Summary of how I use ICT in education: "I am not a teacher but a fellow traveller of whom you’ve asked the way

. I point ahead, ahead of myself as well as you." - George Bernard Shaw

Rationale:

Over the course of last few years, before I came to know about the role of ICT in education, I spent many late nights developing lessons summaries and trying my hands on drawing 3D visuals for the students the next day. And during day time in the school I spent most of my regular periods and zero hour periods in re-explaining the concepts which I delivered in the classroom. During those nights and days I realized that I did not get time to study or re-learn. I was just spending my energies in re-explaining. Now, after knowing the utilities of open source free tools in education (through eshikshaindia, a NGO), my perception of teaching and learning has changed. ICT has proven it by helping my students in exploring the wonderful world around them. It has worked best and impacted the learning in the children. I think the days of purely relying on classroom model for teaching-learning are now a thing of the past. Now, the focus is on to have a blended approach to the teaching-learning process.

Objective:

Geography is an observational subject which needs special skills to analyze and decipher information. During my teaching career I have realized that the students lack interest in social sciences and geography due to their inability of analyzing and visualizing abstract information and it in turn creates a wide gap between teaching and learning. I used ICT (Wiki and Blog) in my classroom strategies to bridge this gap. Through it I wanted my students to migrate from passive learners to investigative learners. Give freedom to my students to access multiple sources for information/ knowledge instead of depending on just a single source of information. Install character of ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’ in groups. Maintain student’s attention, their attendance, curiosity and achievements in the activities. Use ICT tools to supplement the class room teaching and at the same time protect students from the web-based abuses.

Target Group:

Children of age group between 14-16 years were included who are presently studying in class X and XI. Specifically, I used it targeting mediocre and low achievers who needed especial attention from my part.

Implementation process:

I’ve used internet based tool in education. I can summarize it through following three points. Used it as a supplement: for providing concept enrichment. Used it as a complement: for increasing capability, grades, etc. Used it as a substitute: of the traditional chalk and black board teaching.

Innovations:
1st Innovation:
My Wiki-centric Extended Classroom: Students of class X always use to share their knowledge with me but due to paucity of time we were never able to collaborate together. Thus I decided to create a wiki and called it as: http://exploringgeography.wikispaces.com. Class X Geography

students post and edit lesson summaries themselves and thus we are able to collaborate online. Editing a page is as easy as editing a text document. I have grouped students into four groups named as Q (for asking questions), A (for answering questions), E (for enhancing/adding to A’s group answer) and P (for paraphrasing and summing up E’s group). Each group collaborates on wiki according to its role. The students are shuffled in between groups after a lesson summary or activity is over. This way they correct, improve or discuss each other work. We now post lessons, links, handouts, presentations, videos, games—virtually everything in this wiki. The predefined concepts which are supposed to be taught in the next meeting are collaborated first in the wiki pages. The P Group students have the responsibility to paraphrase the concepts in the classroom. This way we built our lessons. Apart from group activities I also use wiki for classroom organization where we place and organize important day to day information and instructions. I have uploaded video shared by one of my student in the wiki. Students can find more such resources in this wiki. Initially only one student (a girl) turned up and started contributing to it (because of unavailability of internet connectivity at homes), but as the word spread and other students saw her work they too became keen in contributing. I've created this wiki to free up space on students homework copy. Now they don’t have to write too much of homework and utilize the time in learning new concepts. Students of other neighbourhood schools have also started taking advantages from it. For now I am in process of collaborating with the 8th Grade Social Studies (13-15 yr old) kids Connecticut, USA (http://collaborationnation.wikispaces.com/ ). My vision is that, over time, we can develop an extensive library of creative, finelytuned, engaging, exciting lessons. The students from other schools will be included as contributors. The purpose is to allow the students to share knowledge and to contribute to classroom activities.

