The Karnataka Residential Educational Institutions Society (KREIS) runs residential schools for children from the marginalized sections of the society. IT for Change (ITfC) has recently started working with KREIS to help them to build the capacity of the KREIS Teachers to integrate ICT into teaching-learning in sustained and meaningful ways. As part of this program we have conducted online courses on “Digitally Enabling Your Schools” for Computer teachers during February-March 2021 and “Integrating ICT in teaching Mathematics” for Mathematics teachers during May-June 2021. More batches are planned over the coming months, in face-to-face or online or blended modes.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the course was conducted in fully online mode. The courses consisted of bi-weekly webinars for the teachers using the BigBlueButton (BBB) webinar platform. Moodle Learning Management System was used for asynchronous learning. A phone-group was being used for quick communication to the participants.
Both Moodle and BBB have been installed on ITfC’s own server, as both are free and open source (FOSS) platforms. This gave the course manager full control over both the course offering as well as the data generated from the course.
The course objectives for “Digitally Enabling Your Schools” were:
• Capacity building of Computer Teachers to support the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) training programs for subject teachers.
• To help computer teachers to become familiar with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) platforms.
• To support subject teachers in their learning to integrate technology in teaching.
• To encourage computer teachers to become evangelists for the ICT Integration in KREIS schools.
More than 20 Teachers from various districts participated actively in the course and learned how to install and configure Ubuntu custom distribution in the computer labs in their school.
The course objectives for “Integrating ICT in teaching Mathematics” were:
• To introduce teachers to Geogebra, a powerful tool for creating resources for Mathematics teaching
• To introduce teachers to the idea of Open Educational Resources (OER) and their importance for equity in education
• To create a community of teachers experienced in ICT integration in teaching learning
The course included a graded assessment on participation and assignment completion which concluded with a certification. The assignments were duly assessed and formative feedback given to the teachers. All of them participated actively and showed enthusiasm to learn new methods.
More than 20 Teachers from various districts participated enthusiastically in the course and learned how to use Geogebra and integrate it into their Mathematics teaching. They also created Geogebra sketches on various topics and published them as Open Educational Resources (OER).
The teachers transacted lessons using Geogebra and shared their experiences and insights during the course with fellow participants.