IT for Change, in collaboration with Foundation for Education, Ecology and Livelihoods (FEEL) has designed an e-learning course for Mathematics teachers which is currently being offered for Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan (KVS) teachers. KVS is the Central Government institution that runs schools for employees of central government across the country.
The course aims to introduce mathematics teachers to a variety of digital tools for integrating in mathematics teaching-learning, including Geogebra, support teachers in the creation of context-specific resources (Open Educational Resources) for their classrooms, for mathematics (and science) teaching-learning, which is contextual and create a community of teachers experienced in ICT integration in teaching learning.
The course is being delivered using the Moodle LMS for asynchronous learning and the BigBlueButton (BBB) webinar platform for synchronous sessions between faculty and teachers. We have installed Moodle and BBB on our own server, as both are free and open source (FOSS) platforms. This gives the course manager full control over both the course offering as well as the data generated from the course, whereas with proprietary platforms, the data is collected by the vendor and may be used/ misused, creating privacy and security vulnerabilities. As our society increasingly becomes (has become) a 'data society', this question will have very important implications... which must be considered by every education institution.
The Kerala Department of Education is also using BBB for its e-learning programs. Kerala has pioneered ICT programs in Education and its IT@Schools model of 'in-sourcing' ICT in its public institutions is now being emulated across the country. The use of FOSS platforms such as Moodle /BBB / Jitsi is also one that all states must emulate.
IT for Change is also supporting its partner, the Regional Institute of English, South India (RIESI) to offer its PGDELT program on BBB. The PGDELT program would have been offered in a face-to-face mode during April-May, but due to the COVID pandemic, the face-to-face sessions were cancelled. Moodle + BBB is allowing faculty to transact the program with the students, who are currently locked down all over the country.
IT for Change is also supporting SCERT Telangana to install the free and open source Jitsi platform on its own server. Jitsi is useful for offering webinars to hundreds of teachers at a time, while BBB is more suitable for smaller classrooms as it supports intensive interactions between faculty and students.