The current education system based on procedural learning was introduced over a century ago. Major differences were introduced only in the variety of concepts taught in schools. The method of imparting education has had only a few reforms. Technology has advanced exponentially over the years and experts believe that technology can be introduced in schools to help students understand the topics better. This could be better than the regular rote learning system where the students study only for the sake of exams. By using innovative tools and techniques to impart education, students will be able to understand the concept in depth.
What and How
Many schools all over the country are introducing creative ways to help students understand the topics. This is done along with the traditional method of imparting education. Most of the primary schools today are following this century old method to teach their students. The engineers from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) have decided to change this by improving the traditional methods with the help of technology. They have developed a software – SAKSHAR which is an Image Projective Desktop Varnamala Trainer (IDVT). The primary goal of this project is to make learning a fun experience for students. The trial run for SAKHAR has already begun in over 20 schools (Kendriya Vidyalayas) in New Delhi.
SAKSHAR is an interactive device which uses a game-based approach to teaching students. There are two modes pre-installed in the device – Testing mode and Teaching mode. The teaching mode was introduced for students who are new to the school. They are given an infinite number of attempts in the game. They have to match the alphabet with a common object. The testing mode is for users who have practiced in the teaching mode. In the testing mode, the user is given a limited number of attempts and there is a countdown timer included. Each slide has a fixed time limit. There will be multiple objects for the same alphabet in testing mode. Every correct answer will be awarded 4 points and every wrong answer will invite a penalty of 1 point. The scores are stored and can be used to track the progress of the student over a period of time.
A professor at the Mechanical Engineering department in IIT-D, Dr. SK Saha said that the traditional methods of imparting education focusses more on rote learning and this approach does not improve the child’s basic arithmetic and literacy skills. He also said that teachers are receiving positive feedback from students who have used the apps. Another reason to produce SAKSHAR was that primary students were given incomprehensible books due to which they shied away from learning. This also led to increasing in a number of dropouts in the school.
It is necessary to change with the times and use the available resources to make learning more meaningful and useful. Will SAKSHAR bring a positive change in the education system? Only time will tell.