Last two weeks I have been observing my neighbor’s son Manoj (Class X) sitting at home often spending lot of time in front of his laptop browsing through mail to check if there is the occasional mail from school with assignments in attachment. For some, it might not be a really noticeable thing. But Chennaites will better understand what is the situation I am talking about. This is not the first time I am seeing Manoj like this, if my memory is not bad this happened during rains and Amma incident last year and even during 2015 heavy rains.
Being a consultant, I sat down to dissect the problem in hand. Rain is a natural phenomena and as it is the case with some of our other Indian metros, poor drainage facilities have been the cause of water logging and the associated dangers with it in low lying areas as well as city. As it is we are in an age where there is lot of pre-planning and foresighted thoughts from experts being available. Some schools in Chennai have already completed their standard X and XII syllabus (not to comment about the depth of coverage) with only revision pending as per their claims. Students sitting at home during such long breaks would get their daily dose of assignments with limited or no support available for them to solve the same. Is it the right way to address this issue or can there be better alternatives?
Flipped classroom model (in true sense) is a method of delivery where we expect the student to complete basic learning part of concepts and even workout some problems with the help of lecture videos/ ppts and other questionnaires supplemented by detailed video/written solutions. This would give teachers a chance to make sure that kids would utilize this time to cover up the relevant topics before resuming the sessions after the break. Since most of these holidays are unexpected with often changing weather scenarios, teachers/trainers will be best placed to make sure that this time is used in productive manner instead of merely dumping loads of assignments on already covered topics or at times even new topics with students.
Having understood the benefits of this model, what care the challenges in implementing this model?
First and foremost obstacle is right kind of initiative from the school management side. Further schools would require the quality content for leveraging this opportunity along with adequate training for the instructors to implement the same. While there are many tools like Khan Academy for Schools available free of cost, customization to CBSE and Samacheer syllabus is a challenge which the regional educational organizations should see as an opportunity and work upon. This may be one such occasion where technology would really be able to impact the challenges in education (Referring to Steve’s quote ” Technology alone cannot address what is wrong with education”)
Looking forward to concrete steps from education enthusiasts and technology leaders to take some steps considering the larger benefit that our next generations would be able to realize from these initiatives.