Technology is not just about accessing information anymore, it has also become a tool of empowerment. What could be a better example than Dharavi Tech Girls. Step into the Naya Nagar neighborhood in Dharavi and you will find a room full of laptops and young Coders. Children in one of the largest slums of India are learning to code.
Filmmaker Nawneet Ranjan introduced coding to Dharavi youth through STEAM Learning Program. He believes that technology and storytelling should play a larger role in Education — a far cry from India’s rote learning approach.
The students, also known as Tech girls of Dharavi, have developed many apps to solve everyday concerns in their neighbourhood like waste management, Community Tap, Education, recycling, etc. One of the remarkable projects is the Women Fight Back App developed by a seventeen year old named Ansuja Madiwal. It’s a women’s safety app that includes a distress alarm, location mapping, and emergency SMS alerts that can notify the user’s contacts if she is in danger or in need of assistance.
This is a living example of the fact that technology is here to stay. Finding a middle ground and coming up with a balanced approach is the best way to defeat the doubt. In the digital age, being tech savvy will make your child better prepared.
Addiction or a healthy relationship with Digital Devices?
We have read enough pros & cons lists when it comes to Technology, and they have solved nothing. The real problem here is, we look for balance after these dopamine-driven devices have already monopolized our time. It has already become an unskippable part of our lives, so we might just relearn how we approach it.
Establish a healthy relationship with technology since the very beginning of your child’s life. Technology can be empowering if you reinforce positive habits early on. Regularly evaluate the quality of your child’s digital consumption. Create a balance between online and offline activities by setting screen limits.
Here’s how you can get started on the tech journey with your child –
- Get involved in your child’s tech experiences. Play and watch alongside them.
- Encourage creativity in your child by introducing them to digital skill sets like online coding games, math games & design tools like Canva, etc.
- Ensure interactive screen usage rather than passive content consumption.
A Replacement or a Companion?
Teachers and Technology complement each other, none can serve as a replacement.
Technology provides them with a plethora of free resources to improve learning. It also aids parental communication and teacher’s growth.
Teachers can use technologically driven tools to make online learning more fun and engaging for students. Few technology tools that can be used(for free) are –
Kahoot has a game-like feel to it. It can be used to create quizzes and questionnaires. It makes learning fun. It can be used not only at school but also at home. It helps you create trivia quizzes and host live games asking questions.
Trello is a free and easy to use app which helps you build team boards. All the students can be added to the same board and tasks can be made collaborative. It helps in multi-tasking.
A lesson outline, writing prompts, discussion topics, and a follow-up independent practise task are all included in each Quill Lessons activity. Teachers are in charge of interactive slides with writing prompts, and the entire class reacts to each one.
This is a simple to set up app that lets you jump straight into a quizzing game. Students get to answer a different question each time they play.
Added pressure or Improved communication between parents & teachers?
Gone are the days when parent teacher meetings were the ultimate crossover. In this digital era, emails and online apps have made keeping tabs on the academic performance of your child ridiculously simple.
Now you can be actively involved in your child’s academic journey without having to double down on your efforts.
Here’s how we do at Tekie by marrying technology with education:
- Parents can easily track their child’s homework, learning milestones & projects through the student profile.
- We share the student projects and outcomes with our social communities.
- Our Academic counselors and mentors personalize each student’s journey and provide detailed insights to parents.
- We organize upskilling workshops every week and encourage parents to accompany their child as they explore a diverse range of 21st century skills.
Increased screen exposure or Empowering social communities?
Various online communities have been built up with the aim of making learning and upskilling easier for children, especially adolescents. They take some load off of parents as they provide a safe platform to the children wherein they can interact. Let us take a look at some of the online communities –
Yuvaa is a socially conscious media company which empowers the youth through online activities. Yuvaa made mental health therapy accessible to the batch of 2020 with the help of technology. With its online campaign #DearParentsPleaseTalkToUs, they helped spark the mental health conversation between parents and children. In association with its mental health partners, Yuvaa aims to make it easy for students to deal with mental health problems.
This is a wide community of supportive women. They ensure that mothers are a part of a community which keeps them away from feeling alone in the journey. Their mission is to empower mothers. Through their online content in the form of text, videos, and voice, they work towards their mission.
- We the Young
We the Young India amplifies the stories of young Indian changemakers. Through online events and workshops, they provide a platform for discussion of important issues like mental health, equality and career. They also provide skilling opportunities.
Many more online communities like Toastmasters, Rotaract and Enactus are positive mouthpieces for young people.
Parents as collaborators
Parents can either be contributors or hindrances when there is the involvement of technology in education. With remote learning being a major part of the picture in the digital era, schools need parents. The student-teacher-parent equation has become more significant to a child’s development than ever, and technology is here to ensure that.