer to learn by doing.

Educational games make learning fun, but more importantly, they ensure that learning actually occurs. They also help in the reduction of stress levels among kids by presenting assessment exercises like tests and exams in a more interactive format. In addition, a combination of education and entertainment can act as a strong motivator for students.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Futuristic Education

The culture of innovation in learning and teaching has long been a standing and active predicament for educators world over. Education has constantly triggered the need for innovative learning methods that can stand the test of time.

Education has transformed young minds in the past. But the changing times and the pace of the real world have only exposed rigidity in the education system. Wouldn’t we be better off if new ideas and methods to learning and teaching were introduced to keep up with this change?

In the past we have dwelled on monotonous theoretical exchange of knowledge; however the need for a more interactive medium has never been more necessary. Interactive learning incorporated within the system with the use of movies, presentations and hands-on activities have the ability to ignite the children’s creativity.

Many children have realized their passion for learning when their teachers used presentations with audible and visual feedback in the classroom. The range of learning tools by Axiom Education have proved effective in stimulating young minds and should definitely be used more extensively.

Another innovative method of teaching could be role-plays of famous personalities in the form of skits. Including the parents and teachers along with the children is another means of make learning a more enjoyable experience.

Extra curricular activities have always been treated as secondary to academics. But with the new approach that educators are taking children can learn and play together. Parents may even grow to learn the importance of sports for it has a way of teaching discipline and moral codes that is second to none.

Understandably, innovative methods may seem abundant but incorporation of the same within the system without examining its feasibility and rationale is erroneous. New teaching tools come at a price and budget allocation for these need to be looked into. Investing in effective educational tools brings far-reaching results in the long run.

The New Age Classroom

Classrooms have undergone quite a transformation from the open air ones under shady trees to the ones with benches, air conditioners and whiteboards. The appearance may have gone through a radical change but classroom culture has been more or less the same.

Teachers have been so used to reading out from lengthy textbooks, writing copious notes on the board and lecturing endlessly. No wonder retention of knowledge is such a challenge for children. But things are now looking up. A revolution has hit the world of education. Schools have taken to a newer approach of teaching and children seem to love it.

Instead of dreary, black and white textbooks that repulsed children, schools are introducing textbooks with bright images and engaging content that encourage interactive learning. The mechanism to deliver education has been modified such that children can better relate to it. The comic characters in these text books are sketched to teach children everything right from the most practical subject science to most theoretical one i.e. history.

For a long time, comic book enthusiasts have argued that comic books make more than just a fun read and the new age classroom has now confirmed their belief. The use of comics to teach kids is proof enough that edutainment is the way to go as far as delivery methods are concerned.

Today, as one enters the new age classroom, it is not an uncommon sight to see children learning through educational movies and games. This change has made learning fun for the children, their teachers and parents. What is truly wonderful is that these fun learning methods have seen remarkable success.

Not only do the children enjoy the new age classroom and its teaching techniques, but they also understand and remember better. A lesson learnt through movies, audios and comic books has a much better recall value. In the new age classroom, every student can crack every exam with zero stress. Now this is what we call innovation in education.