Teach the Future

Ms. Sweety Rastogi is a senior teacher with an experience of over 18 years of mentoring students. Currently, she is working at Learning Paths School, Mohali, and is the Head of the Department of Mathematics and Faculty Advisor for multiple co-curricular activities such as Declamation, Math and Science Projects, etc.
Ms. Sweety is a Post Graduate in Mathematics and holds a Bachelors’ degree in Education. She was a team leader (Math) with the ICSE board and a moderator with CBSE for CCE evaluation. She received Best Teacher - District in 2014 by the Science Olympiad Foundation, New Delhi and Best Facilitator for her teaching practices in 2015 by R&D Department of Educomp Solutions. Presently, she is a teaching practitioner and a curriculum planner who has been advocating for liberating the education process to accommodate change.

Teacher: Define Pencil
Student: An obsolete material which has a print key in the front and sometimes a erase key at the back.
Teacher: What is a Textbook?
Student: Texting plus Facebook is a text book.
Today’s student is a tech geek, emotionally charged social buff.  So, what are the ways and means of teaching this future generation?
I make kids think,
I make them read
I make them write
I make them spell
I make them question
I make them criticize
I make them work
I make a difference
Who am I?
In today’s scenario, I stand for both teacher and technology.
When I went to school, it was a common thing to place a textbook on the teacher’s desk and one of the students was asked to read or she used to write in every possible space of chalk board, and then just a one liner conversation “copy down” would happen between the teacher and students.
The classroom environment today is completely different from the traditional classroom, we all use to have years ago. The great going engine of change is technology. That’s why, the need of the hour is to redefine learning. To propel ourselves into the future, all stakeholders- teachers, parents and school have to unlock expertise, share and create a culture of lifelong learning that will enable the learner to craft their journeys.
Learning crisis in our present educational system needs to be dealt with tremendous change in teaching learning process and above all, with great policies, investment and maintaining quality standards for teachers.
We need technology in every classroom, in every student and teacher’s hand as it is like pen and paper now, and it is the lens by which we see most of our world.
In order to incorporate technology in the classroom, teacher has to be an explorer and her unquenchable thirst for learning will facilitate TL process (teaching-learning process) and create lifelong learners.
Education is changing and the classroom itself has changed -today’s students have a tablet PC / laptop / Chromebook.
Students now are storing schoolwork in the cloud rather than a personal file/folder, students are actively participating via backchannel devices (Today’s Meet, Socrative, Padlet, Twitter). The stream of students’ thoughts, comments and ideas appear on the smart screen and teachers can address their comments and even their concerns. Homework and projects are submitted electronically via Dropbox, GAFE. Classes are made available to those who miss the class via YouTube or Google Hangouts, both in real time and archive. Parents use a school portal to know grades or latest updates in school.
Each class has a website / a wiki / a Google classroom. The videos of class, schedules, assignments, links to useful websites, embedded class calendar and what not, can be shared with all students. Now, most of the students have to complete their classwork/ homework knowing it will be shared or published (blogs, wikis, Google Apps for education) with classmates and with all teachers. Moreover, it will keep updating their digital portfolios. Schools have digital bulletin boards that display a scrolling collection of students’ works, have a scanning app to import art work or excellent handwritings, can upload student’s projects, skype interactions with other schools, etc. to name a few.
So, gear up teachers, use technology as a tool so that you can get desired learning outcomes.
Let your students make ‘prezis’, start ‘blogs’, create ‘wordles’, publish ‘animotos’, design ‘flipcharts’, produce ‘videos’, post on ‘edmodo’, use ‘interactive white board’ and develop ‘apps’ which will facilitate them to raise awareness, start conversations, find answers (to their questions), join partners, change minds, make a difference, take actions and finally drive change.   
Technology is a universal language spoken by the entire world, regardless of the profession. And while I am promoting that exposure to technology and digital tools as essential, we must do so responsibly. As a teacher keep focusing on the LO (Learning Objectives) and use digital tools to complement or enhance their skills. Through the use of technology as both a learning tool and a subject matter discipline in and of itself, there are number of new ways that teacher can inspire kids to learn.
To catch their attention, I tried to change my conversation with them – ‘In your mind’s browser, clear your cache, delete your history, now navigate to a blank web page. This website is created by me and you need to abide by the terms and conditions and click on ‘I agree’ of this website. Now whatever new concepts you learn, install as new software in your brains.’
Believe me, the classroom scenario was completely different as this LIVE TED TALK lifted their mood and prepared them for TL process.
So teachers, amplify your powers with technology as, according to George Couros, ‘Technology will not replace great teachers but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational.’