Monday, 21 July 2014

The Teacher-Phone: Every Student's Superhero!

I spend most of my weekends being a teacher to kids from local municipal schools. In the past 1.5 years of volunteering, I have made some observations that have confirmed my suspicion - Kids LOVE technology. You can teach them all the theory you like... get them to draw all the charts the walls of the classroom can hold... help make all the 3-D projects a class can exhibit, but a child will always be far more fascinated with your phone... and by an extension, technology!

I have always seen my toddler-nephew and umpteen other babies learn to operate a phone before they learn to say "Ma". What they specifically do with a phone is play games, take pictures & videos and stroll through the new-age "social" sphere - in that order. These little kids grow up to be preteens and teens, but their relationship with their phone largely remains the same. Before I go on, let me tell you why I've been talking non-stop about kids and phones:-

Some weeks back, Asus asked me to give my phone a superpower and tell them all about it. And I couldn't help but think of my kids who just LOVE superheroes and phones. So, what makes somebody/something a superhero? What constitutes a superpower?

Saving the world? Correct. But how DO you save the world? And "what" in the world needs "saving"? Options:-
  1. Holidays: I've been saving my office-leaves (for long vacations :-D )
  2. Money:  for the food & stay, maybe? :-P
  3. Work: You can't possibly do all of that office-work today! Save some for tomorrow! ;-)
Well, if you checked any of the options above (like I did), you are absolutely wrong! In my opinion, one can save the world by protecting it from idiots. Idiots are the people who make wars, create unrest, waste energy, uproot trees, hurt animals (and humans) and instill fear in the world. But idiocy doesn't stop there. It sometimes disguises itself in various avatars. 

Idiots are also people who reinforce stereotype, curb individuality,
Enforce strict guidelines and balk at creativity.
They waste electricity and keep their lights on in the daylight,
Understand no science; for exams, mug through the night.
They seek attention, but ignore lonely people;
Drive over pedestrians, after several glasses of tipple;
Preach what they never follow and punish if you don't.
They splurge millions on botox. For charity, they won't.
Veiled in arrogance, draped in condescence, they arrive.
Fooled by their plastic influence, more idiots act naive.

But idiocy is not immortal. It can be murdered in plain sight.
All you need is wisdom, some will. Now sit tight!
Know what you don't already. Learn what they don't teach you there.
Idiots will then fall silent. No longer will they scare.
Pick up a book from your library. Watch that documentary tonight.
Work a little harder. For your dream, resolve to fight.
And while you look for those idiots, let me tell you a fact -
Those idiots aren't strangers. They're you & me, infact!

Now, how do we save the world from "us"?! Simple! Just stop being an idiot! More importantly, stop making idiots out of your kids. If you are a parent or a teacher, you should be extra-careful of the idiocy you pass on to them! If we could stop producing idiots right from the start, we would get closer to creating a more powerful and intelligent world. What the kids (and we) need is perhaps a phone with a superpower - a TeacherPhone!
[Picture courtesy:]

Power doesn't always have to come from a wand or a lightsaber! It can come from a phone too! A TeacherPhone, like a superhero would be everybody's favourite. 
  • It would zap out stupidity from every conversation with information streamed in from the internet.
  • It would zip-up the ever-scolding lecturer with its interactive multimedia-study-modules.
  • It would spice up boring science and math tests with point-based games that students would love to outdo each other in!
  • It would screen curiosity-inducing videos when the lazy teacher dozes off in the free-period.
  • It would even track class-cricket-match scores so the class-bully can't have his way during the PT-period.
  • The TeacherPhone would take great shots of your year-end-drama-presentation and you won't really miss the parents who missed your acting for their office-meetings.
  • And when you're all grown up and addicted to alcohol (hopefully you won't be because why would you want to be an "idiot"?), the TeacherPhone would detect your drowsiness and hail a cab to drive you home.
I prophesy that the TeacherPhone would wipe out all idiots from the Earth one day, and leave a happy, safe environment full of intelligent, cooperative and creative individuals! :-)

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