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Become a 21st century educator

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Quality has become the buzz word in the field of education today. Schools are going to great lengths to improve the quality of education imparted.

Information technology (IT) has made inroads into every sphere of life, including education. There are computers, software packages, CD’s and smart toys to help students grasp a concept better. With education being characterised by technology-enabled instructions, collaborative learning, multi-disciplinary problem-solving and promoting critical thinking skills, ICT-enabled classrooms are the way of the future. It provides a user-friendly interface for the student to learn according to his or her requirements.

Technological progress offers the opportunity to every student, indeed, every teacher, to be IT-enabled. Teachers need to harness the potential of the Web, and to evolve a balanced approach to policies and practices for children’s use of the Internet. There is no doubt about the fact that a computer and a great software can be fun and exciting learning tools, and can even enhance pre-academic and academic skills.

An ICT-enabled classroom must have:

  • A projection or display device that can project a sufficiently large image to be viewed by every student in the classroom without causing eye strain.
  • An electronic interactive whiteboard system.
  • A computer with a UPS.
  • A content library mapped to CBSE curriculum/state board curriculum covering all major subjects across all grades.
  • An electronic response system for every student to enable real-time assessment.
  • A resource person to help teachers on a day-to-day basis to use the digital classroom systems.

 

No wonder that the number of digitally-oriented classrooms is increasing. Teachers must also orient themselves to the technology – she must become a trainer and a learner at the same time. She must also have a presence in cyberspace. It means that besides having an e-mail id and expertise in MS Office, she must have a blog, Wiki, be on social networking site/s, maybe even have a Web site of her own!

However, teachers must remember that computer software cannot teach a child the concepts that he/she is not developmentally ready for. Computers should always be considered a supplement to other, more concrete learning activities like puzzles, books and projects. A computer can never replace a teacher, and this has been the experience all over the world. eLearning has to happen through a combination of technology and traditional teaching methods.

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