Ensuring Comprehensive Reading

The act of reading draws on many different processes simultaneously. The right technological tools can make a significant difference to students who struggle with reading and they can increase the comprehensibility of the text. Two pioneering tools to achieve the desired goal are:

Digital Text

Students are able to use accessibility functions to customize their settings (font size, spacing, colour contrast and bolding ), which frees up cognitive load for comprehension.

Furthermore, most digital texts include features that help students to understand the texts in a better way. Also, the hyperlinked text helps students compensate for a weak vocabulary and access further information on concepts for which they have little prior knowledge.

Visual Learning Software

Visual learning softwares, such as graphic organizers and mind maps, are another indispensable tool to develop students’ reading comprehension skills. It can be used to illustrate different text structures (narrative, descriptive, argumentative and more).

Visual learning can draw connections between elements of the text by categorizing them or by linking supporting evidence to key concepts. Educators can also model the use of visual learning software to demonstrate relationships between characters in a novel.


‘Re-invent’ your classroom with innovative teaching

The biggest challenge for a school leader is to capture students’ attention and conveying ideas effectively enough to create a lasting impression. Here are a few initiatives that can be implemented to make the classroom experience more enthralling for students:

Creative teaching

Take the help of tools to stimulate creativity. Include playful games or forms of visual exercises that will excite young minds and capture their interest.

Audio-visual and digital tools

Incorporating audio-visual materials to supplement textbooks during informational sessions through models, filmstrips, movies, pictures, infographics, or other mind mapping and brain mapping tools.

Brainstorming sessions

Providing significant time for brainstorming sessions in classrooms. These sessions will become a platform for students to voice their thoughts without worrying about right or wrong.

Storyboard teaching

Rudyard Kipling rightly said, “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten”. Storyboarding is an efficient way to teach any subject which requires step-by-step memorization or visualization of highly-conceptual ideas.

Stimulating classroom environment

A creative and stimulating environment will help students explore and encourage them to learn attentively. It is beneficial for the holistic development of the child.

Puzzles and games

Puzzles and games make the learning process more interactive and fun.
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Effective monitoring system

The monitoring systems are used for making necessary interventions to improve the effectiveness and productivity of the teaching-learning process. It is necessary for schools to set up monitoring systems to check if the educational goals and objectives are being achieved. There are three ways of monitoring:

Compliance monitoring: The goal is to ensure that schools meet pre-determined standards of education. This kind of monitoring helps in creating uniformity among schools from educational program to institutional structure.

Performance monitoring: The fundamental assumption is that organisations in the public sector will become more efficient if they are forced to function in an environment similar to that of market-place. Their goal is to promote competition among schools by focusing on the educational outcomes of a school.

Diagnostic monitoring: It is based on the idea that school should focus on the individual learner. The instrument of choice in diagnostic monitoring is the criterion-referenced test that has items which closely matches to the content of the curriculum.

For school leaders, diagnostic monitoring achieves what no other monitoring approach can. It identifies for teachers the specific skills and concepts that students have not yet mastered. The other two monitoring systems can provide effective solutions for the state policymakers but schools need to foster diagnostic monitoring for effective outcomes.


Role of school leaders in professional development of teachers

By improving the quality of a teacher, school leaders can naturally improve student learning outcomes. There are various ways through which a school leader can improve teacher quality:

Conducting meaningful evaluations

A school leader should routinely observe and evaluate the teacher’s classroom to identify areas of need and weakness. An evaluation should be thorough and a plan for teacher’s improvement should be created after a number of observations.

Offer constructive feedback/suggestions

A school leader must offer a list that includes weaknesses which he/she finds during the evaluation. They should also give detailed suggestions to guide the teacher’s improvement.

Provide meaningful professional development

A school leader needs to analyse professional development thoroughly and whether it will produce the intended results. Engaging in professional development can foster dynamic changes for a teacher.

Provide a mentor

Veteran teachers can provide insight and encouragement to the inexperienced or struggling teacher. A school leader must develop a platform for veteran teachers to share their practices with other teachers.

Establish open communication

A school leader should encourage teachers to discuss concerns or to seek advice with them without hierarchal restrictions.

Encourage reading and reflecting

Reading can help a teacher grow and improve through reflection. It can help him/her in recognising own’s strengths and weaknesses.


Effect of body language on teaching-learning experience

Bernd Hackl, head of the Institute for Teacher Education, said, “It’s teachers’ body language which gives them credibility and determines whether learning processes will be fostered, or not.” In nutshell, successful teaching hinges on the physical presence of the teachers and the learning context they create in the classroom.

A convincing performance

In order to capture the diversity of corporal communications, start by identifying four teaching tasks — providing a relaxed setting for learning, integrating the learners in a collaborative school environment, challenging pre-existing knowledge and skills, and finally, being able to demonstrate such knowledge and skills to the students and thereby make the mastering of them easier.


In everyday practice, it becomes hard for teachers to reconcile with the formal and social requirements the school system has to meet.”Exposure to such contradictory aspects produces a variety of reactions from the teachers and, in the worst case, stagnation,” Hackl notes. Teachers juggle between strategies in order to fulfil requirements that are impossible to meet, leading to the gap between them and students.

Behavioural patterns

For developing autonomy in students, teachers need to promote pedagogical engagement in teaching-learning process, meaning teachers are authentic, convincing and motivated and seek to create an open learning environment.


Digital tools to enhance learning experience

Integrating technology in contemporary education practice is the sine qua non of effective learning. It has become imperative for schools, who aspire to become futuristic, to act with urgency on this front. The revolutionary digital educational tools that can revamp a school are:

• Edmodo is a social network where teachers can create online collaborative groups, administer and provide educational materials, measure student performance, and communicate with parents.
• Projeqtallows teachers to create multimedia presentations, with dynamic slides in which they can embed interactive maps, links, online quizzes, twitter timelines, and videos.
• cK-12is an open-source interface that allows creating and distributing educational material through the internet along with reducing the cost of academics books.
• ClassDojois a tool to improve student behaviour: teachers provide their students with instant feedback so that a good disposition in class is rewarded with points.
• Storybirdis a tool through which teachers can create interactive and artistic books online to promote writing and reading skills in students.
• Kahoot! promotes game-based learning, which increases student engagement and creates a dynamic, social, and fun educational environment.
• Socrative, Thinglink, TED-Ed, eduClipper, Animoto are other such learning tools.