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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Journey of WebBox in Learn, Out of the box


Durgesh Tiwari
(Durgesh works in the Central Team of Learn, Out of the Box programme)

Learn, Out Of the Box made an intervention in the methodology of teaching in classrooms by introducing a unique device in schools called “WebBox”. This self sustained device had preloaded content for class 6 and 7 of Math and Science. The content was loaded in a defined framework of “See, Think and Do”, essentially to cater the needs of diverse learners and their learning styles. The WebBox did not aim to replace the traditional syllabus or teaching methods, rather, supported efficient delivery by teachers in classrooms with its additional learning content through internet.

The unique device-"Webbox"

In the first year of WebBox, teachers were less receptive and comfortable handling the technology and textbooks together. Also, the initial motivation of teachers towards using WebBox was reduced which was a challenging task for our field staff and consumed majority of their time. The process of transitioning our traditional classrooms into technology enabled classrooms was critical for the program. Our team dealt with a lot of apprehensions of teachers like: underlying functionality of WebBox, importance of videos and images in classrooms, usage of internet, time management, etc. By the end of first year, teachers had understood that technology and textbooks used in tandem reflect an ideal classroom.

The second and third year of the WebBox , saw its deployment in several schools with various teachers trained on the same. Teachers had started utilizing the WebBox in classrooms as per their comfort. The ease to operate technology had increased thus enabling teachers for:

Motivated boys at Mukundpur Urban learning centre
• Showing Videos to Students
• Conducting Group Discussions
• Conducting Activities
• Using Practice Questions and Quizzes for assessments
• Using internet to show additional content to students etc.

This disruptive approach also seconded the theory that urban teachers are more exposed and comfortable with technology as compared to rural teachers. WebBox had become a part of daily routine of teachers and its usage had been proliferated because of content related internet surfing. It helped the children to absorb concepts easily and gave ideas on creating low cost TLMs with its “Think and Do” Section.

While the Web Box was a substantial device in its own, there were a few technical setbacks like: android version, wired device, 2G connection, etc. As technology has now become an integral part of all LOTB schools, there is an immediate need to upgrade the WebBox to a much efficient solution to counterpart the advancements in technology and continue the spirit of this intervention amongst the teachers.