Changing Face Of Educational Tools

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Sumera B Reshi

The Education system is changing fast, so are changing the teaching tools. Now teachers understand that a perfect lesson plan isn’t going to help the student to develop integrated learning. The days of rote memory are gone and the need now is to engage students rather than feeding them with theories and definition.

It is a must to keep students involved throughout the lesson in order to stimulate thinking, encourage interaction and support collaboration. Today teachers are just facilitators rather than teachers and incorporate many tools to inculcate critical thinking.

Gone are the days of lecturing, it is the time for interaction, thus, televisions have been used in the classrooms to augment teaching. Earlier, televisions provided lectures and educational programs but it has also undergone a complete metamorphosis. Educators bring new life to the classroom by integrating television with technology to create a more engaged classroom.

Teachers now use Smart TVs which are similar to traditional televisions but they can connect to the internet which allows streaming of programs, videos and apps. Apple TVs are devices which can be connected to iPad and a projector, so can stream like a smart TV. The larger objective of teachers in using educational television is to make a connection between the show and the concept being taught in the class. For instance, a lesson on marine life could be taught with the help of a video on some sea animals like dolphins, whales and sharks. Nowadays teachers often coordinate lesson plans with visual learning. This way students stay focused and pay greater attention.

Whenever teachers use educational programs during class, the teacher-student relationship changes. There was the time when teachers used to impart knowledge, while students absorbed the information. However, educational technologies like interactive television and smart board changed the status quo by sharing and discussing the ideas or theories.

A study conducted by the University of Michigan Health System’s in 2010 reveal that children spend about 28 hours/week watching television, however, television is traditionally considered as the anti-education tool because people believe that children mindlessly absorb the content and spend less time reading and interacting with others. No doubt, there are certain fallouts of the television but television has a potential to concretize learning as well.

Improve Reading Speed and Comprehension

It has been seen that television can potentially improve reading skills and comprehension when used intentionally for this purpose. A study conducted in Finland shows that the children there scored higher than most of the rest of the world in their reading skills and the reason is that Finnish children watched imported American shows. These children enhanced their reading by reading the captions in their language.

Therefore, normal television and interactive television has a potential to facilitate interactive, collaborative, constructivist and authentic learning. iTV enables an engaging experience. Interactive TV enables a participatory experience with content on the TV screen. The convergence of Digital Television and interactivity leads to Interactive Digital Television.

iTV combines the appeal and mass audience of the traditional TV with the interactive features such as those currently available on the Web and offers new possibilities for the viewer, who can directly access relevant information and other services being just ‘one-click’ away. Interactive Digital Television provides a range of new services that combine video and data and give viewers greater control over what they see, in comparison with other traditional services. Moreover, iTV permits consumers to combine the full motion TV with the interactivity and personalization offered by the Internet.

Therefore, technology in the form of Smart TVs and interactive television employed by teachers in the classrooms have enhanced learning. Technology (like Smart TVs & interactive TVs) have revolutionized the educational system entirely. Time is ripe to leave old and outdated learning tools behind and adopt new tools of learning like Smart and interactive television.

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