Personalization, riding on the back of ed-tech, is finally entering classrooms.
Each student needs help to learn efficiently. With a 1:30 student teacher ratio in every classroom in India, it's difficult to reach out to every child. Among these 30, there are specially-abled students who need tools and personal mentors to excel. "The infrastructure should not be a barrier to their learning. That's where technology can be used to supplement classroom learning. Ed-tech is trying to fill that gap by providing essential support with the help of assistive technology," says Mr. Rajshekhar Ratrey, VP, Educational content, Toppr.
How technology can help specially abled students learn efficiently? Mr. Rajshekhar Ratrey shared his ideas here on this:
Personal attention is the key to a well-rounded learning experience. Ideally, there should be a team of teachers in every school, who are trained in tutoring specially-abled students. However, India's current classroom scenario is far from the ideal. Personalization, riding on the back of ed-tech, is finally entering classrooms. Students with different abilities learn at a different pace. With their lessons stored in a mobile device, they can learn at their own pace, in an environment they deem fit for studying. The use of animated videos has made lectures interactive, rather than just instructive. Children can actually play with objects in 3D and see visual representations of a lecture in the form of videos, diagrams, graphs and images. This has enabled specially-abled students to study in a classroom, with a personal tutor at their fingertips.
In a class of 30 or 60, a teacher can't always keep track of how much the student is learning and where they're going wrong. Ed-tech has made it easy for teachers to identify the student's weak areas. Aided by assistive technology, students can practice on an app and get real time results. This helps teachers figure out which topics demand a deeper explanation. This is also beneficial for parents, as most apps are equipped with a progress bar. Parents can easily supervise their child's learning and see how much they have learned and how well.
Giving the control to students
Teachers trained to teach specially-abled children are few in number. Some classrooms may have qualified staff, but it's at a small scale. Technology has opened the doors to quality content and teachers. With a simple video conferencing, children can learn from experts, anywhere in the world. Ed-tech has bought content designed for specially-abled students to smartphones and computers. Students can choose what to learn and where to learn, giving them complete control of their learning
Positive reinforcement with gamification
Motivation is important to keep confidence afloat. Gamification is making that possible with badges, leaderboards, experience points etc. Each time students complete a set of tasks, they are rewarded a badge for their performance, speed, accuracy, consistency and other factors. This is even making learning fun, increasing participation from students with a short attention span. It's conducive to increasing their social interaction with peers and mentors, thus leading to better engagement and participation.
Doubts or lack of attention can leave a student feeling helpless. In the case of specially-abled students, this could have an adverse effect on their learning. Even though they don't have a dedicated teacher in a classroom, help is available at the click of a button. Ed-tech has made it possible to reach a tutor at anytime of the day. If a student ever feels stuck, help is just around the corner 24×7.
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Learning is for everyone. Whether it's done with the help of a text to speech converter, a braille display or 3D visuals, technology is helping every child learn the best way possible.
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