Time is changing and so is the field of education. Previously the only way we could learn was using the books we had and of course with the help of our guardians. But now, you have multiple interactive learning ways such as CD’s, DVD’s, e-books, interesting teaching applications, amazing teaching systems, mobile & tablet apps that help in learning, etc. Of course, these are just a few of the many interactive learning methods I’m aware of. Many interactive learning methods available in the market has made learning interesting. These methods help children to understand the concepts better, give them a better idea of the subject they are studying and make learning fun. But wait a minute, are these learning methods really as effective as they are believed to be? I think…
You purchased a few interactive CD’s for your child so that he can just turn on his computer, load the CD’s and probably start learning. This is how we think and to some extent it works. Children being more involved with computers find learning on it better and not learning from the traditional knowledge sources like books. I don’t consider these interactive learning methods as bad because they really do help children in learning deeper, faster and in an effective way. They even help in remembering the concepts longer. But, aren’t these methods sometimes distractive?
Take an example of a child studying on his computer using an interesting CD given to him by his parents or his school. Will he not be distracted sometimes if not many times to the games he loves the most present on his computer or his favorite songs and if not them, to Facebook, the biggest enemy of students? This is the case for interactive compact discs. Mobiles and tablets are more problematic. Just imagine your child learning on his iPad or iPhone using some attractive and knowledge-full applications, will he not be distracted when he sees an SMS coming? Will he not feel like playing games or running a few interesting applications on his gadget?
From the point of view of a child, computers, iPad’s, iPhone’s and other smart phones are made for gaming, browsing internet and using some interesting applications, in short they are made for fun. And if you ask him to study on them, he may do it for a day or two as it’s something new for him but studying on an iPad every day, will he do it? I am not sure, but I think NO!
A day before, I was with my cousin, who is just 8 years old. His teacher had given him a computer CD which consisted of fill in the blanks, match the columns, a few short questions and there were some reading lessons too. I asked him to play the CD which he happily did and upon my insistence he even agreed to answer the questions before me. After answering, say 7 questions, he minimized the window and opened his favorite game (Dave :P). After playing it for 10 minutes, on my insistence he started answering the questions again. But after 5 minutes, he was back to his job, playing Dave! The questions which were answered once and the lessons which were read were listed separately along with the date. After having a look at it, I noticed that my cousin had read lessons and answered questions sincerely for 3 days and after he had just stopped it. What I could guess from it is that he was attracted to the CD for 3 days and he was bored after that. He preferred playing games on his computer than playing an educational CD.
And when you give a child a book, he has to study because he is option-less. He cannot browse Facebook using a book nor can he play any games on his book. From this you could easily get that a child’s brain considers books as studying items and gadgets as fun items. So when you give your child a book, you can expect him to study and if you give him an iPad with a few educational apps installed, I expect him to play games or browse internet!
So, what I think is, When it’s Books vs Interactive Learning Methods, Books Still Win!