CHENNAI: Imagine a teacher in Guduvanchery coming up with an innovative teaching method and students from as far away as Kanyakumari benefiting from it. Thanks to the web connect, government-run middle schools in the State are exhanging ideas and resources, which, teachers say, has caught the imagination of the students, thereby reducing absenteeism and even dropouts.
Skype classes and online questionnaires to facilitate easy learning entered
government school classrooms over a year ago. Now, four middle schools from each district (excluding Chennai), 128 schools in total, have been linked through the web through the ‘Connecting Classrooms’ initiative of the State government which was introduced to facilitate resource-sharing within district schools and among other districts.
“The project was kick-started by the Tamil Nadu Government for the middle schools. Through this, online classes are conducted between students of the same district and also with those in the neighbouring districts, after school hours,” said Anbazhagan N, State coordinator.
Initially, the necessary infrastructure was provided for Skype classes to make the students study the hi-tech way. Then the connection with their neighbours happened.
Also, teachers from all these schools have come together on social networks and Whatsapp to design the time tables and plan the schedule.
This connection has not only facilitated resource-sharing, but also made teachers brainstorm ideas to make learning innovative.
Be it teachers with expertise on a subject or new methods to make studying interesting, they reach many more students through this connection.
“Two students from Kolathur in Kancheepuram district, who have found easier methods to memorise Tirukkural, have gone on to inspire our students to implement them,” said Karunaidas P, a teacher from Virudhunagar.
He added that the students seemed to be more interested to attend classes and had refrained from absenting themselves. As a result, the number of dropouts had also reduced.
Anbazhagan added that these classes which facilitated conceptual understanding had improved the results. “I can show the working of a rocket with a YouTube video not only to my students, but also to those from other schools within my district and outside. This makes students get a better grasp of concepts and hence perform better. The overall performance of the State would improve,” he pointed out.