Our “Teachers Community of Learning” (TCOL) is an intensive program focusing on developing classroom strategies and teacher development programmes through ICT integration at the class, school and block levels, that can result in a meaningful and empowering educational experiences for teachers and students.
Our TCOL field projects are in Yadgir and in South Bengaluru. These sites of work represent two different kinds of impoverished environments; the first is a socially and educationally backward district and the second is an inner-city context, where students come very marginalized sections of society.
The programme has adopted a 'communities of practice' approach to teacher development and support, along with classroom based support for innovative pedagogies. Interacting with each other in physical workshops and through mobile and email communities, teachers have been sharing their classroom experiences, resources, challenges and possible solutions. Starting from Geogebra for interactive mathematics classrooms, to making a picture story books, to videos on local community institutions, teachers and students have been introduced to different digital tools and methods. The head teachers have come together as a cohesive group to discuss the common educational and administrative challenges facing their schools and learn from one another.
The use of an Interactive Voice Recognition Software (IVRS) system has enabled the government schools to communicate better with parents, changing the public perception about government schools. While the journey of meaningful education is a long one, the impact the TCOL programme has made has been in terms of greater student engagement, teachers’ adoption of technology in innovating classroom strategies, and greater use of technology in school administration and communication.
In the coming years, we hope to deepen and extend this work by covering the entire Bengaluru urban district government, aided and unaided high schools as well as primary schools.