Management

Deccan International School

Mrs. Anuradha Anekal

Principal

She is the Principal at Deccan International School. Her educational background in pedagogy and Information Technology has always motivated her to promote new methods of teaching and learning, so as to make school a memorable and joyful experience for children. Being an avid reader, her goal has been to promote reading skills in children. “Making children lifelong learners” is what she strongly believes in.

If we teach today the way we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow” – John Dewey

With rapid advancement in technology   governments, schools and Ed tech companies are trying their best to analyse the current education scene and predict future trends. What will the future look like 10 to 15 years from now when our school children graduate from colleges ? How should the current learning environment be modified to cater to the future needs ?

Tech in our lives: There has been an increase in dependency on gadgets and devices in our daily lives. Alexa and Siri provide answers, all one needs to do is  ask. IOT (Internet of Things) is making appliances and vehicles connect

with the user and with each other, just by keeping track of usage patterns. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is making computers and devices more intelligent. AR (Augmented Reality) is narrowing the gap between the real and the virtual. These are just the tip of the iceberg. The Internet is shrinking the world and the exposure to diverse cultures is primarily through digital media.

Effect on children: How is this affecting our children and their learning? Attention, which forms the basis for learning, cognition, reasoning and language is reducing. Daily routine does not involve much of physical movement or activity, so childhood obesity is increasing. Social media is rapidly creating a virtual society of family and friends for children, who diligently follow people across the globe, while reducing interaction with real people. The ability to imagine and visualize, which happens through reading, is reducing. While their knowledge seems to increase due to access to learning apps, their EQ (Emotional quotient) is reducing. There is a perception of eroding of cultural values and principles due to the influence of diverse cultures which happens primarily through the social networking platform.

Cause for concern?  Should we worry about how this is affecting our lives and our children? Not really!  The human brain has the ability to rewire and evolve as has happened over eons. Memorizing information may not be required, but the ability to retrieve it is needed. Innovation is the need of the hour for organizations to stay relevant and grow. While on one hand routine jobs are taken over by a machine, the capacity to innovate lies with humans. Creativity is needed to innovate and this can be developed by providing opportunities to the brain to learn diverse skills like music, dance, sports and art. While IQ is important for performing well in exams, EQ is essential for performing well in life. The ability to learn, unlearn and relearn is what one needs to develop, in order to stay relevant in this constant changing world.

EQ or IQ ! Of late there are concerns raised about behavioral changes in children, which is often attributed to  mobile phones and internet usage, apart from a host of other factors.  While some changes are very visible and profound and can be noted by parents, caregiver, friend or acquaintance, there are certain other changes that are not very visible, but they manifest in the form of certain personality traits and behavioural problems . During the numerous interactions of the student with their peers or teachers what stands out is ‘compassion’ or rather the lack of it!  There are numerous ways of improving IQ in children and the Ed tech companies do a good job on that front. But the need of the hour is improving the emotional quotient (EQ) of the child.

Compassion : Compassion is a very important quality for children to possess, as it helps them understand the other person’s feelings. Not only do they understand the problems of the other person, they also develop the desire to help the person in distress.  How does one go about developing this quality in children?  Parents, care givers and  teachers should be astute enough to identify and utilize day to day instances to develop this quality in children. Of late, SEL (Social and emotional learning), Compassionate Systems Framework are new systems that are making foray into schools in an attempt to develop student EQ.  Earlier, qualities like compassion were developed automatically in children through social interactions. In this day and age these qualities have to be very consciously nurtured, so that our children create safe and peaceful societies.

 “Emotions are the keys to learning, the keys to imprinting. The stronger the emotion, the more clearly the experience is learned.” - — Clotaire Rapaille