Once digital learning is accepted in schools, India will not lag in student assessment programmes but lead from the front.
Educational standards in India have been deteriorating in recent times. Assessments of Indian school students by two different entities are indeed discomfiting. In the Programme for International Students Assessment(PISA) test held by the Organization for Economics Cooperation and Development (OECD)for South and South East Asia, India was held second last - barely nosing Kyrgyzstan. Incidentally China topped the assessments
If that seems some consolation - wait. The 'Annual status of education report 2011 (ASER), released in January 2010 by NGO Pratham revealed that reading scores across India declined by 5 percent over 2000. Worse only 30 percent children in class 3 and two-third in class five could solve simple two-digit problems - a 6 percent decline over 2000.
ROTE LEARNING'S LIMITATIONS
Barely two years after the Right to Education Act was cleared what ails India's education? The problem the wrong focus. Presently, authorities are seized with ensuring that all children are educated. While there is nothing apparently wrong with this, it simply reduces education to statistics. The responsibility for ensuring students learn and imbibe what's taught is missing. Rote learning only works upto a point.
In today's hyper-competetive environment, rote learning witout comprehension won't take students far. For example rote learning only works with standard questions Reframe the same questions from another angle and students schooled in rote learning cannot comprehend them and cannot respond appropriately.
Simply pinpoint the actual problem and then choose the right education. Instead of rote methods used in traditional teaching, schools should use modern methods such as introducing interactivity and personalization in education. In this regard, Digital Learning and Interactive Education methodologies can provide solutions. Digital learning uses modern gadgets such as computers and tablet PCs - something today's generation is more comfortable with.
DIGITAL LEARNING REVOLUTON
In fact, students have taken to technologies like ducks to water. This compatibility between the students receptive mind and the limitless possibilities of digital technology has led to paradigm shifts in the K-12 (primary and secondary levels) education system globally. Where adults where once befuddled by fast technological transformations sweeping the globe, children welcomed these swift changes.
The truth about this transformation is eventually becoming evident classroom teaching and virtual learning systems by using information and communication technology.
Of course the transition from traditional teaching methodologies to modern modules has had hiccups at some stage. The reservations, paradoxically were voiced by teachers and parents, and not students.
But as more schools embraced technology, the sceptics realized the value of what they have been missing. Modern education transcends the brick walls of classrooms as well as the borders and boundaries of nations. As education becomes an international voyage of discovery on colourful computer screens, students of all ages discover exciting prospects in studies. Digital teaching modules offer integrated solutions that assist teachers in classrooms via the use of software, hardware and school support services. Once considered just a job by teachers and 'dull and dreary' by students, interactive learning has now become an enriching experience.
Students no longer accept what the teachers say at face value. They are unafraid to pose unconventional questions that cannot be answered via stereotyped responses. Students would earlier think twice before replying. Today teachers need to marshal their facts before answering offbeat queries. Such interactions fuel the creative thought process of not just students but teachers too.
With technology-and-activity based modules, digital learning tools make teaching easier for teachers, while facilitating faster learning by students. Interactive teaching is immediately followed by practice sessions. Consequently, comprehension and retention capacities of students soar, unlike traditional teaching, where monotonous lectures lead to lowest student retention capacity. Besides being user-friendly many digital teaching modules control functions allow teachers to monitor each student's real time have personalized consoles teachers hold administrative rights to make classes fully functional. The teachers can then allocate personalized lessons to each students as per their specific levels. After the lessons are submitted teachers are well placed to assess performance level s of each student.
Assessment is an important cog in the learning process since it evaluates learning outcomes, provides remedial inputs and offers a powerful set of solutions towards a consistent development of students. Implementing assessment programmes assists teachers in ascertaining students' strengths and weakness thereby planning future lessons in sync with the pace of students.
Besides taking a great burden off teachers, user friendly teaching modules make topic simpler for students to understand. Further more interactivity, based aids focused concentration for longer periods. All this ensures students termed laggards in class could now deliver above-average performance. Given the element of fun and interactivity that digital learning programmes bring into classrooms teachers may find it difficult to label students as slow learners.
Students taught in this manner possess an array of creative, problem-solving, communication and analytical skills - the best means to succed in the 21st century's ultra competitive environment. With modern schools in Indian cities and towns introducing computer and computer education, the time is right to adopt digital learning technologies across classrooms.
Once digital learning is accepted by most schools across the country. India will no longer lag in student assessment programmes but instead lead from the front. Considering India's large heritage and millennis - old teaching traditions, this would be its rightful place amongst the global comity of nations.