Teachers' Communities of Learning project, 2010-2011

IT for Change (ITfC), along with the Department of State Research Education and Training (DSERT), and Policy Planning Unit (PPU) and Development Focus (DF) (a local NGO) have designed and implemented a pilot “Teachers Community of Learning” (TCOL) programme in Bangalore district South 3 block during 2010-11.

The programme aims to create an on-line community of teachers to enable them to network, share resources, seek assistance and voice their opinions on range of issues from education policy to day-to-day school transactions; eventually to see advantage in peer networking over working in isolation. The second objective is to help teachers learn ways of effectively integrating ICTs into their regular classroom transactions and enhance the quality of the teaching learning process by making the lessons more engaging and connected to real life. The larger goal is to support professional development of teachers, helping them see themselves as active contributors to the overall renewal of the government school system.

This process would help to revitalize and rejuvenate teacher education systems and processes in the country through use of ICTs and as a direct implication, strengthen the learning processes and outcomes in schools. Our research suggests that the failures of ICT programmes in schools has been owing to the inadequate investments in teacher education and that supporting the creation of teacher communities that encourage teachers to use and appropriate ICTs for teaching-learning (including teacher professional development) is an important step. Thus the alternate approach, adopted in the TCOL programme has been to look at the key issues/challenges in Indian school education – the status of teacher professional development and the inadequate availability and creation of teaching learning resource material and to use ICTs to support these two areas.

During the past academic year, this project has met with considerable success in the following ways

  1. This model of teacher training has led to teachers playing a role in planning and working on academic areas of need and interest to them. This has led to teacher's developing ownership and commitment over the programme

  2. Teachers have created lesson plans on Maths, Science and English on concepts that have been previously considered difficult with the help of free and open source educational software. These workshops and training sessions has led to development of subject expertise is these areas.

  3. Teachers have presented these lesson plans as well as engaged in networking activities with their peers at the cluster level meetings. This has been reflected in online web-portal as well.

For more information about this project and to read about the teachers' work please visit here.

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