2nd Innovation:
Blog: I’ve used the blog as an online tool to supplement the wiki collaboration. I have created and integrated blog for adding visuals part in education -

http://mygeographylearning.blogspot.com http://interactingwithgeography.blogspot.com

This is a place in the web world where we share and utilize visual resources and interactivities. The concepts of the wiki (mentioned above) are visually presented here and it is used as a platform to investigate the concepts and skills taught in the day class. The students are using it as a tool to explore and discover geography. It is a means of exchanging our experiences. This is done through slide shows, animations, photo stories, etc. where students relearn the concepts sitting in their homes. Through ‘Google Earth’ map they visualize the dimensions of distance. Through ‘Google documents and spreadsheets’ they take printouts of assignments, previous term/year assessment and lesson summaries. Through the audio notice board we communicate with each other even after the school hours. Read an Example…

3rd Innovation:
Off-line eXe learning course material for students:

Still most of the students of my class do not have internet connectivity at home therefore they remained excluded from what I was doing online. The solution came from the eXe (e-learning XHTML editor) open source tool. I have created an offline eXe project on topic ‘Landforms and their Evolution’ (see in support folder). I’ve distributed it to students through a self contained folder. This e-course material has ‘.swf’ animations, images, panorama views, online articles, audio, interactivities, quizzes, close activities, multiple choice question for self assessing, assignments, and summaries through mind maps. This e-course material has helped me in delivering the most time consuming chapter in one go. Now I have copied it in our small network at school from where students access it in real time. I can now correlate the concepts taught in the classroom with the help of eXe course material. How I used it? After creating the course material I’ve distributed it to my students through CDs or Floppy for self viewing. The concepts of the chapter (landform and their evolution lesson) were discussed and viewed one by one according to the lesson plans.

4th Innovation:
Power point Presentation and newsletter on earth radiation balance Before I learnt the utilities of wiki and blogs I used presentations to highlight the concepts. I’ve prepared one such presentation on Earth Radiation Balance to bring out important concepts related to global warming. I completed this activity based on the lesson plan. Based on this presentation students prepared one Newsletter on global warming. This was my first attempts to bring students attention in the classroom activities. In my other Map presentation I used links to make it more interactive. This was helpful in learning map variables.

5th Innovation:
I have used screen recorder tool to record the screen for preparing tutorial for teachers who were first user of Google Docs and spreadsheets during a workshop for the teachers of our school. I have also used flash slide show maker tool to make a flash slide show on the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Recourses used:

Online web: Wikispaces (http://wikispaces.com ), Blog (www.blogger.com ), Teachertube and Youtube (for Videos), Educational games (www.classtool.com ), Google Maps, Google Docs. & Spreadsheets, Cluster Maps, Total hits, National Geographic Photos, Slide shows, Inspirational quotes of the day, Panorama views of nature, Daylight Map, Geographic games, Time, links to my other Blogs and of other teachers, Today’s Phase of Moon, Astronomical view, Recent earthquake map, Offline tools: eXe (XHTML editor), Irfanview (for editing pictures and making slides), Free Mind (for making mind maps for revision), Virtual dub (for editing videos), audacity (for recording voice), flash slide show maker.

Outcomes and impact on my work:
I can record following outcomes for me:

1. These served as an example, to my colleagues, of how teaching can be
made effective and such practices can be adopted in our class room teaching. 2. It improved my professional qualities. 3. Interactive media not only complement teaching process but also act as a substitute to our regular chalk and blackboard teaching. 4. It has also helped me in striking a balance between what to teach (content) and how to teach it (form). 5. It provided individualized support to learners by individualized interactive materials. 6. Online and offline tool offered me multiple methods of delivering chapters. 7. I no longer feel dejected but now I have channeled my energies in delivering better concepts. 8. ICT has helped me in increasing the geographic understanding. 9. I could deliver high-quality geography concepts in both Hindi and English languages, which is suited to our diverse students coming from different backgrounds. My students found following outcomes: 1. These resources provided freedom of viewing again and again by the students according to their own pace of understanding. 2. Helped in recapitulating previous concepts before the new one is explained in the classroom. 3. Open involvement of high achievers as well as low achievers. 4. This intervention improved student’s response and brought an attitudinal change towards this subject. 5. Even the students with low reading skill show greater achievements in the tests. 6. Students show higher attendance and lower disciplinary problems. 7. It improved students’ average weekly progress in class tests. The analysis shows that in the week when I actively used the ICT contents the result improved by 5.2% and when I did not it varied between 1.32 to 0%. 8. The students now feel responsible for their own learning. Also see presentation on my experiences of e-learning. Suryaveer Singh PGT Geography S. D. Public School Pitampura Delhi 110088 India

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