The increasing importance of this age-old practice in the current context of education
For all those who have been in close contact kids, the sight of a dreamy child, staring out of the window, weaving tales of his own fancy, is very common. And for those of us who remember our own childhood well, this is something each one of us, too, did at least once in our lives. Don’t shake your head, you did it too!
Stories capture the boundless imagination of the human brain in the most vivid manner possible, with a myriad shades adorning the canvas of the mind. They have the power to captivate listeners and set their minds free to visualise and paint a picture that suit their fantasy. And children’s minds are clean slates, eager to experience the world and its many hues, and stories get etched in their minds for a very long time.
Storytelling is one of the most natural things in life. The legendary stories that maids make up every morning when they get late, or the company stories we tell our clients every single day at work. The news stories that we hear or the movies we watch. And not to forget the countless bedtime stories that mark the childhood of our kids. As they say, as long as there have been people, there have been stories!
And stories are not just limited to imagination and stimulation of thought. Take time out to sit with your child and read a story together, and you would be amazed by the curiosity on his/her part.
It is said that our brain is programmed in a manner that it understands best when things are expressed in terms of a beginning, a middle and an end. This is enough to understand why storytelling has been a popular manner to impart knowledge. Be it a mother reading to her unborn child, or moral stories narrated to children, or even the rhymes taught in school, everything is a story.
And today, in the age of technology and instant knowledge, stories too have donned a new avatar. This has, indeed, widened the scope of storytelling in terms of being a means of teaching. More than just a way of inculcating morals, stories are now entering regular curricula to supplement theoretical lessons.
I fell upon this line of thought when I came across CG Slate, a smart educational tablet for the tech-savvy generation of the 21st century. Catering to kids aged between 3-12 years, it is a complete, low-cost, mobile learning solution, which aims to make learning an enjoyable experience for kids.
It has content curated from the best global content developers, mapped to NCERT, all pre-loaded on a 32 GB SD card. It has an interactive child-friendly interface, with the mascot TITU guiding the child to navigate in the learning ecosystem, and advanced parental control adds a layer of safety to the learning process.
While trying to know more about it, I found out that, in an attempt to make learning interactive and fun, they have used stories and simulations of real life situations as one of the many ways to teach. And being a passionate storyteller, I had to know what was in there. And my expectations were met well. The stories are short and crisp. The kids can read themselves or be read to, through the feature of audio-visual learning in the tablet. And what I liked best were the games that followed the story lesson.
For instance, here is a story from the “Reading and Grammar” section of CG Slate, for Grade 2.
As you swipe through the story, you can see different animals with their kids, rocking them to sleep, like raccoons, cats etc.
What I loved about the story, in addition to the illustrations, was the various new words and animal names that my daughter came to learn. For eg, she came to know that a baby horse is called a foal.
And to make the experience even better and rewarding, there are two games at the end of the story. The “WORDSEARCH” has terms from the story, serving as a major boost to a child’s vocabulary as well as spelling skills. And there is also a “MATCH WORDS”, wherein the child has to match the baby animals with the sounds they make, ensuring that the child not only reads through, but retains what the story taught.
The product has about 1000+ such stories, spanning subjects like Maths and Science too.
According to a US Department of Education statement made way back in 1986, “Even students with low motivation and weak academic skills are more likely to listen, read, write, and work hard in the context of storytelling”. It is amazing how this statement holds true even now, three decades later. And what is better is that companies like ConveGenius Edu Solutions, the creators of CG Slate, understand this and have taken a step towards exploiting the immense potential of stories to contribute towards enriched learning. Products like CG Slate are truly the future of education in this nation.
So. What story are you going to tell your child today?
To know more about how CG Slate works, you can check out this video or visit the website. CG Slate for Classes KG-2 & 3-5 is now exclusively available at Flipkart for Rs. 8,499! The first 5000 parents are eligible for a 11% discount and easy EMI options starting at Rs. 364/month.