The kids today can access authentic information at the touch of an icon in a mobile app or through a visit to websites like Wikipedia. Teaching digital age kids is proving to be a great challenge for the teaching community, which finds itself at an interesting point in their careers.
Most have risen to meet the challenge in their own way: some have embraced technology wholeheartedly and speak the same language as the kids do; while others have stuck to the tried and tested teaching methods of the old school. There is yet another group who have managed to strike a fine balance between the two. There is no single superior method which fits all.
Can technology replace humans in the field of learning in the long run? The answer is an emphatic ‘no.’ There is more to the learning process than visiting slickly designed websites or watching crisply produced educational videos on YouTube.
What makes for a great teacher? A great teacher recognises talent, nurtures creativity, encourages innovation and instills moral values in young minds. Technology certainly has its place and an important role to play, but teachers have a greater responsibility and hence a greater role to play. It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Geography is a subject most pupils find uninteresting. Without going into the reasons for the lack of enthusiasm for the subject, let us look at the ways in which we can make the topic relevant and interesting to students. The methods discussed below can be applied to any topic.
- Be unconventional : Don’t think of covering the topics in the prescribed time as your priority. If we can get the students really interested in the subject, they will make your job easier with better engagement and enhanced interest levels.
- Be flexible: Let your pupils choose a feature related to the subject that interests them and present the outcome of the learning with any of the following presentation methods - slideshow, brochure, essay, picture book, collage or any other method of their choosing.
- Be interactive: Ask your students to get interesting pictures, stories, news item from different part of the world related to the subject. Your pupils can then do further research on the topic to substantiate the story, followed by an interactive Q&A session.
- Be practical: Use technology where imperative. Mastering tools like Google Earth and Google Maps is useful to show them how useful such tools can be and in what situations. Encourage them to look for apps and games on geography and share it with the class.
- Be democratic : Ask your pupils to help you make learning geography more interesting and relevant for them. Make your pupils an integral part of the decision making process, and be amazed at the sheer brilliance of the ideas young minds can come up with.