Out with the old classrooms, it’s time for an upgrade.

Innovative classroomsAs time passes, the regular methods of teaching used in schools, mainly verbal and written, grow outdated. Whether the teaching methodology employed in most schools today is outdated or not isn’t a topic that’s up for debate because as we look back through the generations, very little has changed in classrooms. The way our children are taught is the same way we were taught, which is the same way our parents were taught, and so on.

Practically every sector updates itself at least once every decade to use the new technology and methodologies available so that they’re not wiped out. Not the education sector though, it just sticks to its roots and rarely ever changes a thing.

Thomas Cook, one of the world’s largest travel agencies almost went out of business due to people preferring to booking online and not visiting their stores, they then shifted to selling travel deals online and became profitable again.

Education, however, does not feel this pressure, because while university courses are offered online. There aren’t many parents (maybe none) that are willing to allow their children to receive a formal school education over the internet alone. This allows the education sector to remain stagnant and use the same methods that have been used for decades with no concern about being outdated.

There have been a few ‘revolutions’ in classrooms as well, however, the adoption of these technologies hasn’t been very successful due to a variety of factors such as upfront investment, ease of integration, etc. There have also been various methods that have successfully been adopted in schools around the world with considerable success. These methodologies based on the use of technology can be classified as:

Digital and internet classrooms:

Various software and hardware solutions are used to improve the performance and understanding of students such as using smart boards, tablets, gamification software, education-based social media platforms, recording each lecture for students to review when they need to, and so on.

These do work for a certain segment of students who are technologically adept, have easy access to computers and the internet and others who are able to comprehend better when a concept is gamified (made into a game). Most of these solutions rely on internet connectivity since it is basically a gateway to unlimited resources, this helps teachers assign research-based homework assignments and allows the teacher to connect with any student that requires help at a moment’s notice.

However, this method increases the amount of time children spend looking at screens which is a cause of concern for many parents who feel that their children aren’t spending enough time interacting with people anymore.

High –tech solutions also require a substantial investment which is a barrier to adoption in many schools across the world, especially in developing nations, where these methods are largely not even heard of.

Hands-on classrooms:

Hands-on classrooms are believed to be better for students. These solutions are based on using models and actually employing hands-on methods to teach each concept.

These methods are especially useful for kinaesthetic learners who learn best by practice. Hands-on classrooms work best when combined with book-based teaching. These have the additional advantage of reducing the screen time children experience a day as well as improving writing skills and spellings because they cannot rely on spellcheck.

Research has also shown that students that take down notes in books instead of typing it into a device experience better recall of the subject matter.

Hands-on classrooms may also employ fieldwork sessions, laboratory sessions, and metal and woodworking. All of which are useful vocational skills that cannot be learned through a screen.

Additionally, the focus being on hands-on teaching methods instead of new technology means the methods and models used do not have to be expensive, lowering the barrier to adoption in schools. The recommended use of hands-on solutions with traditional book-based teaching also eases integration of these systems in the classroom.

Artificial intelligence in education:

There has been a third entry into the educational market and it is better technology than even high tech classrooms employ: It’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI can be exceptionally useful in education. It can for instance help teachers in grading quizzes, essays, examinations, and acquire useful information from these data sets such as which material most students seem to get wrong in the tests. This topic can then be taught to students in a method that they understand better.

It also makes personalized or individualized learning a much more practical option. Individualized learning where the material is tailored to each child’s learning style is very effective but is impractical in classrooms that have even 20 students if teachers have to individually plan out a curriculum for each student. However, AI can simultaneously provide learning material based on each student’s learning style to them. An AI can even be trained to recognise student’s learning style based on their scores from various tests. AI tutors could even be full-time support agents for students that help them with any difficulty they face while learning.

AI integration has been a hot topic in the education industry and it will naturally be easier to integrate into classrooms that already rely on digital material, laptops, tablets and similar methods.

However, as mentioned earlier most schools in India and other developing nations do not use high-tech solutions due to financial constraints, the limited ability of the staff to use new technology to its full potential, and unavailability of supporting infrastructure.

In the few schools (generally Tier I private schools) that use high-tech solutions and in which AI integration is easily possible, it would help improve the delivery of education material to each student.

However, the percentage of such schools in the country and the number of students that attend them compared to the total number of students in the country mean that this system will not be available to even 2 % of the entire student population. This also means that until every school has equivalent resources, AI will not make a dent in the education system even though it has the potential to change it completely.

Conclusion

The implementation of any of these methodologies is based on multiple factors such as budget, location, ease of integration, the technological competence of the students, availability of qualified staff to handle the system and so forth. Any school that plans to use one of these systems will have to analyse themselves to see which would be a better fit for the school and the students.

However, until at least 80% of the schools present in India receive the financial support, qualified staff, and infrastructure that they require the Indian Education System will continue to be outdated and of poorer quality than the education systems of other nations.

Kidvento is attempting to revolutionize classrooms using teaching methods that require student participation, captivates students’ attention, and makes it enjoyable for both the teacher and the students. You can browse through our programs in the schools and programs page.

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