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The 21st century teacher

If you ask a student to describe an Indian classroom, then he’d likely paint a picture of students sitting through extended monologues. The schooling sector in India has transformed over the previous ten years. The addition of technology is making life simpler for both — students and educators.

A generation well-versed with iPads and PlayStations today prefer taking their courses. Education technologies (also known as ed-tech), has provided these students with an empowering environment which is more participatory and inclusive.

Smart class from a creator of Educomp Shantanu Prakash was among the very first examples of this concept. A digital content library is a multimedia-rich, curriculum-mapped teaching instrument. Setups such as these have allowed thousands of educators to teach and assess the pupils.

Those unfamiliar with the validity of ed-tech, often end up describing it as a “diversion” to the schoolchildren, who are otherwise bound to follow the “perfect” education system that focuses on stiff assessments and rote learning. Ed-tech experiences a tough time gaining acceptance, particularly in the semi-urban and rural areas, where access to technologies is rather restricted. But what the debaters against edtech fail to realize is that generating “escape plans” to ward off the monotony of their traditional classroom structure is not a new concept altogether, neither in India nor over another portion of the world. While mobile and ed-tech learning has its share of pros and cons, the notion has been facing challenges in regards to adoption. The major obstacle that ed-tech in India’s faces comes in the form of hostility towards the amalgamation of education and engineering.

Educating easy math to elementary school children by drawing on references from popular cartoon series such as Pokémon would leave an enduring influence on the young minds. Similarly, teaching the intricacies of drama through films like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or even describing a history lesson about World War II by referring to video games like Call of Duty would make the pupils more willing to take part in the learning process.

Using pop culture as an educational apparatus has been helping innovative teachers ever since shows such as Sesame Street gained popularity. Students spend a large portion of their day socializing with popular culture, and that’s why it has been shown to be a superb tool in the hands of educators who wish to go an excess mile to engage pupils in the course.

Ed-tech is just a notch above the usage of pop culture references in education in its vision of learning and technology walking hand in hand. The idea holds the capability to choose the Indian school to new heights, just if we take this slow shift whole-heartedly.

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