Educational apps for students have become very important in today’s day and age. A recent survey done by NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) highlights that instead of learning outcomes becoming better, the averages are going down. In fact, in urban areas we are doing worse.
The National Achievement Survey
Recently the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) brought out The National Achievement Survey and the findings are not encouraging for Mumbai and Thane. The average performance in all subjects including maths and science has been found below students in districts like Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Beed which have a better performance average than the National mean. And we have always believed that students in Mumbai and Thane are always better-off educationally than other parts of Maharashtra – even India.
This survey also published in the Times of India (Mumbai fails to measure up to poorer districts in Maths, Science, Feb 24, 2018) evaluated learning levels of students of Classes III, V and VIII in mathematics, science, language, social studies and environmental studies. In Maharashtra, the survey covered over 2,200 government and government-aided schools, including many run by prestigious trusts and missionary groups. All come under the state board of education.
According to an expert interviewed by the esteemed newspaper the reasons for such dismal performance is the practice of rote learning and the lack of conceptual clarity. Also at the same time understanding of languages which is the medium of learning is low.
Why this scenario continues and what are we aiming for?
These reasons are not new and steps are being taken by state and central authorities to remedy this situation. However, the buzz word is learning outcome. This term although has been thrown around for quite some time has certainly gained prominence in the past few years and all stake holders are now taking it seriously. The HRD minister recently announced rationalizing the school syllabus. “The objective of education is to prepare a good human being,” he said.
The solution to the problem
The solution lies in technology. Technology has given us the power today to change the learning outcome. Our biggest concern is that our children do not get the attention they deserve at school. However, we also know that in the current scenario a teacher’s job is not only teaching, but also administrative work that comes along with the job. What we must understand is that if the teacher’s job includes presenting information to students in the classroom and taking care of all the paperwork then he or she will not be able to give time to solve doubts of students, let alone give personal attention to them. Learning outcome, in this scenario is the least of the concern.
Why Educational apps for students?
The magic of electronics is now apparent to us all. We know how information has become personalized. Enough studies on learning outcomes, student behavior and psychology have helped design many educational apps for students of all ages. Technology helps disseminate information easily and can make the information (lecture) interesting with illustration and animation. Students can engage with the videos rather than run away from it. It is a universal fact that information that is interesting has a higher chance of being retained in memory. At the same time videos can be watched anytime, anywhere and as many times a student wants.
The Flipped Classroom
Teachers can now give emphasis on solving doubts with students while recorded video lectures give out information and concepts. The flipped classroom teaching has been around for quite some time in Europe and America and has been found to be very effective. Students can watch lectures at home instead of doing homework or rather harassing their parents with the homework. When they are in school they can discuss any doubts that they had jotted down when they were watching the lectures. Classroom time can be used for assignments and clarifying doubts with the teachers.
Future of Possibilities
Once we allow technology to enter our classrooms, the possibilities of using it for personalized learning outcomes are endless. With educational apps for students, they can choose subjects that they would like to learn. Teachers will be saved from doing endless paperwork and concentrate on what they are qualified and hired for – teaching. And Parents will be saved from running after their children demanding them to finish their homework.