Innovative techniques are the need of the hour. Only teacher talk and an interactive board may not hold the interest of the students. The content should be presented in a manner that evokes the curiosity of the learner.
Innovation generally refers to changing processes or creating more effective processes, products and ideas.
What leads to innovation?
Necessity is the mother of invention is the cliched term we have heard used over a period of time.
It is this necessity that probably led to the invention of the wheel, discovery of fire.
Historians have identified several causes for the Industrial Revolution. Research study shows that most innovations were developed as a response to discrete events, history-specific problems and new technological opportunities.
The Flip side of Covid is that technology-based education took off by leaps and bounds. What we would have achieved in 5 years we achieved in 2.
Let me give you a couple of examples of innovation. As early as 2004, In my school, there were no textbooks in the primary section. The textbook was not prescribed. Theme-based content was provided by the teachers. It was also integrated.
When I was a teacher in an ICSE school, the principal told me to take up Hindi for my class. I thought it would not be possible since my Hindi is weak. So I was asked to take Math in one division of grade 1 so that the grade 1 teacher could come over to my class to take up Hindi in my class.
If I thought teaching maths was easier, I was mistaken. By the time I distributed the books, it was time for me to leave the class. Other teachers didn’t have a problem because they were homeroom teachers. After a week of this ordeal, I went back to the principal to say that I cannot teach Maths to grade 1.
She said” you cannot teach Math, you cannot teach Hindi, What can you teach?
I went home in tears. She was right. I cannot say, I cannot teach. That led to teaching math to primary with fairy tales. They loved it and it was a smooth walk thereafter.
So, two more causes I would add to the innovations which are: rising to the challenge and change of mindset.
The current educational system was handed over to us about 300 years ago, by the world’s biggest empire. What they did was amazing, They ran the empire without computers, without telephones, data written on paper, moving by ships. They have moved out of India but education system has remained. The reason is simple. It is easier to use the chalk and talk.
The teacher-driven classes are to be replaced by child centric techniques , the NEP is here to help in that.
Mohammed Fazil works in Bangalore, South India. He teaches grades 4 to 8. He uses augmented reality in the classroom by putting triggers around the classroom to give additional information. He uses virtual reality with Google Cardboard and Google’s Expeditions app. He also uses motion sensing with a Microsoft Kinect connected to a laptop where students participate in kinaesthetic maths games.
Ranjitsinh Disale, world’s most exceptional teacher, shares half of $1 mn prize money with other teachers. The Global Teacher Prize is an annual award instituted by the Varkey Foundation.
Ranjitsinh Disale works in Solapur, Maharashtra in west India where he has introduced a number of different ways of making his teaching more interactive. One way is the use of Quick Response (QR) codes in textbooks to provide additional links to online materials as a means to extend the curriculum, either in the classroom or when the children go home. He has created materials for Grades 1–4. At the same time he also makes a lot of use of mobile technologies to manage absenteeism and to keep in touch with parents. As Ranjitsinh works in a primary school, he works across all of the subject areas.
Shruti Sharma works in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh in the north of India. It is a co-educational school which serves children from pre-school through to senior high school. Shruti works in grades 10 and 11. She teaches English and life skills. In her classes she makes use of video conferencing and text-based discussions, on a platform offered by Generation Global, to connect to classes in other parts of India and also abroad (Italy and Indonesia, so far). They engage in exchanges on different topics which helps to enhance both her learners’ digital literacy and their social skills. The project has been running since May 2015
Barefoot College, based in Tilonia in Rajasthan, north-west India, has reached out to marginalised communities in seven different states – Karnataka, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Orissa, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh – through night schools run by the organisation and their partners since 1975. Teachers and students in the night schools now use innovative digital learning tools to teach and learn literacy, democratic values, environmental sustainability, analytical skills, creativity, mathematics and science. The Barefoot College team are also creating a module that will help teach these children programming skills.