Apps that Speak are on the rise. We get to see a new App to record voice and broadcast, every day. It is the season of bloom for the music apps and podcasting is not an unknown term anymore. We know Gaana, SoundCloud, Spotify, Anchor, RadioPublic, Google Podcasts and Podbean etc. What is there for Education in this boom of yet another technology product? Of course- Opportunity and Advantage!
We, teachers, always search for the tools and resources that can add to the learning of students. Grades and ranks matter less to the teachers who know that the actual motive is to enable the kids to turn competent enough. The purpose is to make them capable of a better life. Rather than dragging them to the present complex, we tend to prepare them for the world they shall exit into. This is what we call now, EduSoMedia 3.0 (Education through Social Media).
This Call for Action is less to the students and more to my own Teacher Community. You know there are less like you who want a change in the students’ learning. There are fewer people who know the subjects and have a lot to add to that. This is not the first time you are witnessing a crisis, but this time this has a longer period to cash on it. In the last decade, I have seen how the flood of Apps has shifted to Communication
When I took teaching formally, as a job, it was not a common thing to bring technology to the classroom. Teachers were the bosses and they used to dictate what shall happen in the classroom. Times changes; time flies as well. It did in this case and the world changed with the speed of light. The Internet came to all, smartphones reached to all corners and the demands for Digital Content went skyrocketing. This was not the time when I got to Learn to Learn with Students. Our EduSoMedia 1.0 had started long back. We made Class Blog, Digital Presentations, Online Presentations, and Assignment Submissions on the MABs (Multi-Author Blogs), recorded our GDs and mock interviews and also had them as Podcasts on SoundCloud. These are still there. EduSoMedia Journey’s phase 1 concluded with meaning at Amity University NOIDA for me. Around 30 EduSoMedia Blogs, filled with the richness of collaboration and contribution has become a testimony of what we can do when we have students to prepare. I learnt to Learn – Unlearn – Relearn in this process.
EduSoMedia 2.0 happened in 2018-2019 when the use of LMS started with Google Classroom and Edmodo. Blogging found its way and time that I was in need. But what changed the old to the new NEW was the beginning of Podcasts as a new way of learning. We launched Learning Radio on Podbean with AudioBooks of Text Book Stories. This went well and students turned RJs with uploads on SoundCloud and on Hubhopper as well.
Then came the unwelcomed but unavoidable LOCKDOWN! Students and Teacher, Parents and Policy Makers, all stormed into the Virtual. The world, and my own INDIA, started a strange projection about EdTech. It was branded as the Panacea which is available next door, like grass all around. This is not the case though. We do need to acknowledge that a false projection is not the fine projection. We do have a divide between the resourceful and the other (what can we call the have-nots?). The divide happened on another ground as well: The One who know how to use technology and the ones who do not have any idea how to make use of the tools in hand.
We shall be making it a movement now. I have taken sessions with hundreds of Teachers across the country now. In this lockdown, the ritual workshops have done this good to me. I have shared what they shall be sharing soon with their students and the ones who are not directly in their classes but can be Learners like Eklavya.
Any Internet-based platform or tool, which enables Connectivity can be understood as SOCIAL MEDIA.
This is what I take as the generalisation for this mission.
EduSoMedia 3.0 is here with the use of Podcasts not just as entertainment or a music source, rather as a new associated phenomenon on Education. I wish it gets into the role of EduPodcasts and we get teachers who dive deep into this to make the best of something free available. All cannot go to YouTube, for the creation or even as the audience. But, podcasting is easy, comfortable and is in access. The fact is that the whole world is doing it already. We are slightly late, a few years maybe. The students who powered the EduSoMedia 1.0, had their voice as Podcasts in 2013-14 itself. They were given a taste of something I was relishing. Mutual Learning in those years has emerged again. This time, the sole focus is on TEACHERS. The forced newness during the lockdown has enough of opportunities and advantages for the educators. Their own professional development can take a giant flight now.
A Teacher can turn creative and constructive by being honestly collaborative. That is what the case I wish to establish. Making the learners document their learning, observations and things around them will be something that we will appreciate later. Through Anchor FM, TeacherParv Podcasts have been distributed to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Radio Public and many other online radio and podcasting platforms. This way a contribution is being made to OER as well.
EduSoMedia is a reality now. We did think and expect it to happen. But Teachers have still the ‘cage’ in their minds. They need to jump out of the comfort zone and break this cocoon of ‘traditional is best’ madness. Let me share what my mentors, who might be turning old by age, but by the mind, they are As dynamic as life is – say that We need to rescue teachers and bring them at par with what the students are doing now. Technology is not a new thing for kids in your classroom. They are permanent residents, the Digital Natives. If teachers will continue to be Digital Immigrants, they will soon be out of sight.
EduSoMedia Podcasts can be searched on the web and there are more than 7 years old Podcasts on SoundCloud and other platforms. The testimony is that the students can be taught to think, THERE IS NO BOX!