How Can Digital Skills Blend with Culture in a Classroom?
Indigital is conducting a workshop today at the Dubai Expo to prepare teachers to merge digital and cultural training for higher levels of students’ engagement and better learning outcomes. In light of this event, we take a closer look at how technology can play well with culture in the classroom.
A perfect blend of technology and culture in education creates a unique learning experience for students. Teaching students to embrace both aspects together is the best way to create ideal global citizens. However, no matter how huge the target may be, it has to start from scratch. Let’s understand how digital skills can be taught with cultural sensitivity in a classroom.
Empower with Technology
Students from all socio-economic backgrounds may not be able to learn to use technology through the same methods of teaching. Understanding where they come from is crucial in helping them discover technology from their perspective. For instance, research has found that adoption rates of smartphones and tablets are slow in collectivistic cultures like indigenous tribes. Introduce technology in a casual and fun way such that they accept it easily. Identify the cultural gaps that may be stopping students from using a device and fill this gap gradually. By teaching students new ways of learning, you are opening their minds to new ways of living, which will, in turn, make them tolerant towards others’ cultures.
Embrace all Languages
Technology has brought us closer by making it easy to learn new languages. Help your students discover each others’ languages. Assign a language for every day of the week and build an activity around it. For example, you ask them to learn to say ‘hello’ to each other in different languages. Google Translate or Duolingo is a great technology to enable instant learning of words and their pronunciation. You can go a step ahead and make learning material available in multiple languages. Learning apps make this possible by providing content in multiple languages.
The internet has given us an opportunity to get to know each other better. Be it a wedding or a festival, we can all be part of it without actually being there physically. Use this feature to familiarise students with various festivals and unique celebrations around the world. Have a family day or a family photo day through video conferencing where each student brings their family to the classroom. This will help them learn about new cultures and adopt them also.
Freedom of Expression
Create an opportunity for students to express their learning in their own way. This will help them bring their culture to class while being exposed to different ways of expressing the same thing. In this way nothing will be alien to them, it will just be new. So, introduce new ways of interacting, expressing and collaborating with technology. For instance, engaging videos could be used for a better understanding of different concepts. The freedom to express will make a student curious for new things and help in learning new things effortlessly and in less time.
Offer Self-Learning Modules
When students explore things/concepts by themselves they have a chance to put their culture into perspective. Give them this chance through self-learning apps that teach regular concepts in an interactive and engaging way. They might even help learners dig deeper into their own culture by helping them discover the unknown. For instance, there can be an app that helps a child learn about the most eco-friendly way of celebrating Diwali (festival of lights).
Adding technical skills can be a great way of introducing new cultures and strengthening the native culture in children. The key is to blend these two important aspects of life together in making a complete human being out of every child.