- Technology and Education Initiative efforts to teach computer science and improve the educational processes happening in the classrooms at the government schools.
- Project Type Working With The Government in rural Tamil Nadu. Supported by Asha since July 2015
- More details on this project - budget documents and a recent visit summary - can be found on the Asha Website
Project Asha Kanini Asha Chennai has been working with Government Schools at several places in Tamilnadu through projects such as Project Sangamam, Project Pearl, Project Thulasi, Poorna Vidhya etc. We identify schools that have low teacher-student ratio and provide teachers to these schools. We also provide learning and teaching materials. Government allocates very little money towards basic materials like chart paper or chalk piece. We provide these materials. We have also provided computers to the schools, setup libraries there etc. We help the school maintain the infrastructure so that it can be used effectively. With our close connection with these schools Asha Chennai is in a unique position to understand and help address some of the quality issues facing Government schooling in India. Our Digital Classroom effort helps improve the quality of teaching in the classroom using technology. Further while there is a strong desire among the parents and the teachers for children to learn computer science, there is little happening in that regard. We have designed and are implementing a bold and new curriculum for teaching digital literacy as well as programming to primary and middle school children. Asha has been conducting assessments (oral and written) for children at all our supported schools. This provides a large volume of data. Data analysis helps us identify learning gaps as well as sociological factors that affect education. Our website kanini.ashanet.org provides details and access to the resources created in all these three fronts as part of this project. Digital Classrooms and Technology Aided Learning Asha has created Asha Kanini an app that provides easy assess to the best contents for teaching all subjects and lessons. The contents include the best contents from the government as well as private organizations. Asha has also created contents that are not available and required. Asha Kanini is network independent, platform agnostic and can support any language or curriculum. It is currently available with rich contents for Tamilnadu and UP. It is easy to use with powerful features like searching, sorting by user likes/views, access through QR codes etc. Our digital lesson plans provide an easy way to access the best-curated contents for teaching all the lessons in the curriculum. The contents packaged with Asha Kanini takes technology aided education beyond just showing videos and presentations for which all you need is a TV. Active contents engage students directly with games and simulations aligned with the curriculum. Classroom activities and lesson plans provide the resources to a teacher to conduct ideal activities with the students to help them get conceptual clarity on the subjects. Worksheets come in printable and online forms which are also categorised in our digital lesson plans to suit the specific needs of the teacher. Several other educational contents like audio-books, video stories, intellectually stimulating games etc. are also there as part of the contents. We have also created a team of teachers who can use these effectively and assist the government teachers in using them at all the schools we support. Digital Literacy and Programming Digital literacy is more than mastering some set of tools like Microsoft word and excel. Digital literacy is about developing confidence to learn and perform any task with technology which may involve tools we haven’t used before, machines we haven’t seen before or just features of tools that we have not accessed before. Through our emphasis on project based teaching, we aim to develop this digital literacy in the students. Programming is once again beyond mastering of a specific language or development environment. It is developing the required computational, design and system thinking that enables them to envision technology solutions to problems that they encounter as well as manipulate technology to perform as required to meet their goals. We have chosen the best tools to teach them programming like Scratch, Blockly etc. and again our emphasis on project based teaching aims to develop these broader skills. Data Analytics Asha performs basic analytics on our data to generate detailed reports identifying learning gaps that are given to the schools we support. As an ongoing effort Asha has been working with IIT Madras and IIT Bombay to analyse the data from our assessments and understand the sociological causes that impact learning in schools and children.