Homework Needs To Be Optimised And Evoke Excitement
The raging debate and deliberations in the education circles these days focuses on the use of technology in classrooms. Its presence has become a much-discussed topic for all stakeholders be it parents or teachers, and the reality is that it exists. There is enough literature around highlighting pros and cons, and plenty of supporters for its inclusion. And then there are those that argue that its exclusion is not detrimental, but its inclusion may be more damaging than we imagine! The jury on this one is still out there.
We as educators are responsible for nurturing children for 21st-century learning that is skill-based, focuses more on ’cause and effect’, application, creation and originality. These, therefore, cannot be statically delivered to children or explained. Children need to be engaged in a manner that they will process with understanding, with flexibility, differentiation and some innovation, keeping their attention levels optimum.
Remember these children are receiving and processing information as perfect multi-taskers and therefore, our system of delivering for these children needs to cater to their learning styles.
This means we may as educators need to go beyond our traditional approach and embrace what works for them! Technology inclusion as an answer does make its presence felt as it gives children the much-needed diversity to a routine task.
While the traditional pen and paper assignments continue, a part of the strategy that includes technology may evoke the much-needed excitement for homework tasks. Let’s analyse this for a moment – assuming a child spends 7 hours in school, add another 2 hours to commute to school with close to 9 hours of sleep, leaving 6 hours for downtime out of which close to 3 hours for homework, leaving kids little time to themselves. If the homework can be optimised and evoke excitement, there is enough downtime for a child each day to come back to a school day in the morning – refreshed. Leading psychologists and caretakers will vouch how an energised child creates amazing learning opportunities that lead to more inquiry and creation.
Technology as a combination of some traditional assignments makes it more fun for children who enjoy the speed and flexibility of using a machine.
It does get work done quicker, and if the teacher is using google sheets, she auto corrects or Edmodo, she may real-time correct a child just in time so that he or she does not create the whole assignment to be told, he or she had not understood the concept!
A check-in time goes a long way in motivating a child eliminating the pain of re-doing.
From a teacher’s perspective, she gets work on time using this method, share real-time info, save paper, save soft copies for review later, and also have this as a reference point instead of missing out on ‘missing’ assignment records. Easier to correct, this also is a mobile option that enables a teacher to attend to ‘on the go’ as well.
It is no wonder that there are many takers for this approach and statistics indicate that 46 percent are in favour.
The other half is either strongly willed to believe that technology takes away the important written element as kids today find it difficult to ‘write’ and many among this half would be ill-equipped to manage technology themselves and hence hesitant to set tasks accordingly.
It is all about mindset and how you control the deliverables, keeping it well within the context. Crocin can become an overbearing paracetamol when popped every day for the slightest of discomfort but the same used judiciously becomes a pain reliever. The same applies to technology … how you use it, will be either motivating or addictive and this needs to be examined carefully!
Fatima Agarkar is an Educationist & Co-Founder of KA EduAssociates. Views expressed are author’s own.