Purpose The exposure visit was one of the first tasks we embarked on as an ETD team. This visit helped us gain an understanding of the ground realities of our audience, the learning environment and their various needs. Using these Learnings from this event, the purpose of this visit was to initiate a focused and user-centred approach to ETD’s various projects.
Event: Visit to various government run schools, both tech and non-tech. Location: Around Bangalore and Ramnagaram
Insights and opportunities The exposure visit helped us break a lot of pre-conceived notions, and affirm some of them. The following are some insights gained from the visit.
1. Teachers & Technology There has been a lot done in trying to implement new ideas and experiments. However there has been no regular monitoring or follow ups with experiments and training. The Teacher Motivation to use ICT is very low as theirfocus is on their own academic curriculum. There is also a general complaint of too many meetings,trainings etc.
2. Cluster Meetings Cluster meetings are not entirely beneficial as there are a huge number (20 t 40 schools) gathered for it and hence there is little personal attention to problems of teaching methodology and likewise. CRPS are not being able to bring good resources Only admin issues discussed not academic issues.Everyone is after spending the abundant SSF funds
3. Educational CDs The educational CDs given are not based on state syllabus hence creating a slight disinterest among the teachers to use it. There are navigation and interaction problems.
4. Teaching Methodologies There is little innovation in trying to teach concepts that allow for independant thinking and reasoning. In most cases, it is the black board that comes alive, and text book and teachers are still highly dominant. The video capsules provided do not allow for thinking and application
5. Teaching Methodologies Only few schools using computerized processes for admin work and the register is just a mandatory process that the CRP finally checks, and hence is maintained regularly. So far only CAL has been the focus, and help is needed desperately in the academic and pedagogy side.
Needs/ Directions There is a general need for an organized system that covers all aspects: teacher trainings, planning, follow ups, cluster meetings etc (teacher focus) The CDs can be designed to be integrated with the syllabus from the beginning, while planning the schedules for the year. Teaching can also occur through playing, socially interactive classes. Can materials/ worksheets etc be designed to let children explore through a more creative and collaborative process? Teachers itself need to go through some process of learning and unlearning before understanding and applying concepts to their classroom teaching. Technology should be integrated better, and shouldnt be put in front of the class, but should enable and trigger classroom discussion.
Questions Do teachers know that exploring and thought provocation activities are important? Who are the teacher trainers? Do the teachers have their own fundamental concepts in place? Do teachers believe that building imagination is beneficial to a child? If so, how do they help children exercise their imagination? Do teachers undergo training with computers and technology? What resources do they have to do so?