Building teacher networks and supporting teacher development through digital methods is an important area of our field engagement. Our teacher education models have adopted the Professional Learning Community approach to in-service teacher education programs. The key objectives of these programs are to build teacher capacities and institutional capacities so that the programs have also built institutional capacities in the education system. In Karnataka, we have built learning communities of 20,000 mathematics, science, social science, Kannada and English teachers, and head teachers through the Subject Teacher Forum program.
Since 2015, ITfC has been working with the Telangana Department of Education, to develop professional learning communities of mathematics and science teachers. Around 200 government high school teachers have become Master Resource Persons (MRPs), and will build capacities of their peers in district workshops. Teachers have learnt to use free and open educational and generic software applications, for creating open educational resources and for subject teaching. Teachers also enrolled into virtual networks, to continue their interactions and learnings beyond the workshops.
The program began in February 2015, with workshops for mathematics, science and social science teachers. A second round of workshops was conducted in December 2015, and third round in April 2017. From October 2017, the resource persons trained by IT for Change, are now conducting workshops for their colleagues across the state of Telangana, to enrol them in the subject teacher forums for mathematics, physical science and biological science.
A program to build capacities of the MIS Coordinators (who are technology support staff, employed in each Mandal office), on providing support to teachers on the technology aspects was also planned and workshops to develop MRPs was conducted in June 2017. These 30 MRPs have in turn conducted workshops to develop a team of 5-10 'District Technology Support' Groups in each of the 31 districts. A second round of training was conducted to increase the pool of District Technology Support' Groups, during May 2018. The program of building professional learning communities of teachers is being supported by Kotak Bank CSR.
More information about the program and the workshops is available on the Telangana Repository of Open Educational Resources