When Shantanu Kumar, 17, got an iPod Touch as a birthday gift from his father two years ago, he had no idea the device could be used for purposes other than entertainment.
The Class 12 science student of Gundecha Academy, Kandivli, has been using the iPod to read e-books and watch video lectures from foreign universities such as Harvard and Stanford to understand his subjects better.
“There is an application on my iPod that helps me find word meanings. I don’t have to waste time looking them up in a dictionary,” Kumar said. Also, Kumar only has to highlight a passage in an e-book and it gets automatically transferred to his laptop for future reference.
Studying is no longer confined to books and classrooms. “Students are fascinated with the Internet,” says Seema Buch, principal, Gundecha Academy. “While technology definitely offers them a sense of variety, they must not neglect the writing part. The trick is to maintain a balance between online research and class notes,” she added.
Manjyot Jogle, a Class 10 student from Borivli (west), has found an innovative way to tackle her academic problems. She takes web tuitions on Skype from her teacher who recently shifted to Surat. “We meet online after 8pm every day and she helps me grasp concepts that I don’t understand. After the lecture, we have a test where she sends us questions by e-mail and we answer them on the camera,” Jogle said.
Chirag Kukreja, 15, a student of Podar International School, Santacruz, loves the assignments his English teacher hands out through her blog. Students send in their answers using Google docs. “Instead of waiting for her class the next day in school, we get our assessment the same night. Besides, she also uploads guidelines and pointers to help us study better.”
While it is likely that students might get distracted with all the gadgets, their efficacy in aiding the learning process cannot be denied.
“Of course, I fear that he might be playing games in the guise of reading an e-book, but with a little monitoring from our side, this trend can certainly benefit my son’s education,” said Shumita Roy, whose son Arjun is appearing for his Class 12 exams this year.