Yesterday, a friend had posted on Facebook about a Volkswagen ad in Times of India. The ad carried a small chip that would play a pre recorded message about the car, when someone touched it. What an idea ! As with many other ideas, I started thinking about ways in which such a chip can be useful in a classroom. Ever since I started teaching a few months ago, I have been looking at innovative ideas on print, on the web or on the roads of Mumbai, and wondering if I could port them somehow into my lessons and use them to make my children pick up knowledge and skills. Not just ideas, I seem to be picking up icecream sticks, earbuds (brand new of course !) toothpicks, pizza tripods (the little white ones inside a pizza) and so on.
So, this speaking chip idea is just fantastic. In my classroom (and across Teach For India classrooms), we teach sight words to children. Sight words are the most basic words that children need to know in order to build reading fluency, comprehension and basic writing. So, we try and drill it into their mind every single day in some innovative way or the other. I thought, if we could record a few of these words into these speaking chips and paste them in the classroom, it would be such a fantastic idea. They could be used creatively – paste them on the words themselves so that the kids can see the words & hear at the same time; paste them inside a lion’s mouth or elephant’s trunk and the kids can touch and play while hearing the words. Many possibilities.
Volkswagen might have got them made at a very economical price due to the volumes involved (in lakhs) but I wonder what the costs would be to get a few thousand of these chips ! Ah…off I go to eBay. I’m sure some Taiwanese manufacturer/supplier is waiting there to find a Teacher like me looking for these little electronic marvels 🙂