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From books to blogs

mumbai Updated: Feb 20, 2012 00:46 IST
Renuka Rao
Renuka Rao
Hindustan Times
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In August last year, Pratibha Kharat, a biology teacher at Utpal Sanghvi School, Juhu, created a blog called 'Biozone' to help her students get a better understanding of the subject.

Five months later, the blog is a huge hit with the students. "The other day, I had introduced the class to a topic called 'plants translocation'. Given the complicated nature of the matter, I thought it would be best to post pictures, notes and links to informative websites on the blog," said Kharat.

To make the learning process more fascinating and less arduous for the students, teachers are now falling back on Facebook groups, Blackberry messengers, Google documents and blogs. Assignments, notes, tests, presentations, worksheets, announcements are regularly shared on these platforms.

For Rachna Singh, an economics teacher at RN Podar School, Santacruz, the class Facebook group is a way of connecting with students on a personal level. "This is the time when many of them feel panicky, nervous and in constant need of confidence-boosting advice," she said. She has also added her students on her Blackberry messenger to make herself more accessible for her students.

Merson Mathew, who teaches computer science to Class 10 ICSE students in Bhagalpur, Bihar, created a blog last month where he keeps posting tricky questions that are likely to be asked in the exams. "During the preparatory period, students tend to have a lot of doubts. So we need keep in touch with them as much as possible," he said adding that ICSE students across the country write to him with their doubts.

"When our English teacher uploaded summaries of the poems she taught in class on the class website, it was like an additional tool to help understand the subject better," said Samiksha Sahni, a Class 10 student from Khar.

Khushboo Thaker, who teaches economics at Podar International School, Santacruz, asks her students to follow leading economists and newspaper articles on the microblogging website, Twitter, to keep themselves updated with current events.

She said it also helps generate a healthy discussion among students. "When I handed out an assignment on the anti-smoking campaign, students engaged in a debate on the impact of advertising and cigarette consumption. "It takes teaching beyond the white board," she said.