IT for Change (ITfC) worked with Karnataka Education Department (2011-16) on the ‘Subject Teacher Forum program’ (STF), to build a model of in-service teacher education (INSET) that integrated Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for creating subject-wise professional learning communities (PLCs) of government high school teachers.
The STF trained around 20,000 teachers in accessing web resources and using Free and Open Source educational applications (like Geogebra, Phet, Marble); text, image, audio and video authoring tools; web tools (search, translation) and web resources (encyclopedias, dictionaries) for Teacher Professional Development (TPD). The virtual STF forums, comprising mailing-lists, were spaces for teachers to share ideas and experiences.
As a part of STF, ITfC trained 67 teachers on ‘Collaboration OER adoption (COA). These teachers learnt to access, create, edit/revise, remix and publish OER on the Karnataka Open Educational Resources repository developed using the MediaWiki platform.
ITfC conducted a study of the interactions between these 67 COA teachers and the PLCs on the mailing-lists, using applications like Thunderbird mail client, LibreOffice CALC spreadsheet, Watson Artificial Intelligence application and SPSS Data modeller. Through a study of these mailing-list interactions, triangulated by focus group discussions and key informant interviews, this paper explores the dialectic between a state-wide PLCs and the COA group.
The paper explores how a PLC-COA model can support TPD. The PLC has provided a rationale for the COA group, by serving as space for adopting the OER developed. While discussions on OER created and shared by COA and other teachers has provided an important basis for the PLCs. The paper suggest specific TPD facilitation processes for education systems, which would help PLCs thrive. Such a PLC- COA model could reform INSET, and facilitate OER development in Indic languages.
The paper was presented at the National National Conference on ICT in school education organized by the Regional Institute of Education (RIE), Ajmer in November 2017.