Why we think personal learning kits is the future?

Learning theory is just not enough. One needs to know where to apply it.

Learning in most of the classrooms is limited to course syllabus and based on text-book based traditional approach. With a strong emphasis of marks and theory, students lack practical exposure which is impediment to on-the-job application and reasoning skills.

Theory alone cannot make one knowledgeable. What one needs is a holistic learning experience- a combination of knowledge, skill development and liberal understanding. This experience only comes to those who try to apply what they read by doing, building, creating and learning through practice and failure. This can be achieved through hands-on learning.

Research says hands-on learning is the way to go.

Children are by nature observers and explorers, and the most effective approach to learning should capitalize on these intrinsic abilities. -An education expert

It has been demonstrated through research and implementation that physical experiences are central to child development. A meta-analysis of 15 years of research on the advantages of hands-on learning, including 57 studies of 13,000 students in 1,000 classrooms, demonstrated that:

Students in activity-based programs performed up to 20% higher than groups using traditional or textbook approaches. The greatest gains occurred in creativity, attitude, perception, and logic (Bredderman, 1982).

In a four-year study on the benefits of hands-on learning conducted in an elementary school in California, it was found that:

  • The longer students participated in hands-on learning, the higher their scores were in science, writing, reading, and mathematics (Amaral & Garrison, 2002).
  • Hands-on activities unleash the learning potential of students who are struggling with studies.

DIY and Maker movement is contributing to hands-on learning.

Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught-Oscar Wilde

DIY means Do-it-Yourself. The DIY movement encourages us to take things apart and put them back together in new ways for the fun of it. The joy of making, breaking and modifying things is immense, and the feeling when you create for yourself without the fear of being judged is incomparable.

Educators today are emphasising that the concept of DIY be incorporated into a school's academic framework to maximise learning potential. DIY is not just an activity but a revolutionary movement which is inspiring a new generation of creators and innovators around the world.

Myths about Learning

I can only learn with a qualified teacherYou are the most qualified person to be in charge of your learning
Education happens in schoolsLearning can happen anywhere; happens everywhere!
I need a curriculum to learnYou can learn any way you want - informally or formally
“I hate Maths” or “History is boring”This happens when these subjects are taught or studied. If you experience them the hands-on way, you will never find them boring.

More often, students find theoretical sessions boring and thereby, lose interest in the subject. Especially, in subjects like physics, students are unable to visualize the concepts and end up treating physics as a difficult subject. However, if we start learning physics by doing physics, our perception towards the subject will change.

DIY and Maker movement is contributing to hands-on learning.

Different learners have different learning styles and speeds. Some learners are academic while some are kinesthetic (or doers). Both learners have different styles of absorbing knowledge. While kinesthetic loves to build and mess around, academic are more traditional and book worms.

Learning curve is an individual thing. So, classroom learning environment is not a right fit for every learner. Learning should be made independent of the place and time. Learning tools should be made available even outside the classrooms.

Every failure is a learning experience. Trust learners for not hurting themselves.

We all have hammers, screw drivers, nuts, bolts, cutters and wires at home. And we know what our lives would be without them. But we, as kids, have no access to them. And when we grow up, we don’t like accessing them. So, for trivial problems at home, we are dependent upon mechanics.

As children, we are told: Don’t touch it. Don’t go near it. Don’t play with it. There’s a fear that these may harm the child or the child will break/damage the equipments/devices/machines or whatever expensive things. But instead of shooing them away if we involve the kids while doing things at home, let them observe and learn at their own pace, give them the freedom to make mistakes and eradicate the fear of failure, we will see how wonderfully hands-on technique works with our children.