Someone once said, “If students do not learn the way we teach, then let us teach the way they learn.”
Social Sciences in general and Geography in particular is a visual cum systematic subject which need lot of observational skills. It has been seen that the students lack interest in social sciences due to inability to visualize abstract themes/places. It creates a wide gap between teaching and learning. Today's traditional learning environment also does not allow the learners to obtain and participate in classroom. It hampers the learner ability to adapt to new learning environments and at the same time stops their creative adventures.
We have tested ICT strategies in the classroom to bridge these gaps.
• Unfreez animations made in paint brust gif files.
• Comic strip books for recording discussions made in Toondoo platform.
• Animated cartoon Movie for Interview/story telling in Go animate platform.
• Mind Maps in Free Mind open source.
• Wiki: Extended Classroom of Geography
• Blogs: Discover Geography
• Audacity for recording student comments.
• eXe XHTML editor for offline study course materials (for those who don’t have internet)
• Photostory and Flash Slide Show maker
For details pl see ICT in education
This project follows the principles of Personalized Learning Experiences. We have demonstrated that through the use of ICT the students can migrate from passive learners to investigative learners. It gives them freedom to access multiple sources of information/knowledge. It is used to supplement the class room teaching & learning and increases accessibility to hands on experiences.
IX to XII standard children of age groups between 13-16 years were our target group. Specifically it is targeted for mediocre and low achievers who need special attention in the class and it’s difficult for one teacher to give them individual attention. Formative and summative tests and assignments were administered before and after the use of ICT tools amongst the students.
We concluded that:
• Use of self created animation in the classroom enhanced the learning capacity of students.
• Use of Cartoon Strip Book in class increased accessibility to the class room discussions and explanations, which was one of the important factors listed by the students in improving their average class marks.
• Use of Animated Cartoon Movie in which the comic character behaves or reacts according to the topic under discussion helped students learn to communicate and increased their comprehension abilities.
• Before or during examination day’s those students who revised through mind maps reported that it help them in recapitulating what was learnt.
• Our Wiki-centric Extended Classroom was used by Class X Geography students for posting and editing lesson summaries and for collaboration. This way they learnt to correct, improve or discuss each other work. It helped students in their understanding of each chapter written in black and white.
• Discover Geography Blog students used it as a tool to explore and discover geography. It served as a means of exchanging their experiences. Students relearned the concepts sitting in their homes. ‘Google Earth maps’ improved their visualization of the dimensions of distance. Through ‘Google documents and spreadsheets’ they took online tests and got printouts of assignments, previous term/year assessment and lesson summaries. Through the notice board we were able communicate better with each other even after the school hours.
• All these exercises achieved open involvement of high achievers as well as low achievers.
• The games and comic book creation improved motor skills of students.
• This intervention improved student’s response and brought an attitudinal change towards this subject.
• Even the students with low reading skill show greater achievements in the tests.
• Students show higher attendance and lower disciplinary problems.
• It improved students’ average weekly progress in class tests. The analysis shows that in the week when it was actively used the result improved by 7.2% and when it was not it varied between 1.32 to 0%.
• It provided individualized support to learners by individualized interactive materials.
• The students now feel responsible for their own learning.
This project can be applied successfully in each school without any extra expenses and skills of teachers. Software are free because they are Open Source and user friendly which means it does not need any other skills to operate. The students of present day are much aware about them and use more difficult software then these. Teaching will become a good learning experience for the students.