For the past few months, Kalyan Kumar, a class VIII student at a CBSE school has not been carrying his English, Social Science and Science textbooks to school. Instead, he and his classmates at Sri Bala Vidyalaya School at Perambur pull out compact tablets which not only have their lessons but also activities and videos related to the chapters.
Santhanalakshmi, principal of the school, says the students are enthralled with the idea of using tablets. “The biggest advantage is that it aids self-learning. Students can go back home and revisit what was taught in class. But, they still use their notebooks,” she adds.
The school has tied up with The Curriculum Company. British Council’s ‘Learn English Kids Program’ has also been launched in the school on a pilot basis. While the English-language content, which is mapped to the National Curriculum Framework, has been developed by British Council, The Curriculum Company has brought in the technology and platform.
Ujjwal Singh, Founder and CEO, The Curriculum Company says that they have introduced the necessary checks and balances. So, the teacher can monitor the screens of all the students in class on her laptop and only those websites that are permitted by the school can be visited by the children even when they are at home.
“We encourage teachers to use the tablet for 20-25 minutes in a 45-minute class so that there is ample time for interaction. Since teachers can conduct class tests in real time through this, they can save up to 10 minutes,” he says.
Technology is also redefining the dynamic between parents and teachers. At Bhavans Rajaji Vidyashram, all parents from L.K.G. to class V are now logged on to an app called Glassboard.
Parents and teachers communicate directly, share feedback and also tip off others on interesting academic resources online. “Each class and a section have an exclusive discussion board. Above it all is a school board,” explains Ajeeth Prasath Jain, Senior Principal.
Even those parents who do not have smart phones or tablets can log on to the app. “Parents can even use it on their desktop,” he says.
Jagdish Devarajan, a parent, says that the app works really well for primary classes. “Here the teacher is not the only respondent. A parent can also share information,” he says.