Conducted session on ‘New Trends and Techniques in Teaching’

Conducted session on ‘New Trends and Techniques in Teaching’

We conducted a session on ‘New Trends and Techniques in Teaching’ at Modern College of Education on 24 November 2017. I am an accidental teacher. In 2002 while travelling in train from Pune to Mumbai, I met Dr. George Judah, Director of the Institute from where I had done MBA. He invited me to take one guest session at the Institute, where he was working at that point of time. I conducted a guest session and started teaching whenever possible. One of my paternal uncles was an astrologer. He had told me that there are chances that I will be developing teaching skill. I had laughed out aloud when he had made the prediction. I never thought that someday it will become reality.

We have to discuss new trends and techniques in teaching since there are numerous social, technological and behavioral changes. I believe that one of the first change we have to make is to change the standard method of teaching known as ‘lecturing’. Teachers are so used to this method of teaching that they start talking immediately after entering a classroom and stop only when the time allotted ends. We have to change this method. We have to make teaching very interactive. Technology has reduced our attention plans to a great extent. There is a change in behavior of parents due to excessive use of technology like mobile phones. Students observe these changes happening at home. Many students themselves have become excessive users of technology.

I talked about how students should be introduced to the technology. Infrastructure challenges can be solved if there is a will to make positive change. Many schools in villages also employ technology to effectively. So technology adoption has not only remained an urban phenomena, it has become a national phenomena in India. What we believe is that we will have to adapt to these changes based on our need and not to blindly adopt any technology because somebody else is using it.

Ancient Indian philosophy of Vedic Education was based on logic, fact, argument and evidence. It seems that we lost our own educational philosophy of learning and applying our mind. Somehow we started to give importance to reproducing the answers as it is instead of students answering in their own words. When Indian students are exposed to developed countries where education philosophy is to apply your mind, Indian students get into trouble.

We also have to explore new ways of teaching. Recently I saw a newspaper sharing entrepreneurial story in a cartoon strip format. I found this very interesting since students get interested in knowing more immediately.

Another aspect to remember is focus on learning rather than only certifications and degrees. Learning is lifelong. Few days back my mother had drawn a Rangoli (an Indian art form of drawing with sand like material) and she asked me what is special about it. I couldn’t recognize what was special, so asked her what’s the secret? She told me that the Rangoli is drawn with pen instead of by hand. You have to remove the refill from a ballpoint pen, fill Rangoli powder in it and draw the Rangoli with the pen. She told me that she learned this technique by watching a video on YouTube! My mother has studied till tenth standard, though she is a continuous learning thanks to excellent use of technology. Similarly, we will have to keep on learning and develop this habit of learning in students.

An interesting initiative I came across is called Skype in the Classroom where schools across the world are connected to each other and different schools show their campuses and other interesting information to the network through a Skype video call. Another interesting tool I regularly use is Google Classroom. All the administrative classroom activities like giving assignments, asking questions and so on can be executed through the digital platform. For using interesting videos which easily explain complex concepts, I fond TED-Ed is a great source.

Although there are numerous new trends and techniques in teaching are available, we will have to try relevant ones and adapt and explore. Let me know your thoughts.

Sachin Bhide

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