Use of modern teachings aids in classrooms in India

Classroom teaching is facilitated by the use of various teaching aids, without which teaching would be incomplete. This article deals with the use of modern teaching aids in the classrooms in India.

Since time immemorial man is a continuous learner. He always learnt things for a better living. Whatever little man learns, he / she keeps passing the acquired knowledge / information to his next generations for the benefit and welfare of the mankind instead of keeping the knowledge within himself.

The process of transferring of information from one generation to the other lead to the Teaching–Learning process and the necessity of teaching was felt by man. The whole process of teaching and learning, lead to a very important system in the society which came to be known as the education system. In this process, the teacher and the taught are involved. A teacher is a person who transfers the acquired knowledge to the other person while a taught is a person who acquires knowledge from the teacher. Since ages Mother Nature has been considered the best teacher of man.

Teaching aids:

In the olden days knowledge was transferred verbally. The acquired knowledge / information was memorized, recollected and was again transferred to the next generation (taught) verbally. The education system of verbal transfer of knowledge continued for several years. Such a system is known as Sravanam i.e listening and Smararam i.e memorizing. During the process some of the acquired knowledge / information could not be recollected properly and so cannot be passed on to the next generation correctly. Due to this difficulty in the system, man felt the need of keeping records of his / her acquired knowledge and preserve these for future generations and this gave rise to the one of the foremost teaching aids. Moreover in the process of learning, man felt the difficulty in conceptualizing things that he was learning and this has eventually given rise to the use of aids in the process of learning.

Man started preserving the records by inscribing on rocks, palm leaves etc to enable the future generations to learn. Palm leaves are biodegradable and could not be preserved for long. The invention of paper has made recording easier in the form of books. These are the most user friendly teaching aids which gained much importance. Books have become so popular that no other modern or sophisticated teaching aid could take its place till date.

Incorporation and relevance of teachings aids:

The teaching methodology is shifting gradually from passive information to interactive based learning (IBL). Teaching aids are the tools that are used by the teachers for facilitating the process of learning. Blackboards, instructional materials like the books are the simplest forms of aids that have gained much popularity and are used extensively. Examples of such teaching aids are charts, models, newspaper / magazine cuttings, flashcards / flip cards, CDs, televisions and the like.

Any tool, object or material that is used in a classroom which helps in explaining a concept effectively to students is known as a teaching aid. And hence, there is no specific list of teaching aids as every material that helps in providing concept to the students can be termed as a teaching aid. However, these teaching aids that help in integrating classroom teaching with the day-to-day situations of life and students could find these quite relevant to their academic learning. Teaching aids generally help in drawing the attention of the students and thus brings a distracted class back to attention and focus on the subject. Yet, the effective of the teaching aids depends upon the way these are used by the instructor.

Conventional aids of teaching:

Blackboard / green board, chalk, duster, pointer, maps and charts are the most commonly and extensively used teaching aids in the modern age. These are considered the traditional aids as these were in use since long. In India, conventional aids have become most popular and common teaching aids as these are cheaper and affordable compared to the modern aids of teachings. Children of the weaker section of the society found these traditional aids very helpful in making their education process.
  • Blackboard, chalk and duster:
    These are the most common aids of teaching in almost all the educational institutions, particularly schools, in India. These aids help the teacher in demonstrating and instructing the students. Chalks, which are cheaper, can extensively used for writing on the blackboards and at the same time, these writings can easily be erased by using a duster. These can be used repeatedly by erasing and rewriting. These aids have gained much popularity in India as these are cost effective as well.

  • Maps / globes, charts and pointer:
    Maps and charts in the classroom teaching are another important aids and are very helpful to the students as well as teachers in the education process. Maps and charts enhance the curiosity and interest in the student and they are keen in learning things. Maps and charts give a clear picture of what is being taught by the teacher and very useful in giving a clear concept of what is being taught.

    Use of globe in the classroom is equally important for teaching geography lessons. These are much helpful in demonstrating various scientific activities / events like day and night formation, occurrence of eclipses and the like.

    Charts / models are useful while teaching Science to the students as these would help in making the students more attentive and interested in the subject and attract their attention. Mainly models used in explaining science or geography lesson are very effective as they arouse interest in the students. It also draws the attention of the students from getting distorted in the class. A pointer in the same manner helps the teacher in pointing out specific locations or rivers or so in a map or specific parts of an organ or so in a chart while teaching science. These pointers are helpful to the students as well when they are asked to point out a specific thing by the teacher.

  • Text materials:
    Text books are extensively used in the educational institutions. Apart from the prescribed text books, there are other texts which help in the process of teaching like novels, story books, essay and letter-writing books, general knowledge books, dictionaries and the like. The text materials even include printed texts, worksheets, coloring sheets and the like.

