Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Staff Training: Day 3 – Technical Troubleshooting and Meeting Teachers

Most of today was spend on technical aspects of the project.  This included:
  • Sharing the process of sourcing and installing the hardware in the schools
  • The process of how to track all the hardware before we put the hardware in the schools
  • Loading the WebBox with the required application and content so it’s ready to use by the teachers
  • Going through simulated technical issues to understand what issues come up with the WebBox and other hardware during implementation (e.g., SIM not working, content not loading, etc. and the related troubleshooting steps)

In addition to the technical aspects, we invited a few teachers from Mumbai schools participating in our project to come share their experiences with the management fellows. The teachers spend over one and a half hours answering the management fellow’s questions.

They shared experiences on various aspects including ease of using the WebBox, feedback on content, challenges faced in their classes, etc.

Some of the things which came up in the exchange of ideas with teachers are covered below:
  • Many teachers were initially a little scared to use the WebBox as it was new, but through practice they overcame that fear
  • The students really enjoy the videos and are more engaged in class
  • The teacher feel that the students grasp concepts faster because of the digital content
  • The WebBox saves the teacher’s time in class since they don’t have to draw the diagrams themselves.  They can use the diagrams and other visuals in the content while teaching
  • One problem we always hear is about how long it takes for the videos to load! – We are glad to report that this will change in the coming phase, so after communicating that to teacher, they are quite looking forward to this
  • The small font size of the text on the content (Also set to change in the next phase)
  • None of the teacher who came today used YouTube or any other internet resources.  They used only the content that was on the WebBox
  • All teachers said they would like the following:
    •  Continuous training throughout the year (every 3 months or so)
    • Content in local language (in this case, Marathi), since children grasp the concepts much better if it’s in their local language
    • Content in other subjects, besides Math and Science