Trend across Mumbai schools: From heavy school bags to iPads and tabs

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Trend across Mumbai schools: From heavy school bags to iPads and tabs


Ink-and-paper textbooks have given way for digital bookcases as well as iPads and tablets in what seems to be the latest trend across schools in the city.

The old methods of rote memorisation, remembering instead of learning is now being replaced by interactive learning. And best thing about this shift is that school bags of children are becoming lighter.

While publishers are updating e-books almost instantly with the latest events or research, city schools are increasingly looking to hand-held tablets and iPads as a way to sustain students’ interest and even to reward their achievements.

“E-learning takes the children to a world beyond textbooks which do not explain concepts at times. And you can watch it often, while the class teacher explains it just once,” said Lina Ashar, founder of Kangaroo Kids Education Limited, which runs the Billabong group of schools.

According to Ashar her group of schools have worked out several ways to do away with heavy bags while at the same time make learning more interactive and interesting.

“Apart from tablets, we also have a home note book and class work book format so that kids only carry slim workbooks home.” she said.

In April last year, Cambridge University Press launched Cambridge Learn — a digital innovation for education.

Cambridge Learn is a first-of-its kind comprehensive digital learning solution, comprising of books and learning resources on a tablet.

Last year Podar International School, Mumbai became the first school following the Cambridge International Examination (CIE) board to adopt Cambridge learn followed by several schools this year.

The growing demand for enhanced learning services is something schools are waking up to, with computers, tablets, iPads etc creeping into classrooms.

“Teachers were teaching the same topic with very poor learning outcomes,” said a senior teacher from RN Podar School ( which follows the CBSE board) .

“Now we film our lectures and students can also watch these at home and discuss them in class the other day,” the teacher said.

The Balmohan Vidyamandir at Shivaji Park too has tablets for its class VIII students with state board curriculum textbooks already uploaded on them.

Not just private schools but the e-learning trend has also spread to civic run schools.

In the face of resistance and after debate the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) last September as part of an initiative by the ruling party- Shiv Sena distributed free tablets to class VIII students of civic schools.

The tabs, which have solar power chargers, have been given to students of classes VIII to X under the state syllabus in Marathi and English for now . The course content has been loaded onto the tabs.

“Digital or e-learning is the new trend which we decided to introduce to keep up with the growing trend,” said Shambhavi Jogi, education officer of BMC..

“We had formed teams of subject teachers for every subject to not only scrutinise the course content in tablet but also they were trained how to teach students through these tabs as the course content is supported with animation,” he added.

“Besides having chapters from every subject, each tab contains 6000 multiple choice questions (MCQ), that will help students further.” she said.



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