Vineeta Garg, an educator at the SRDAV Public School in Delhi, uses virtual reality (VR) to make teaching more impactful for her students.
“VR helps me to take my students anywhere in the world – from Mount Everest to the Statue of Liberty,” she said. “My students could easily learn history by visiting stunning ancient ruins in Greece or significant war sites in Vietnam without leaving the classroom.”
Garg was one of the educators selected to attend the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) in Paris in recognition of her use of technology in education.
VR field trips
Similarly, Mohammed Fazil uses virtual reality to take his students in Bengaluru on virtual field trips. The students explore the Taj Mahal and national parks, go on underwater expeditions and then write about their experience. He also uses a Microsoft Kinect controller to get the students to play motion-sensing math games such as Jumpido.
Technology in education is also making an impact in rural areas. In a zila parishad school in the Warud village of Maharashtra, a 31-year-old schoolteacher, Amol Bhayur, has not only deployed Amazon’s Alexa, but also installed the device inside a self-designed robot to pique the curiosity of the students.
“Armed with a power bank, a mannequin, an Echo smart speaker, and a mobile hotspot in the absence of wireless internet infrastructure, Amol was now ready to debut Alexa into the classroom,” said the company’s blog. He has realised that Alexa could be a game changer for education, the blog said.
“The emergence of technology has had a profound impact on the educational landscape, especially in rural India,” said Lloyd Mathias, senior technology executive and former Asia Marketing Head of HP. “It has helped in learning. It helps students have an active engagement with the learning material. By using the internet, students can research real issues, keeping their learning contemporary and relevant. The internet or software tools can help them create virtual communities that connect them in real-time with other students and teachers,” he said.
Tech solutions for the world
India is one of the first few countries to receive grants from Google.org’s $50-million global commitment to support non-profits that are building tech-based solutions to tackle challenges in education in developing countries. “We are committed to enabling and democratising access to high quality, world-class education to everyone. Our objective is to ensure that India’s large developer and student community can equip itself with all the latest technology, and inspire them to not only build products to solve the needs of users in India, but also for the world,” said the company.
The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert programme, created to recognise global visionaries in the field of education who use technology to pave the way for their peers in the effective use of technology for better learning and student outcomes, has a community of 660 educators from India.
“By leveraging the power of technology, these passionate teachers are adopting new approaches to teaching and learning, and are reinforcing critical skills in today’s youth in India,” said Manish Prakash, Country Manager – Public Sector, Healthcare and Education,Microsoft India.