  • Apparatus in science labs:
    Apparatus in the labs are very useful and effective in teaching science lessons in the classroom. Apparatus like a hand lens, microscope, magnets, prism, test tubes and many more are some of the useful teaching aids in the day-to-day classroom.

  • Classroom skits:
    Small plays enacted by students mostly in the language classes, help in explaining languages. These create interest among the students towards the language and help in improving their verbal skills.

  • Mathematical / geometrical instruments:
    These include the aids like abacus, geometry boxes and other mathematical instruments. These help the students in having a better concept of the subject.

  • Play items for the kindergarten:
    Plays items or toys are the best teaching aids for kindergarten / Montessori teaching. Kids get attracted towards toys / play items. These provide good knowledge and are very effective in concept forming in children. Almost all the kindergarten schools use a number of toys for making the children learn various things in a playful manner.

Use of modern aids of teaching in Indian classrooms

With the advent of technological development, modern teaching aids have been introduced in the classrooms. Interactive-based learning ((IBL) and computer / project based learning have gained importance in the recent times and brought modern teaching aids like overhead projectors, audio-visual aids like computers / laptops, CDs, power point presentations and other modern aids like e-books, e-readers etc, into the classrooms. Internet has brought a tremendous change in providing various on-line teaching aids.Following is the list of some of the modern teaching aids:
  • Whiteboards:
    These are the boards with a white surface which can easily be wiped. These have substituted the traditional blackboards and are commonly used in workshops, conferences, presentations etc. These boards are commonly used by several users on which writings, pictures and graphics can easily be drawn with the help of a marker pen. However, these cannot fully replace the blackboards in traditional Indian classrooms.

  • Overhead projectors:
    Overhead projectors are one of the wonderful teaching aids that can be incorporated in classroom teaching. These can be used as a substitute for large, hanging classroom maps / charts as these can be projected into much larger sizes on a whiteboard or on a white canvas. These enable the students to have a clear concept of the lesson. Maps can often be drawn on by erasable markers. There is no need to use a pointer and other huge roll-up maps / charts to deal with the classroom teaching.

  • Audio aids:
    Hearing aids like cassettes, CDs and recorders were in used in the process of learning of English language. These aids were effective in improving the phonetics, pronunciation and spoken English of the students. But these aids have not gained much popularity and hence its no more in use.

    Few international schools in India are equipped with the necessary audio aids in special labs with overhead phones where the students are given individual attention. This helps in improving communication skills. However, all the schools cannot incorporate its use as it involves expensive infrastructure which is beyond the reach of the ordinary schools.

  • Visual aids:
    The modern visual aids include picture slides, motion pictures etc. But these aids of teaching could not gain popularity and are no more in use. With the advent of technology portable aids like e-book / e-readers are mainly used for reading digital books. But however, due to its limited storage capacity and cost, it cannot totally replace the material books.

  • Audio-visual aids:
    These are widely adopted and used in many educational institutions. There are separate audio-visual (AV) rooms or labs. The process of learning has become quite exciting for the students with the AV aids. Students move from their regular classroom and enjoy learning AV rooms. It develops team work among the students as they are required to work in teams for PBL. Within a short period of time these AV aids gained much popularity and have shown their dominance.

    1. Video disks: these teaching aids have replaced the visual aids like the picture slides and motion and have become much popular. These video disks are very effective aids in teaching science and geography subject. These aids are very easily available in the present days in the market at a reasonable price. Video disks have given rise to e-learning. These visual aids have even helped in on line learning as well and made the process of learning much easier.

    2. Computers / laptops: These are one the best and types of modern teaching aids that have gained much popularity in the recent past and is used extensively particularly by students, who find it very attractive and of course, it is much helpful for them in gaining knowledge. Particularly after the advent of the international network, people are much exposed to the knowledge due to the varied information that is available for them on the website. By the growth of technology children are showing much interest in computer-based learning like the power point presentations. And these have been in the increase with the availability of more and more educational software programs in the market.

    3. Powerpoint presentations: These are one of the most attracted teaching aid for the students as they not only create interest in the child but at the same time they themselves can be involved in creating one. Thus the powerpoint presentations enable the student's active role in the learning process and helps in improving their curiosity and their innovative / creative skills as well. With the availability of the latest easily downloadable software, student are showing much interest in the technology based learning. In such a project based learning teacher acts as a facilitator to the taught and this involves the active participation of the student.

Limitations of the modern teaching aids

  • Modern teaching aids are not affordable and reachable to the students across the country particularly to the weaker section of the society. The use of these aids are limited to the students of a particular section.

  • Most of the aids are electronic based and are hazardous to health due to the emission of electro-magnetic waves.

