– Guest blog by Kiran Kadekoppa
Ever since the pandemic hit, there have been significant changes, the kind world has seen never before – Kindergarteners to Grad school students sitting in front of laptops to learn from live classroom interactions, pre-recorded lessons, submit their assignments and even get their tests conducted and graded entirely online. The world has rapidly moved towards different ways of using this opportunity to continue to innovate how the classroom of the tomorrow would look like, or even question, if there is a need for a physical classroom as learning can happen “anytime, all the time – on-the-go, literally”.
I came across Alpe Audio with that precise reason to see if there is a meaningful way to “Learn, understand, apply a new concept that was learnt entirely by listening to experts, academicians and practitioners from their respective fields with Audio as the medium of imparting that knowledge. I guess almost like going back to the days of learning before written script for language even existed. Listening to the “guru” who passed his/her knowledge to the disciple entirely in audio only form which the students learnt at the “gurukul” as what they were referred to during the Vedic times in Ancient India.
A few weeks ago I started regularly listening to Alpe courses. While catching up with some blogs, I came across this thought provoking quote from the Nobel Award winning Theoretical Physicist Dr. Richard Feynman. The quote goes like this, “Understand. Don’t memorize. Learn principles, not formulas.“. This got me thinking and many questions came to my mind –
I wanted to spend some time to clearly get to the root of the distinction between the memorization and understanding of a specific topic.
Let’s take an example of a 1st grader who is trying to learn the spellings of a three lettered words ending with say “ot”. If the teacher has a list of 5 words, and asks the students a 6th which is not on the list, the kids should be able to stitch together the spelling, because they are already taught the sounds of each of the letters. Knowing the letter visually and what sound they are represented with starts with memory, but over time that understanding helps the students define the spelling of each word that is presented to them. Still there are times when the students might mistake as like should they use a “c” or a “k” for a specific word etc.,
Real learning can only happen when what has been taught by the teacher, learnt and remembered by the students gets applied to new situations or circumstances which helps solidify the understanding.
A few things I wanted to highlight as personal points of view or observations.