When teachers learn from students

Last Updated 16 October 2013, 14:43 IST

Alice Mani enumerates how students have a better edge in educational technologies and teachers can learn from them to enhance their teaching.

What goes around indeed comes around. Life is considered to be a circle when a parent ends up learning things from his/her own child. A similar trend has begun to take place in the education fraternity where teachers have now taken back seats and have become learners, with their own students teaching them how to modify the art of teaching up to current standards. With knowledge about the subject of teachers and skills to use technological aids, a promising collaboration is beginning to take shape in modern day classrooms.

Tech-aided generation

E-learning, the trend of the time, refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education. It is broadly inclusive of all forms of educational technology in learning and teaching, and synonymous with multimedia learning, technology-enhanced learning (TEL), computer-based instruction (CBI), computer-based training (CBT), computer-assisted instruction or computer-aided instruction (CAI), internet-based training (IBT), web-based training (WBT), online education, virtual education, virtual learning environments (VLE) (which are also called learning platforms), m-learning, and digital educational collaboration. These alternative names emphasise a particular component or delivery method. This is where the world is heading right now, and students are an effective aid to teachers for that.

In collaboration with technology

Teachers having taught the same curriculum for years develop a monotonous lifestyle and mindset towards things. They have quite a similar approach towards everything and do not bring in variation. With the evolution of technology, the younger generation has taken the upper hand in learning new things and developing new set of skills. Learning has collaborated with technology and hence trends like power point presentations and visual mode of education have become a preferred mode of learning for students. Teachers who are not comfortable with computers have come to learn their usage with the help of students who have not only taught them the art of sending and receiving mails, preparing slide shows for their lectures, but have also gone the extra mile in making them know about the importance of it.

Getting acquainted with

Today, students know what they need from a school and what is required for them to learn adequately.  They care about education. They want to learn and be challenged. In this era of technologies, it has become so important for teachers to learn from students about various uses of computers. The usage of these softwares needs a level of expertise, which usually takes the no computer era teachers a little time to get acquainted with. Teachers tend to learn how to employ advance features in presentation, how to make use of animations and various other tools to come up with better presentation. The students in this process let the teachers know of how the content and format of the presentation can be different and be more student-friendly. Teachers learn about new software and technologies from the new age students who are more than happy to stage their technological skills.

Harnessing student involvement

The perceptions of students can be extremely informative and helpful to teachers. If schools have to be student centric, then it is pretty apt for teachers to seek their views as well. Student observations about teacher practices can be bluntly honest and yet beneficial in terms of assessing the educational effectiveness of our programs. Harnessing student involvement in schools is not easy and requires a deliberate strategy. The correct way to start harnessing this powerful resource should be known. Empowerment is the key and when valid opportunities are sought, the same motivation that drives teachers— the desire to make a difference— can also motivate students.

Creating a bond

The traditional method of teaching has become quite dull which makes students lose interest fast. Unless the teacher has exceptional speaking qualities, it has become hard to maintain the same discipline that used to happen decades ago. The reason is that owing to social media and internet, students have a better edge and hence it has been found that students happen to teach quite well with adequate patience and vibrant interest. They are very dynamic in nature and their explanation is usually much more refined with updated facts. The new evolution that has taken place among the educational fraternity not only takes things forward but also has the potential to create a new bond between the teachers and students.

Learning from learners

The best part about learning from students is that they are constant learners themselves. Though most of the students seem to show an aversion towards teaching career, their concepts are crystal clear and can teach them to others in a profound manner. They do not mind doing extra reading, taking time from their schedule, to understand new concepts which teachers suggest. They keep updating themselves with the world and are the best teachers when it comes to technology. Right from making PPTs to developing PREZI presentations, students are experts in teaching technologies and can assist teachers in adapting to those.

Students are far more considerate and helpful when it comes to teaching; they also respect you as a teacher and try to help you in the best way possible. Seeing how patiently they teach, we will be convinced that patience and faith are two things which students probably expect teachers as well.

(Published 16 October 2013, 14:43 IST)

Follow us on