Interview

Future of Education lies in Technology that Enables Accessibility, Personalization and Democratization

sharmila-chatterjee

Says, Sharmila Chatterjee, Principal, Billabong High International School, Noida, in an interaction with Ekta Srivastava. Education Technology…

Please tell us something about The Billabong School. Its concept and uniqueness

Billabong High International Noida (BHIS, Noida), a CBSE & Cambridge International Examinations  affiliated school is one of the best international schools in Noida that envisions to create an educational system of ‘individualized learning’ that brings out the human excellence in every child.

Kangaroo Kids(KK, the pre-primary wing) and Billabong High International (the high school) were founded under the aegis of the GD Education Society, spearheaded by visionary Mr. M. S. Gandhi. Kangaroo Kids Noida was started in 2005 and was extended to the senior wing in 2007. BHIS, Noida also prides itself in being a sensitive school and has a distinct centre for children with special needs named Sanchetna (the special wing) started in 2009.

BHIS, Noida is part of the KKEL chain of franchise schools which are operational in 38 cities across 4 countries including India. Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd (KKEL) founded in 1993 by Ms. Lina Ashar and is located in a seven acre sprawling campus at the heart of the city in Sector 34, Noida.

The strengths and highlights of the schools are:

  • CURRICULUM
    1. The school follows child centric curriculum with Inter disciplinary approach. The complete curriculum form Pre-primary to Grade VIII is based on Multiple Intelligence and Blooms Taxonomy.
    2. Research-based curriculum has always been at the core of our teaching.
    3. We at BHIS value a stimulating and dynamic curriculum developed by KKEL for the preschool and the primary school.
    4. While the curriculum is designed in association with Billanook College, Melbourne, adequate attention has been given to incorporate Indian knowledge base and value system.
  • TEACHING/LEARNING METHODS
    1. We want our student to strive for PCCE – Passionate, Creative, confident and Ethical- Passion or love for learning, Talent for thinking, love for hard work.
    2. The learning becomes interesting when students are provided with opportunities to explore, investigate, research in stress free, supportive environment.
    3. All this makes our learners ongoing and lifelong learners
  • SPORTS INFRASTRUCTURE
    1. BHIS, Noida has state-of-art sports infrastructure facilitated with a huge cricket ground, basketball court, golf simulator, lawn tennis court, swimming pool, skating ring, auditorium, an amphitheatre.
    2. The school also has an excellent co-curricular setup in dance, music, arts for its students. The school serves warm, hygienic, well-cooked breakfast and lunch under the supervision of a professional nutritionist to all its students. Air conditioned transport facilities are also available.
    3. BHIS, Noida is the pioneer in introducing the Golf Simulator and the golf putting green in school.
    4. The school also runs external academy in cricket, tennis and basketball under the guidance of senior players & coaches of national & international repute.
  • LIFE SKILLS
    1. Another integral objective of school is to build a productive generation for the future by taking care and enhancing the emotional wellbeing of the students and promote positive outlook and healthy behavior.
    2. Skills of self-awareness, empathy, effective communication, inter personal relationship, problem solving, decision making, coping with stress and emotions are incorporated to help students overcome challenges in real life.
    3. This knowledge, attitude, skills and values translate into action, responsible behaviors, self-confidence, self-worth, compassion and a healthy living.

Do you think India has adequate technology usage and adoption in the education sector? What more can be done in your opinion?

India may not be the early adopters of technology in the education sector but with access to high speed broadband internet and low lost computers and mobile devices there has been growth in the use of technology for learning.

Even though some of the educational institutions in India ranks par with world’s best universities and colleges the use of technology is still limited in Indian education sector.

With the rising cost of education, technology based learning can come to the rescue of those who wants to go for higher degree but cannot afford it.

Government needs to play an active role in encouraging educational institution in adopting latest technology for teachings and delivering course content.

The transformation from classroom learning and tuitions to non-traditional online learning aids is not easy. What challenges did you face?

Technology-assisted learning tools is quickly changing the face of education, transitioning the classroom only learning environment to an online only or blended online learning experience.

The possible challenges instructors and learners face in an e-learning environment must be considered in order to ensure learner success. In education, the digital divide is most commonly defined as the gap between those students who have, do not have, and know how to use the internet and the information technologies that are currently transforming education

In this way the digital divide still acts as a challenge for education and more specifically e-learning environments.

The most well planned and explicitly laid out online instructional environment is not enough to sustain learner interest or support intrinsic motivation.

Learners often have anxiety about learning online and need to feel connected, reassured, and safe to contribute in their new learning environments

What technology initiatives do you see gaining maximum ground for K-12 schools?

The future of education lies in technology that enables accessibility, personalization and democratization. Certification and testing of education skills becomes so much easier as one can maintain and assess the individual’s performance and needs through technology.

Education is fast evolving due to a paradigm shift from the conventional to a more dynamic and active learning approach. It is all becoming possible through the use of integrated communication technology and teaching. Students across different age groups are now looking at diverse ways to learn.

Do you think eLearning can help in educational progress in a vast country like India?

E-learning has turned to be one of the best modes of education for students who show interest in continuing education despite various other commitments. It provides extra edge for those who wish to improve their subject skills.

It is also a known fact that when students are interested in what they are learning, they gain better retention capabilities and work wonders in their courses. Same way, if a student gains an opportunity to use technology to the best of his advantage, he also stands out well with his improved learning capabilities.

Further, eLearning shows the gate to more student collaboration, better interface with instructors and plentiful availability of resources with more productivity in the learning process. When everything changes in the world, it is prudent to adopt methods that prove beneficial for effective learning.

 

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