Will virtual reality labs replace outdoor field trips?
Online learning as an extremely valuable tool has emerged and established itself in every household today. Even the teachers are recognizing this fact. However, it has to be done with the extent to which the pedagogical process can be transformed to the digital platform, thus limiting its extent, feels Roshan Gandhi – Director of Strategy, City Montessori Schools, Lucknow. There is growing acceptance on the wellbeing of the child by keeping them engaged in structured learning. Online education has also, in a way, prevented ‘learning loss’, which would have otherwise occurred naturally. Children may not necessarily be able to learn at the pace they normally do. However, teachers are keeping the children engaged with projects to do at home which would utilize their time far better. This could also be a better informal way of assessment which would be far more concrete in terms of its output. Experiential learning takes many different forms and schools have to consider what is realistic for them. Some experiential learning and theory may be very valuable but expensive and impractical. So, for example, taking students on field trips might involve huge amount of learning but with large class sizes, it becomes a logistical nightmare for the teachers and the school staff. Instead if one were to evaluate if a virtual reality lab could stimulate field trips in a way where children could experience things without having to actually experience them. Interactive and educational kits can also be used by children in classrooms across a wide range of subjects. These can be done at one’s own desk. Schools could also introduce clubs and activities that focus on experiential learning and innovations.
The contributor of the article is Roshan Gandhi – Director of Strategy, City Montessori Schools, Lucknow.