Thursday, 4 October 2012

Taleem Portal - Making Schools Cool


by
M. Mobeen 


The dawn of new age brings to the classroom new techniques, technology and resources. However, those stuck in medieval times continue to make use of the age old ways of rote (Rata) learning and theoretical knowledge instead of practical. In Pakistan, there is a pertinent question that all educationists and those in the education “industry” should ask themselves – what plans do we have for the children of 21st century? 

The answer is probably the tried and tested ‘Mr. Chips’ approach, which basically means that we keep teaching what we learned and the way we learned, as it is, to our children. So there’s no room for something like “generation gap” in our classrooms. No doubt, teachers find it easier to simply teach what they were taught instead of learning new things and then teaching them to students. After all, we’re all defendants of the status-quo. As I was once told by my teacher in a reproachful tone, “Remember the Chinese proverb, ‘the nail that strikes out – gets hammered!’”. I sure did never forget that but in hand with it I also learnt a proverb from the less conservative Americans that says, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’. So well our team at Taleem Portal is more than just squeaking for change! 

We’re talking about making schools COOL for kids. We say do away with the boring classroom where to ask a question is to invite hell on yourself or more appropriately ‘the hammer’ on you. We say make the classroom interactive, bring in tools that help interaction between students and teachers – Interactive Whiteboards and Classroom Response System. So that the lesson INVOLVES students. Make use of the internet for promoting e-learning at schools as well as at homes. Get world renowned Britannica’s Online tools – Britannica Online Encyclop√¶dia, SmartMath, Pathways: Science & Image Quest! Do away with those science diagrams that students have to copy in to their journals just to show they are "learning" and bring in to your labs 3D science animations from Genome!

The goal is to enhance student’s learning and not only their performance in final exams. Teach what is relevant in a manner that the student would WANT to learn and you have a school that is COOL



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