Supplementing learning through multimedia

Supplementing learning through multimedia

Supplementing learning through multimedia

Ravinarayan Chakrakodi enlightens the readers about the features of the new package of print and audio-visual materials developed by Karnataka department of education to enhance teaching-learning experience within classrooms.

It is important to develop a package of teaching-learning materials for classroom use in order to engage children in active learning. As stated in the position paper on ‘Curriculum, Syllabus and Textbooks’ of the National Curriculum Framework (2005), what is needed in the current educational practices is not a single textbook but a package of teaching-learning materials. It is felt that a textbook should become a part of this package and not the only teaching-learning material.

Against this backdrop, the Department of Education, Karnataka (DSERT, SSA and Karnataka Textbook Society) has developed a package of print and audio-visual materials to enhance the learning capabilities of children studying in government schools of Karnataka.  As far as English as a second language is concerned, along with the Textbooks, Workbooks have been prepared for the first time by the State Education Department.  Additionally, radio lessons as well as video films have been produced to develop linguistic as well as communication skills of learners.

As it is challenging for a teacher to sustain the motivation of the learners for the whole academic year using the same textbook, a variety of teaching-learning materials is necessary. Textbook lessons might sometimes cause boredom to learners due to the sameness or repetitiveness of lessons and activities.  In this regard, audio and video resources will help in sustaining the learners’ motivation.  Also, as it is seen in many schools these days, teaching and learning is reduced to rote memorization of questions and answers from the textbook. The resources developed will help teachers in designing many different activities and make teaching learning more effective in the classroom.

Workbook

The Workbook is a complementary resource to the textbook. Every Unit in the textbook has a corresponding unit in the workbook, which is thematically linked. The workbook provides additional language practice activities and is also a useful aid in carrying out formative assessment in the classroom.

Radio lessons

Radio lessons offer a range of audio resources to learn English. The content of the radio lessons is based on the new textbooks introduced for the primary and high school classes. These episodes target learners and encourage them to use English in the classroom, reinforce the textual content and enhance their language skills. Additionally, teachers get ideas about planning their lessons, different methods and techniques of teaching English and designing interesting tasks and activities to teach the language.
 
Why videos?

Video is a powerful medium in today’s world. It is a wonderful combination of visual, audio and written information. It is believed that visual information accounts for 55% of our learning, audio 38% and written 7%.

Video provides rich audio-visual input to children and also motivates teachers to use technology in the classroom for effective teaching and learning. Therefore, video could be exploited as a potential educational tool in schools.

The video materials based on the new textbooks employ powerful visual techniques to help children understand the lessons better.

The scripts for the video films have been written by the experts in the field and the films have been directed by well known film directors/documentary film makers. Presently, the videos on the grade VIII lessons are being telecast in selected schools of Karnataka where EDUSAT facilities are available.

The videos based on Grade VIII English lessons (prose as well as poetry) such as ‘A Day in the Shantiniketan Ashram,’ ‘Jamaican Fragment,’ ‘The Boy Who Asked for More,’ ‘The Axe in the Wood,’ etc.  demonstrate wonderful techniques of teaching English.

The scripts have been prepared keeping the principles of learning a second language in mind.  Activities such as field visits, project work, group discussions, role plays and dramatization have been meaningfully incorporated into these films.

Here, learners get ample opportunities to construct knowledge about the topic, use language for authentic purposes and also to develop critical thinking skills. Attempts have been made to develop various reading strategies such as predicting, summarizing, visualizing, questioning, connecting, evaluating, etc.

For example, students in the video try to locate ‘Jamaica’ on the globe, gather information about ‘Jamaica’ from internet and present them to the class, predict and construct a story, mime and dramatize the lesson and perform many such interesting activities.

Students play language games, practice questioning skills and also do interesting pronunciation tasks. Teachers can use these videos to give students further opportunities to practice various language learning strategies in an engaging way.

The video can be used as a learning tool as well as a teaching tool in schools. It also has the potential to be used as a professional teacher development tool.

As there is a scarcity of qualified teachers to teach English in schools, these resources play a vital role in teaching and learning English. These supplementary resources should help teachers in making their classrooms interesting, lively and interactive. Making the best use of these resources and providing children with an increasing access to quality education is in the hands of the teachers.

All these lofty goals and ideals can be achieved if these resources are made easily and widely accessible to teachers and learners across the state.

Also, it is necessary to maintain high standards and quality in the preparation and presentation of such materials. 

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