True to its name Bichitra Pathshala offers a unique experienceBaishali Mukherjee
Roshni Dasgupta an English teacher at Loreto Day School, Sealdah, Kolkata, says, “Thanks to Bichitra Pathshala my eyes have been opened to a pedagogical method that is very effective and easily replicable.”
Rajib Kotal, a student of The Oriental Seminary feels, “I never knew I would be able to make films, till Bichitra Pathshala gave us the challenge”Joyeeta Dasgupta, Principal of Techno India School, Ariadaga, informs,
Thanks to the workshop The Art of Juxtapositions conducted by Bichitra Pathshala, we now have a new tool to play with. This tool will open up the possibility of doing many exciting things in the classroom.
Roshni, Rajib and Joyeeta have one thing in common. They have participated and have been influenced by the workshops conducted by Bichitra Pathshala, which true to its name offers a unique experience.
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Inspiring teachers and students since 2010, Bichitra Pathshala’s vision is to create a classroom where subjects will be taught through movies, videos and images. In this age of technology this is something everyone would be ready to vouch for. “Since the last ten years, there has been a lot of effort in the education sector to bring Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education at all levels. The UPA Govt. also introduced the concept of (Continuous comprehensive evaluation) CCE. We, at Bichitra Pathshala felt that ‘learning with moving images’ could address both these issues with good impact. Bichitra Pathshala was registered as a society in July 2012 with the objective of making learning joyful through the use of moving images and secondly, to make the students more critical consumers of media”, says Subha Das Mollick, founder-secretary of Bichitra Pathshala.
“We optimise the use of various movies to make academic subject teaching more holistic. We develop lesson plans with popular films, documentaries, Youtube videos, news and television programmes, and encourage teachers and students to be more critical “consumers” of the media. We conduct workshops with students as well as teachers to promote our methods. Our first big workshop was called Tools in Schools in 2010 where more than 50 teachers from different schools of Kolkata participated,” says Subha.
Since 2010, Bichitra Pathshala has conducted more than 25 workshops with teachers and students and some of the major schools of Kolkata are familiar with their methods.
Bichitra Pathshala is one of the oldest media libraries in eastern India and has more than 1000 books and journals. Its film archive boasts a collection of about a thousand films from all over the world – popular movies, art house films, educational films, documentaries and rare experimental films. Subha adds,
The films will give the students an exposure to good cinema and acquaint them with the lives of children like them from different parts of the world. A well made film may have the potential to trigger classroom discussions on various subjects – languages, sciences, mathematics, history, geography and life skills, to name a few. The school syllabi across various Boards have been kept in mind in selecting the films for the lesson plans.
Today technology has become an inescapable part of our existence and has cast a spell on all aspects of our life – including the teaching learning environment. Technology is empowering as well as disabling. On the one hand, all the information of the world is on our fingertips. On the other hand, we have to struggle hard in the classroom to grab the attention of our students addicted to Face Book and WhatsApp.
Using technology appropriately and tapping the right resources from the Internet, teachers can take the classroom experience of their students to a new level. At the same time, it is a challenge to kindle original thinking and analytical ability in a generation that is networked 24X7. Learning with movies, images and videos can introduce different teaching tools with appropriate use of technology and also inspire teachers to improve the learning experience of their students through creative use of technology.