  • Aids like power point presentations and laptops have a wide range of enhancements which might distract the students from the main topic.

  • Most of the modern aids are sophisticated and cannot be incorporated in an ordinary Indian classroom due to various factors like environmental conditions, need of infrastructure and financial budget as well.

  • Finally these e-gadgets are not eco-friendly and result in environmental pollution after long use.

  • Most of the modern teaching aids are technology based. Teachers have to update their skills to use / handle these aids. Elderly teachers who cannot update their skills find it difficult to handle these aids.

Advantages of conventional aids in teaching

  • The conventional aids that are extensively used classrooms are cheap, reachable / affordable to all sections of the society. These are easy to use.

  • These teaching aids are much suitable for Indian climate and are apt for the common Indian classroom. These are eco-friendly too.

  • These are extremely safe to use and do not cause harm.

  • Mainly in a classroom these aid do not distract the attention of the students. Rather draws attention of the child and makes them understand the concept.

  • The aids can be easily handled and maintained by all the section of the people / teachers irrespective of their skills or training. Teachers don't find it difficult to handle these aids.

Modern teaching aids are limited and are not reachable to classrooms in remote areas of the country. On a comparative basis, classrooms in Indian are best suited for the use of conventional teaching aids than the modern aids of teaching.

Article by Kalyani
Kalyani is basically an educationist and presently a home-maker who is fruitfully utilizing her free time in freelancing, online content writing and above all blogging. She is an active lead editor at for over 2 years. She is an environmentalist who strives to protect the environment through the revival of age-old eco-friendly practices. She also strives to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India.

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Author: K Mohan12 Jun 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

I do agree with the author that modern teaching aids have taken their stance in many Indian class rooms but that should not desist a perfect teacher to stop her interactions with the students in traditional way either too followed. Nothing can match the one to one face to face interaction of the teacher with the students and children feel cozy and comfortable while deliberating the questions with the teacher. Modern gadgets are always associated with the electric supply and if suddenly the current goes off, the teacher cannot teach the same. That is why traditional methods are always better and a good teacher must mix the modern and traditional method of teaching for her good progress amid students.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao16 Apr 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

I do agree that face to face communication is the best way of teaching. But a teacher using audio visual tools for teaching will be an added advantage. Teacher will always be available to the students. She will use the modern teaching aids the same way she was using black board and chalk piece. You remember a matter for a longer term if you see once instead of hearing.

Author: Joyshree17 Apr 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 7

The author have elaborated the modes of conventional teaching and modern teaching really well. But being a teacher myself, I disagree with the skit idea.
First of all, conventional mode of teaching does not include classroom skits. I have not seen such method followed during my school days in most of the schools me or my friends were taught. Earlier teaching procedure in conventional mode used to be very very strict. Skits are a part of entertainment of the students that is outside their syllabus. No school teacher is allowed to hold a skit to elaborate on his or her teaching during the school hours under conventional mode. I am saying this because as a teacher I know that in schools where conventional modes of teaching are applied, principal go on rounds around the school campus twice a day.

If the principal watches that instead of normal conventional blackboards and graphs and maps, a teacher is holding a skit conducted by the students to teach something, the principal would terminate the job of that teacher. The rules and regulations of a school governing body also doesn't permit such things under conventional mode. Although, it would be a nice idea in modern mode of teaching. But the skit needs to be performed by senior students as they can elaborate on the necessary points much better than junior and novice students.
I would like to add skits are best performed in the auditorium provided by the schools. Children can discuss about science, history and other things through such skits and fresh inputs and feedback could be taken from students in the audience. In fact, if such skits are performed in the auditorium and the guardians, teachers and principal should watch it and give their expert inputs too.

Author: Kalyani18 Apr 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 7

Classroom skit, better known as role play by children, is a part of classroom teaching particularly in language classes i.e English/ Hindi etc. These help in improving communicative/ interactive skills of the students. Children in primary classes are involved more in role plays and these are mostly taken from the English / Hindi lessons. Every school teacher knows this basic thing. I'm afraid, it is not wise to deny the facts just because one has not seen/ heard of it. Knowledge is gained through learning new things and not by denying.

Such role plays are part of classroom teaching since long.

The entertainment skits are played in school annual days and not in the classrooms.

Graphs are not used in primary classes and these are used by Maths teachers while maps are used by Social / Geography teachers. Charts are mostly used by Social and Science teachers though these are used by other subject teachers depending on the lesson they teach and the necessity of using the same.

In a similar way role play i.e classroom skit is an effective way of teaching which creates interest among the students. A school principal who terminates the job of the teacher who sincerely does his/her duty, is in fact not fit for the post.

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