This is part 1 of my History class posts – no, don’t worry, I won’t teach History 🙂 I’ll just share with you my experiences of teaching History to a very, very futuristic AR, VI & AI oriented generation. To the less initiated, like I was at the beginning of these classes, AR is Augmented Reality, VR is Virtual Reality and AI is Artificial Intelligence.
Teaching this course for two semesters to students who are on their way to becoming designers is a challenge. The students usually arrive for my first class with pained expressions – the range of pain is quite hilarious to see! And, don’t hesitate to ask me why should they learn History when they are supposed to become designers. So the first class, rather the first 15 minutes, is my challenge to win them over. If I manage that and they accept me along with the course, not necessarily in that order, then I have cracked it and can probably be “cool” and “sic” enough for them to attend classes. Else, well, I’m as dead as the History classes in school were for them.
One look at their History school textbooks and you would know what I’m saying. Indian school boards – CBSE, ICSE, SSC blah blah blah … – deserve the highest awards in the world for making exciting stuff from the Indian subcontinent downright dusty and cobwebbed and crumbling, like we have reduced our countless monuments and museums to since decades!
Thankfully, in Mumbai, I could send them off to see the two awesomest (yeahhhh, I’m getting a bit of hang of the lingo) museums in India and this year they were lucky to catch the ‘India and the World’ exhibition. What do teachers do in other Indian cities? 😦
Keeping in mind the overwhelming impact of social media, the students wrote Instagram and Twitter posts with 20 #tags for each post. Thinking it was the easiest thing to do, the 18 year olds soon realised that it was not as easy to master as they imagined. Will exercises like these make them “cool” designers is for them to decide?
From social media, timelines, research, analysis, introspection and writing, we’ve waltzed through 50,000 years of History to today. I don’t think I’m cool enough for them yet, but out of sheer pity for my boring and insipid life as I am museum and History possessed, they submitted assignments in the form of research papers with citations – also referred to as “thingies at the bottom of the page” :p
We learnt together, they taught me social media, free sharing and accepting “stuff” and I told them History “stuff” and soon we loved History together. I have proof 🙂 It’s mails like this that makes every effort worthwhile ❤ Shriyam is now studying Design in Italy.
I did my best and rest is, as people say, History ❤
All photo taken by author