In a workshop on Educational Technology for teacher trainers and educators, held at Keshav Vidya Peeth in Jaipur on August 7, noted Indian cartoonist Pran was remembered, who passed away on August 5. During a session of the workshop, the use of comic strips and cartoons for teaching social sciences were stressed. The importance of comic strips and cartoons, as effective visual tools for classroom instruction, was highlighted through a presentation and skill training session.
These days, online tools for creating cartoons and comic strips are available as a component of educational technology. Cartoons for educational purposes should be purely academic to create a bit of humour for creating a classroom climate, conducive to learning and entry to the topic. Cartoon as visual instructional aid needs to be engaging along with being a bit funny, participants were told.
It needs to be seen that cartoons should be unbiased pedagogical devices or else they can cause controversies if included in textbooks and classroom instruction. The case of review and removal of the 200 odd cartoons, including that of Dr BR Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru in the NCERT's textbooks and other school textbooks were brought to the notice of the participants. They were advised to create their own relevant and purely academic cartoons rather than using the cartoons drawn by professionals for some other purpose.
The use of concept cartoons in teaching of social sciences has several advantages. Cartoons make lessons interesting and promote students engagement by increasing students' attention span along with enhancing teachers' as well as students' visual-communicative and linguistic skills, said the resource person before giving practical experience of drawing simple cartoon characters and different kinds of dialogue boxes. Also, the use of overhead projector was demonstrated to the participants.
It was shown that concept cartoons were most appropriate for classroon instruction. A few examples of concept cartoons were shared as well.