I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.
1. How old are Margie and Tommy?
Answer: Margie is 11 years old and Tommy is 13 years old.
2. What did Margie write in her diary?
Answer: Margie wrote in her diary, “Today Tommy found a real book”.
3. Had Margie ever seen a book before?
Answer: No, she had heard about a book from her grandfather.
4. What things about the book did she find strange?
Answer: They found many strange things about the book. One of the strange things was that after reading the book became useless. Because the text written on it did not change the way it happened on their computer screen. Moreover, one page was having limited number of words, unlike computers where a page can display unlimited number of words.
5. What do you think a telebook is?
Answer: A telebook can be an online book which can be browsed using internet. Or it can be displayed through TV signals on TV screen.
6. Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates?
Answer: Margie’s school was a virtual school in her house. She didn’t have classmates the way present day children have. At present children go to physical schools where they interact with real teachers and real classmates.
7. What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn?
Answer: There is mention of subjects like Geography, Maths and History. But assuming a computer can be programmed to teach any subject they must be taught all relevant subjects.
II. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words).
1. What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have?
Answer: Margie and Tommy have virtual teacher. It is computer fitted with latest gizmos. The computer is programmed to give lessons depending on a child’s age group and previous learning history. The content are highly interactive and children learn from the mechanical teacher. The child needs to submit test papers regularly to the computer and he gets instant feedback in the form of the test result.
2. Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector?
Answer: Margie was not performing up to the mark in her Geography tests. So her mother was worried. She wanted the County Inspector to check if there was some problem with the child or with the virtual teacher.
3. What did he do?
Answer: He found that the computer’s programme was not working properly and was giving lessons, which was of higher level than what Margie’s age required. He rectified the problem and it started giving lessons suitable for Margie’s age group.
4. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?
Answer: Tommy’s teacher developed some snag and its History section was blanked out. So it was taken away for a month for repair.
7. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why?
Answer: Margie did not have regular days and hours unlike conventional schools. The benefit of virtual classroom is it can be accessed as per your convenience. No more early morning rush for school. You can sleep as late as you wish and can compensate for your study during day time as you wish.
7. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school?
Answer: Tommy said that centuries ago there used to be different kinds of school. There a human teacher used to give same lesson to all boys and girls of same age group. Students had to go to that school to study.
8. How does he describe the old kind of teachers?
Answer: Old kind of teachers was human being. It is surprising how a human being can be smart enough to teach a particular topic.
III. Answer each of these questions in two or three paragraphs (100 –150 words).
1. What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the schoolrooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story?
Answer: The mechanical teacher is a computer screen with good audio-video system. It taught students in mechanical voice and tone. It was always prompt in giving feedback after a child submitted his papers. It can store reams of information. Unlike a page in the real books, the mechanical teacher’s page is its screen. The screen can display unlimited number of words. The teacher is always present in their house and they can study as per their timings.
The teacher sometimes goes wrong as well. There can be some virus playing havoc with its programming. This may lead to inaccessibility of certain subjects. Sometimes this can lead the teacher to throw really difficult tests, which may not be fit for a particular child. Otherwise, the teacher is always programmed to suit each individual student’s learning need and capability.
2. Why did Margie hate school? Why did she think the old kind of school must have been fun?
Answer: Her school was always open, seven days in a week. Margie’s teacher was always on at the same time except weekends, because her mother believed that regular study hours result in better learning.
She had no classmates to interact and play with. She thought that old school must have been fun, because, you got the opportunity to play and make fun, with your classmates. It must have been a pleasant experience to study from a human instead of impersonal machine.NCERT Solutions of The Fun They Had Class 9
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