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Monday, 17 December 2012

School Visit Snippets

- Mr.Jagadish Shri

Mr. Jagadish manages our program in Mysore. He has over 20 years of experience in the IT sector.


While on the subject of Genchi Genbutsu or 'go see yourself' here are some of our recent school visit experiences:

1.     When Lohith visited one of the schools there was specific feedback about a major section on Nervous system not being covered in the WebBox. Ideally we should have proactively done an exercise of going through the text book and checking the content of the WebBox for the lessons which would be covered in the current month - but better late than never. After receiving the feedback, Lohith searched on the web and found a site, www.makemegenius.com, which had a good video on this topic plus so many others. Now our RPAs are sharing this information with other schools when they visit them. A good example of how a feedback from the school can be used as an opportunity for improvement and knowledge sharing across schools.


This was one of the schools actively using the WebBox. However recently there was no login for the last 10 days or so post Diwali. I decided to pay a visit. On meeting the teachers, I found that they had their reasons - some departmental requirement which they had to attend to, Rajyothsava cultural celebrations in the school etc. 

The Science teacher has been very confident and comfortable in using the WebBox and he reassured us that the usage would start picking up from next week. The Maths teacher was a bit more circumspect. She had a complaint that the video quality was bad. This was a bit surprising to hear. So I asked her to show us the actual videos which had a problem. Since this was the end of the day we could go to the classroom and switch on the WebBox. Even here the Science teacher took the lead in powering on, logging in on her behalf. Once she went into the specific chapter she navigated straight to the Discover tab. Evidently she had forgotten about the videos readily available in the WebBox itself under the Concept tab.  Once she saw the videos under Concept tab she was satisfied. So we made this discovery about the "Concept" tab and her lack of awareness since we actually went to the classroom and operated the WebBox. I am sure our RPAs would have many more such stories to share as they go and see for themselves what happens in the classrooms.

2.     At another school there is only one science teacher who handles the subject for all classes 5th to 10th. This is a subject which is in the timetable practically every day of the week, which means that she handles about 6 periods in a day of 7 or 8 periods. That gives her very little time to even check what is available in WebBox, forget about playing it in the class.   In this school they also have a SmartClass which needs to be utilized.


As I compare the two schools they are several contrasting factors which stand out. 

The former has classes up to the 7th only , the class strength is limited, the enthusiasm and involvement of the HM as well as management is very visible. In the latter, the burden on the teacher is higher (either the management is unable to find teachers or unwilling to add more). All these factors which go over and beyond the content, user interface and so of the device will play a role in how effective the project is going to be.

In a school there were several students standing outside and a teacher appeared with a long stick. Each student was desperately trying to avoid the blows that came his way. Evidently it was a punishment for some violation of rules. As I walked out I saw a banner proclaiming Children's Rights and one of the points was on punishment!