Over the past decade, there has been a transition in teaching methods from traditional learning to conceptual understanding through digital learning, or blended learning. Why the need for the transition is the obvious question that comes to mind? Perhaps because of the fact that the plain chalk-and-talk method, carried out in the standard theater style format, day-in and day-out, ‘impacted the growth of both the imparter and the recipient’. However, the pressure of finishing the syllabus, restricted length of a teaching period, and the size of batches, amongst others, makes it difficult for an execution other than the conventional; personal attention to each child was, hence, a bit challenging. How does the teacher ensure that every student has understood what needs to be understood?
The trend of personal tutoring then became a norm. Students, after arriving from school, had to rush to tutors, and then after a few hours of study, rush back home to finish their school homework. As soon as that was finished, it was time for them to go to bed, leaving absolutely no room for analyzing what all had been learnt during the day, let alone being able to play. A valid question soon followed: Why the need for a personal tutor in the presence of an apt educational institution?
As a consequence, students started unconsciously imbibing the concept of ‘borrowed thinking.’ This became a problem especially in situations where a student had to think on his/her own feet; sadly most of them could not. To move ahead in life one needs to have a belief in one’s own knowledge and understanding. The belief ceases to exist when one doesn’t have confidence in one’s own understanding; as a result, the remaining confidence crumbles – a vicious circle.
Consider if the conceptual understanding of a subject is solved at the very basic level, students would then be able to attempt/answer almost all relevant questions posed. This is enabled by thinking on one’s feet and joining the dots; then there won’t be any need for doubting one’s knowledge, then there won’t be any need for a personal tutor, and when a child grows up and begins dealing with the real life, it won’t pose much of a problem, especially since his/her concepts are strong. If this apparent problem is mitigated, the fundamental problem would resolve in itself.
To address these problems, digital education, or more aptly blended learning came into being. Through blended learning concepts became more comprehensible. Content is introduced for easier understanding, under the guidance of an expert. Multimedia content shown in the classrooms, with assistance from teachers, leads to inquisitiveness, encouraging critical thinking skills in students. In addition, online assessments generate results instantaneously, making it easier for teachers to analyze these results saving a lot of time too. This transition has enabled better learning outcomes, and empowered teachers.