By Rohan Parikh, Director, The Green Acres Academy
Schools of the 21st century are quickly adapting to the use of technology in the classroom. While many parents are weary of the use of technology, and have the misconceptions that the over use of technology will cause our children to be dependent on it, the truth is that technology must be used wisely and thoughtfully in our classrooms. Teachers have and always will play a vital role in the classroom, and technology in fact is only meant to act as an assistant or a tool.
Gone are the days of rote learning, where students were made to memorize their alphabets in the early years. Now a days, teachers are using story telling videos, and apps to provide a multisensorial and more engaging approach to the topic.
The true advantage of digitization of the classroom comes in allowing personalized learning and differentiation. At the early year’s level, many schools use online based reading and literacy programs. Such programs allow teachers to give students assignments based on each student’s individual reading level. These programs may in turn ask the kids to create a recording of them reading the books out loud, which the teachers in turn can use to check the proficiency, fluency and pronunciation of each child. But more importantly, it allows children to complete tasks at their individual level, so no child is reading a level far above, or far below their proficiency level. Children may also be given a range of books to choose from, which allows them to engage in the topic which interests them, thus fostering their imagination as well as their decision-making skills, and thus teaching them to be masters of their own ship.
Additionally, such apps/tools allow teachers to differentiate students from diverse group of students, with diverse learning needs, in the same course, classroom, or learning environment. Students with similar needs can be grouped together for specialized lessons, thus making sure that in a classroom as a whole, no student is too far ahead or far behind the others.
Digitization is there for key in assisting the teachers in the classroom. While the traditional education methods do have their advantages, the one size fits all models may not be appropriate for all. E-learning and digital classrooms allow for customization tailored to each student’s need, capability, interest and understanding therefor keeping them more engaged as they progress.
About the author: Rohan Parikh has a BSc in Economics from Wharton Business School, an MBA from INSEAD, and has more than 10 years of experience in the Real Estate and Hospitality industries. In 2013 Mr. Parikh entered the field of education by founding The Green Acres Academy in Chembur, and simultaneously pursuing a Master’s degree in Education through Johns Hopkins University.
His aim is to provide affordable yet holistic, and well-rounded education by adapting the latest research in teaching and learning techniques within the Indian context. What started as one campus of The Green Acres Academy in Chembur, Mumbai, has grown to a total of 3 campuses across Mumbai and Pune, as well as the latest Seven Rivers International School (a Cambridge school).