Schools take to tech to help students for exams
Several schools in the city are use technology to allow students to stay connected with teachers ahead of exams, which kicks off with HSC examinations from February 28. Last-minute preparations have moved to social media and mobile applications too. St Mary's High School (ICSE), Mazgaon, is using a mobile application to provide resources to its students. "Teachers have uploaded notes to the mobile app, which students can use for revision."
Similarly, students would have to make a trip to the library and get past question papers printed for reference. Now, we have scanned those papers and uploaded them to the app. The students and their parents can use the application to connect with teachers almost instantly. The school has also set up WhatsApp groups for every class to keep everyone in the loop," said principal, Fr Francis Swamy. The school uses a custom-made application by Intellinects Ventures, a technology company working with several schools.
Some schools are using social media. Class XII students at R N Podar School, Santacruz, are part of a closed Facebook group along with teachers and the principal. "The group allows a lot of idea exchange. The students keep each other updated about everything. The teachers are there to address doubts or even general concerns that a student may have ahead of such an important exam," said principal, Avnita Bir. The students use the Facebook group to discuss the paper after an exam and share anxiety before results are announced. "The group then serves as an alumni network once students finish school," said Bir.
Those working with schools feel that use of technology is the way ahead. Fatima Agarkar, co-founder, KA EduAssociates, an education based start-up said, "The interactive format of questions, quick result-oriented feedback is a tremendous real-time self-correction tool for children. Kids today prefer smart learning techniques and online preparation is quicker, more user-friendly and hence the way ahead." Last year, the state education department had encouraged teachers to set up groups on messaging applications to share resources.
Students said they have been extensively using messaging applications to stay updated and help each other out. "We have created groups with our classmates and we try to help each other with doubts others have. We also have a group which has teachers and principal as well, so no one misses an important update even if they don't visit college," said Tina Mehta, a class XII commerce student.
Others are, however, a bit apprehensive. "We aren't encouraging Facebook or WhatsApp but students can reach out to teachers via email for doubts. Even during preparatory leave, teachers are in school for four hours every day and students can always reach out to them there," said Chandrakanta Pathak, principal, HVB Global Academy, Marine Drive.
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