Smartphones should not be taken away from students during examinations as it amount to “torture”, an Indian-origin professor has said.
Dr Sugata Mitra, a professor at UK’s Newcastle University, asked curriculum designers and teachers to embrace the Internet not just as a tool of learning, but to include it as a subject in the curriculum just as any other such as Physics, Chemistry, Math or English.
“Education systems are in denial. They want to ignore the internet. They take away smart devices from students and then ask them to calculate the square root of a number. It’s torture,” said Mitra at the ongoing fourth World Education Summit.
“The future of pedagogy has got to allow spontaneous order as a new method in children’s education in the presence of the Internet. Internet must permeate the education system.
The Internet must be a subject to be taught. Networks, Chaos Theory and Emergent Phenomena should also be taught,” Mitra, 63-year-old Mitra is known for his now well-known ‘Hole in the Wall Experiment’ in poorer neighbourhoods of India, which demonstrated that poor children who were never exposed to the Internet and did not have English skills either were able to answer big questions working in groups, without a teacher around.
The children were given a computer and asked questions. In a short time they were able to seamlessly use computers and the Internet and answer the questions posed to them.
As technology evolves rapidly, reading, writing and arithmetic become low in terms of priority, according to Mitra.
“Comprehension, communications and computation are the new basics,” said the USD 1 million TED Prize winner, which he won in 2013 for further research on non-formal, minimally invasive education.