eschool initiative was piloted around 2014 and has evolved over the years.
The journey is summarized in three phases:
I. Content Management Phase (2014 - 2017):
Initial preparatory phase involved visits to low-cost schools with a focus on understanding the teaching-learning processes and the educational content being used in these classrooms.
We concluded that in order to enhance the process, we would use more visual content. We wanted to provide ‘visual and interactive content’ to teachers so that they could use it easily in the classroom thereby helping students to understand core concepts of different topics being taught.
Instead of developing our own content, we decided to use the power of ‘Internet’ for accessing the educational content from different sources available in the public domain.
We started curating educational content from the internet and spent time and effort to go through the content and indexed it under different categories e.g. Subject, Class, Language, Type of content, Topic, Sub-topic etc.
The curation of content led into development of a database which we termed as “e-Library” and offered this to different schools, teachers and school administrators.
The curated content was further mapped with the ‘National Curriculum Framework’, after studying syllabi of NIOS, NCERT and some Education Boards. We developed a ‘Syllabus Mapping Tool’ which showed how a particular topic / concept is handled at different grade levels. We also developed ‘Lesson Planning Register’ and ‘Lesson Scheduling Tool’ for the teachers.
In order to deliver the planned content, we used ‘Google Classroom’ platform extensively to offer different ‘e-Classrooms’ to teachers and schools. These could be used in their physical classroom settings for the intended end beneficiaries; the students.
II. Capacity Building Phase (2017 - 2019)
In this phase, we started working with NGOs and focused on building capacity of teachers through training workshops at the ground level.
Over a period of three years we worked extensively with teachers of various NGO run schools and centers, including para-teachers, center coordinators, librarians and village level tutors.
The training workshops typically covered the following agenda:
Using the Power of Internet for Education
Digital Learning & Teaching practices / Learning styles
Using Learning Management Systems (LMS) for teaching
Using e-content for subject concept clarity
Using curated content Classwork / Assignments through ‘e-Classroom’
Lesson Planning with e-content and 'Lesson Planning Tools'
Planning through Curriculum Topics & Sub-Topics (key concepts)
Group Activity: Hands-on sessions: Using e-content (e-Library & e-Classroom)
Group Activity: Hands-on sessions: Creating assignments in e-Classroom
Group Activity: Demonstration / Presentation through ‘e-Classes'
Introduction to virtual hand holding sessions over Google Meet and Zoom
III. Online Teaching Phase (2020 - ongoing):
The first half of the year 2020 witnessed a rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, and impacted school education all over. With schools shut, most of the students, lost their access to basic education.
However, with the learnings and exposure we had gained from one of our earlier projects (Spoken English on Mobile Phone) conducted in 2018, we were able to quickly fine-tune the project and offered it directly to students in form of ‘e-Tuition’.
Main features of ‘e-Tuition’:
Parents lend mobile phones to their children for one-hour daily
Students join different batches through dedicated groups on WhatsApp
Once communication channel is opened through WhatsApp, students are guided to use video meeting tools, and they join our online live classes conducted through Zoom
Students are also guided to use ‘Google-Classroom’, providing them subject wise and topic wise educational content, comprising of videos, worksheets and exercises
Live classes are streamed on YouTube also, enabling students to watch the same on their browser. As such students who miss live Zoom class can go through the content later, at any time convenient to them.
The 'e-Tuition' classes have been very well received and it’s a heartening experience to see students studying enthusiastically. Many students have enrolled and continue their online classes.
The focus is on building subject concept clarity among students rather than rote learning.