Thursday, September 06, 2007

Can Be Done, I Guess...

Thoughts of back-to-primary-school days flaunted my memory when computers were something that used to keep me glued to my seat and chair for hours. I started it with a simple language 'BASIC' and then learnt 'COBOL'. I still remember those days of getting my turn for playing a game of 'Digger'on a black and white screen, with falling balls, squashing monsters, releasing gold which can be collected and that keeps the score cannonballing along. Bags had to be pushed left or right along vertical paths, horizontal grids with deft fingers promenading over the keyboard. After that a lot of change has happened and so is my dabbling and paddling with other languages. But one question that used to be common in any of those tests when in Standard 3 or Standard 4 was 'Mention in brief the IPO (Input-Process-Output) cycle.'

So the regular answer used to be this.

IPO (Input-Process-Output) is one of the most fundamental design patterns. Before a computer can perform any computing on data, the data needs to be entered at an input device. Now calculations can be performed based on the program or the algorithm. And, finally, a result would be displayed on an output device.

Sooper, say there are 3 marks for this, so 3/3 in the kitty. Of course you need a simple diagram like this.

Now, suppose I land in a school situated in a slum area and am taking a class for a group of toddlers in the age group of 7 to 8 years. My personal discernment is that, if the same question is posed to this lot 'Mention in brief the IPO (Input-Process-Output) cycle.' and suddenly I tattle about the same old example that I was taught 15 years ago in my primary school. Does it help? I guess NO.

I feel that learning and teaching when structured as a project-based context-driven inquiry meets its end result. The approach is to put the interface between knowledge-generation and use, grounded in a generic notion of delivering it the most pragmatic way, so that assimilation and acculturation is quick. The purpose is to list and develop a personal portfolio of competencies responding to the contemporary state of life and living and it has to be contextual.

As an example, I would offer this example to the smart kids. Now the kids in the slums know what is 'honey' or 'sahad'. So the life cycle of it is can also be framed into the IPO (Input-Process-Output) cycle. This can be explained with a help of few photographs and later on as the child grows, the concept about IPO is clear to him/her, even though if s/he may or may not get a chance to fiddle with a computer or laptop.



[Note that the unadulterated honey here is bottled in used liquor bottles. So don't mistake it for daaru or booze.]

This is an approach in which competencies are results supported by simple topics rather than led by subject knowledge. I feel this structure would combine traditional instruction with innovative project and assessment components. It would also provide an opportunity for the student to get acquainted with, if not wholly on par with other kids who are supported and whose education and upbringing are well managed by their parents.

Just came to my mind, so scribbled it.

Keep reading and remain connected.

[Note: IPO pic taken from site, I took rest all of the pics during a road tour to hinterland in India.]

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At 11:51 AM, Blogger Nova said...

Hahaha good one! :)


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