Wednesday 29 April 2020

TV Is Not the Idiot Box Anymore..

I was a little surprised when West Bengal Government chose to tie up with TV channels to stream live lectures for Class X and XII.

I hail from Andragogy background and I believed pedagogy will be all the more difficult with student's diminishing attention span and no participation. I had my doubts if this approach will be effective and will continue.

They even began junior classes and I was even more skeptical, if this was just an attention seeking exercise to flaunt what all ministry had done to continue education against all odds.

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I had my myth and doubts cleared when I sat through their English classes for fifth and sixth standard last Saturday. I practically took notes on what went well.

Well structured: It was combination of visual and auditory. The key words were explained even before the class started. It was to build on what students already knew or need to knew to understand the poem/ chapter better

Well Planned: The sequencing of the sessions was done in such a manner that it helps retention. The specific chapters are announced well in advance so that students can shoot their questions. One thing was not clear though - on what basis were the chapters selected? Was that based on the mails and calls they receive from students seeking clarifications in a particular subject, particular chapter or particular topic.

Well Prepared: The teachers were taking questions live over phone, video and also through mail. The responses, based on my understanding of the subject were apt - to the point, critical thinking driven and based on text.

Home Assignments: In order to ensure the students were engaged after the 30 minutes session and reiterate their learning, the teachers gave five assignments to dwell on the subject long enough to be thorough with it.

Questions from students: The quality of questions were both simple and critical. One or two questions were repetitive which kind of indicated that particular student was not attentive enough to take notes based on earlier response or re frame the question for more value add.

The positive thing was the student had to read the chapter in advance to have their questions ready before the session and follow it up with homework. In traditional classes, this level of preparation is slightly missing.

I can imagine the excitement of students to have their questions ready, being shown on TV and probably check with their friends, if that question helped in their learning.

Subject Teachers: They were knowledgeable and for detail explanation of certain topics, other subject teachers were connected live.

Moderator's role: She was not only summarizing and sharing practical relevance, her energy and the way she handled the questions within the stipulated time across channels was very well done.

The live lectures started with Class X and XII, then junior classes were added recently.

There was white board, a power point presentation, two teachers, some great interaction with students. 

When we were young and wanted to watch TV, we had to literally beg our parents, do our home work, cut down on play time just so that we got that small incentive.Today, parents will only be happy if children told they need to watch TV as they had a few doubts to clarify.

Times are changing. Are we ready to adapt?

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