Sunday, April 1, 2012

How Google be the best tool to enhance academic learning in the "Era of Social Networks"?


Albert Einstein quotes, "It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in so doing, you bring everything to the realm of possibility"It has been said and heard all over that children concentrating less on studies, degrading language skills (spellings and grammar especially), reducing focus on learning, retaining information, academic performance,  face to face physical interactions, etc., owing to long hours of exposure to electronic or social networks. Instead of wasting time on talking about bad effects of social network we can turn the same with good effects too. This could be a tool to improve language, knowledge, thinking and communication skills. No doubt social network has rooted down deep into our young hearts. It is not now so easy to uproot it at once. The only choice left with us is, “Go ahead!”

As Bill Gates says, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” What we as teachers doing? Could we really win over in obstructing students from using electronic media? The answer is “no”, certainly not! We cannot change their attitudes. We only have to divert them from distracting things to academically useful ones. How best we can plan and implement? Let’s see……….

  1. A teacher is given the responsibility of setting up school children with Google account which lets them search, upload, store, organize, and share links among teachers, students and parents on a topic or project  through Goggle search or Google scholar.
  2. Search and collect topic wise images from Google images and store in respective Picasa albums.
  3. Prepare topic wise documents, spreadsheets or slide shows and upload the same on Google docs.
  4. Go around on field trips, shoot videos from a mobile as a project work. Topics may range from traffic education, environment, pollution, agriculture, poultry, dairy, sheep farming, disease symptoms, tools and implements, plant varieties, flowers, fruits, etc. Upload the same on YouTube or Google videos.
  5. Do blogging on topics related to school, social life, academic topics or issues.
  6. Integrate or communicate other students, teachers and parents through Google plus. Expose yourself to the world. 
This way we can improve academic networking, where syllabus-makers (authors, editors, publishers, etc), and syllabus-followers (teachers, students and parents) could also have a chance to come together and discuss how best the curriculum should be and how best to use the same for practical purposes. All academicians, educationists, teachers and Students should have their own electronic circles as the best one we see on Google plus! Students are better able to share information quickly and effectively.By spending a little time students are getting a golden chance to develop creative skills, familiarity with computers, and electronic media all at a time. The concept of school will no longer be restricted to a building or a place but to an expanded one worldwide. Students gets lot of relaxation from traditional method of mugging up and at the same time enjoy both learning and chatting.

Very rightly Steve Jobs put this in his words, “Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them.

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