|Period of Performance:||October 1, 2002 through September, 2007|
In-service teacher training, primary education, low-cost and digital technologies
To improve primary school education and reach vulnerable and underserved populations, especially girls.
- To provide teachers with in-service training for both content enhancement and professional development;
- To provide instruction in English, Math, Science using a multichannel strategy i.e., via interactive radio and video programs as well as CD and print-based materials.
The three year USAID-funded Technology Tools for Teaching and Training (T4) dot-EDU India Initiative seeks to assist India in applying its burgeoning technological capacity to the quest for quality education for all. The program signals the creation of a new partnership between Indian and U.S. educators that will define how technology can be used in ways that will more directly improve learning. It will also concentrate on providing services to--and sharing experiences between–the states of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand.
The dot-EDU initiative complements India’s broad-based national education effort as embodied in the flagship program Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), part of the Education For All initiative. SSA aims to institutionalize educational systems and resources around the fundamental right for all Indian children to receive a quality education. The multiple media and multichannel strategy chosen emphasizes introducing high quality, project/activity-based instruction into the classroom. The challenge in each environment is to match the appropriate delivery system and technological inputs to the learning environments and State and local level opportunities and priorities that exist. Where video and computer instruction is possible, the dot-EDU T4 Initiative will work with local organizations to create pedagogically sound programming. In areas that do not have the ability to use these technologies to date, the intervention will concentrate on radio and print that emerges from the same learning objectives chosen under the guidance of an Action Team. Multichannel approaches demonstrate that the greater number of reinforcing channels that can be delivered in an environment, the better.
List of Partners:
- International Partners
- Education Development Center
- Academy for Educational Development
- Concord Consortium
- Karnataka State DSERT (Department of State Education Research and Training)
- Chhattisgarh SCERT (State Center for Education Research and Training)
- Participating DIETs (District Institutes of Educational Training – in-service and pre-service training)
EDC staff and dot-EDU partners will ensure above all that project activities will lead to the achievement of the following Program Results (PRs):
PR 1: Pilot and assess the use of ICT-mediated interventions in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand states
Interactive Radio and Video Instruction (IRI/IVI)dot-EDU will introduce “interactivity” into instructional radio broadcasts, use interactive video instruction for teachers and students and pilot other technologies such as hand held devices for activity-based learning. Teachers’ knowledge in core subject areas will increase through links with Community Learning Centers and/or other computer-mediated learning systems. dot-EDU’s multichannel approach will aim to provide the highest number of reinforcing/combination channels that can be delivered in an environment. Low-cost digital video and still cameras will also provide ongoing documentation of project activities, particularly to determine the level of implementation and understanding achieved as well as the work products developed by teachers and students.
Bridge Courses for Out-of-school ChildrenAdditionally, EDC’s programs and teacher/student materials may be further integrated into existing ‘bridge courses’ for out-of-school children. Each state has designed a 60-day course which aims to provide sufficient information and knowledge to out-of-school children so that they can be tested and then mainstreamed into the formal system.
Educational Satellite for Increased AccessEDC is also partnering with the Government of India’s EDUSAT initiative (in conjunction with the MHRD) – for use in both formal and non-formal sectors. Under this program, each state capital has access to an Indian Space and Research Organization satellite to be used solely for educational purposes. EDC’s work with EDUSAT will support and supplement curriculum based teaching, provide effective teacher training, increase community participation and access (particularly for girls), and strengthen state-level educational efforts.
Science EducationIn selected sites dot-EDU will use innovative technology to augment the (lack of) science labs by supporting inquiry-based investigation out into the community as well as some that focus on more traditional lab-type science.
Integration of Gender-Specifc ContentSocial perceptions about girl’s individuality and social status have had an impact on the enrollment and dropout figures for girls, particularly in middle school. At many of the schools visited, teachers, head teachers, principals and district-level education officials indicated the lack of self-confidence and self-esteem, particularly for girls from tribal areas. In addition to integrating gender-specific content into its programs, dot-EDU will work with a local partner in Chhattisgarh State to create a small series of video/ICT-based programs and activities that can be used by teachers to motivate girls in upper primary grades, and to deal with tribal/gender issues in a more contextually appropriate manner. In addition to in-classroom use, these programs will be integrated into the block-level residential educational camp programs aimed to support girls who need additional assistance/remedial classes.
PR 2: Strengthen the abilities of education policy makers in Karnataka and elsewhere to weigh costs, benefits and strategic options in the use of promising ICT interventions in elementary schools.
Networking and Exchange of Best Practicesdot-EDU supports and facilitates exchange visits for select practitioners and policy-makers between states and, where appropriate, internationally. A network of practitioners working in this sector across India and possibly in the US and other dot-EDU countries will also be established. These efforts will help spawn new competencies, facilitate state/national and global partnerships and promote local discourse to build capacity within the broader educational community.
ResearchThe State of Karnataka has made significant progress in the use of educational radio to support primary school instruction. The State’s “Keli Kali” (Joyful Learning) program is said to reach some 5 million children – coverage achieved by few, if any, educational radio programs assisting primary school education in the world. dot-EDU will support a case study and cost-analysis of Keli Kali for dissemination to a wide audience within India and in other countries. The case study will also compile existing data on student learning and identify any gaps to be addressed that would permit comparisons with other educational technology applications.
PR 3: ICTs enhance institutional/community capabilities and improve learning
Digital Librariesdot-EDU will facilitate methods of storing additional documentation of the video work and the IRI programs in the form of a digital library of learning objects. The library will be available on the web or on CD-ROMs and will provide an index of discrete learning modules searchable by curriculum objective, subject matter or format. This work, done in conjunction with local partners and using open-source digital library software, will be an additional resource to help with repurposing the work into multiple formats in the future (CD-ROM, videocassette, DVD, other broadcast programs, or online). This is important given the potential long shelf life of quality programs and the importance of adequate flexibility for repurposing. The digital library is a tangible means to engage a variety of producers of media in various formats in a discussion of meta-data standards and descriptors so that resources made at the state level, other video and audio based materials, web-based resources, CD-ROMs, and print materials can be indexed and searched.
Increasing Parental InvolvementIn order to mobilize communities and increase parental involvement and particularly that of mothers, dot-EDU will provide technical assistance to the SSA mission, BRC/CRCs and its NGO partners for audio and video-based training modules aimed at village education committees and school management committees. The modules will cover topics such as monitoring, educational quality, teacher management and increasing community participation (with an emphasis on mothers’ participation). These programs may eventually be used as part of a broader grassroots community awareness initiative.