Excited, the students move their hands, fingers and eyes to convey that they are learning better. Teachers R. Shanthi and S. Kalaiselvi translate the students’ sign language — they say that students with speech and hearing impairment at the Corporation’s special school in R.S. Puram are able to easily understand the chapter on angles.
As the students continue gesticulating the teachers say that the students have also seen how the French dressed during the French Revolution period.
This, the students did not get to know when they, the teachers, just crossed their fingers to convey something about war or revolution.
The students and teachers are talking about the tablet-based education system the Coimbatore Corporation has introduced with help from the American Indian Foundation and Dell under the Digital Equaliser Programme.
The Foundation’s Coordinator V. Alexander says that the students will use the tablets a day or two ahead of the day teachers start teaching a chapter or topic.
This self-paced learning will help the students have an idea of what the teacher will be teaching. In case of doubts, the students can revisit the lesson on the tablet or get them cleared by their classmates.
If the doubts still persist, the students can get it cleared from the teachers.
The lessons on the tablet will have slides, videos available on the Web and videos of teachers explaining topics using sign language. Mr. Alexander says that the Foundation and Dell have prepared videos for chapters or topics in Tamil, Maths, Science and Social Science.
The differently abled students do not study English and write only four papers in their Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examination.
The Foundation has deployed resource persons at the school to upload videos, orient teachers and also students.