Implemented Tablet based learning and Smart Classrooms in Army Goodwill Schools in Kashmir
The Indian Army has a team of people that manages private school-like schools in Kashmir for the children of the local population. They call these as Army Goodwill schools and have been set up to offer quality education for K-12. The blog will outline a glimpse of the digitisation of AGS with Tablet based learning and Smart Classrooms.
Students here are like students of any other region across India. Some want to learn, some want to grow, while some just want to play. However, they face challenges which are unique to them like,
- First, less involvement in education because due to extreme weather conditions and ongoing insurgency. Due to this, students here do not get to spend the usual time in school. Their academic calendar tends to be smaller because of political unrest. This is why they have to cover the same amount of syllabus and learn all concepts in less time than students of other regions.
- Second and perhaps the most critical is the lack of exposure. These students get about the life and opportunities outside their district and the state, and only few manage to cross these boundaries.
Indian Army identified that to be able to address the above challenges above; they will have to do the following:
- Empower teachers with tablet based learning and smart class. Digital content can enable them to finish their syllabus faster and achieve the desired learning outcomes.
- Provide a personalised learning set-up for the students to track their individual growth. This will further will help teachers give personalise attention to individual students to fill in their gaps.
Partnership with iDream Education
This was when the Indian Army, with Power Grid’s support, collaborated with iDream Education to set up TabLab (Tablet-based Smart ICT Lab) and Smart Class in Army Goodwill Schools. Educational Tablets and the Smart Class set up were given with preloaded content on SD cards and Pendrives. Content for all classes 1st to 12th is aligned to J&K Board in both Hindi and English Medium.
Regions Covered: Aishmuqam, Behibag, Boniyar, Budkot, Chandigaon, Hajinar, Krusan, Sopore, Wayne, Wuzur
Number of Classrooms Digitised: 128
Number of students impacted: 5,000 +
Number of students of Teachers: 200 +
How did the project solve the challenges faced by Army Goodwill Schools?
Very easy-to-use Hardware setup
The entire smart class setup could be switched ON/OFF with just one plug. Extremely easy for the teachers to just walk into the classroom and immediately begin teaching through smart class. All this is possible because they don’t have to invest time in connecting a device to the internet or in the search for relevant content.
Same with the Tablab based learning, all tablets were securely locked and charged inside the charging rack. When students have to use the devices, the teacher simply unlocks the rack, takes out the tablets, distributes them and uses them as guided by their teacher. Once the class gets over, one of the students collects all the devices, counts and keeps them securely back in the rack. This eliminates the hustle of management or safety.
So, once the teachers and students realised that it is extremely easy to use digital set-up, it led to a very natural adoption, resulting in regular usage with minimal training.
Offline access to digital content of all classes
All the digital content was preloaded on the SD Cards (in each educational tablet) and in the pen drives for the Smart Class set-up. There was hence no internet dependence, and they were able to continue their teaching and learning whether it was raining or snowing.
Extensive content coverage for all subjects and classes
The digital content covered all classes from 1st to 12th and for all subjects. also covered all subjects in all streams for classes 11th and 12th. This led to collective usage by all the teachers and students in the school. No one felt that they were left behind, so they encouraged each other to use and see the impact of their progress.
The content coverage also included stories, poems, biographies, many other books, life skills videos on health, hygiene, sanitation, and so much more. And hence even when a particular teacher was absent, and the students had to be engaged, the teachers used such content to happily connect with them and guide them in critical life skills.
Supplemented Classroom teaching with Digital Content on Smart Class and on educational tablets
This was perhaps the significant benefit experienced by the schools and the Indian Army officials. What the teachers taught in the classroom, they could show it on a big screen in the smart classroom, and then the students can also practice the same concept on their tablets. Individual reports were generated, and teachers could know the student-wise gaps they need to address in their class.
This resulted in course completion in less time than it was expected, increased classroom engagement, and improved learning outcomes, exactly the challenges that the Indian Army wanted to address.
Growth beyond the life they live
Digital not only has the potential to make students learn better and enable teachers to teach better but can also expose them to life and opportunities beyond what they are experiencing right now. Once students and their parents realise that smart devices can also be used for learning, it opened up a whole new world of opportunities for them. In our observation, we found many students who shared how they go back home and then use their parents’ smartphones to search for educational videos and stories on Google and Youtube.
In fact, this was a reason that these students could seamlessly adjust to online learning when the Covid-induced lockdown happened. For continued learning, we introduced iPrep – A Learning App. This gave students access to the same content they saw in their Smart Classrooms and educational tablets. With decent internet connections available in their homes, the teachers and students wasted no time being online, starting online classes, and using the digital content on the iPrep Learning App, resulting in no learning loss.
Kashmir holds a special place in our hearts. It has been inspiring to see these changes take place in the teaching and learning styles of teachers and students of these AGS. Thanks to the Indian Army and Power Grid India Limited, who helped us transform learning and teaching in schools of Kashmir.
Before you go, listen to what some teachers and students have said about our work.
“…With TabLab set up in schools, parents seem to be very happy with the expansion of schools. Further, the burden of our teachers is reduced, resulting in increased personalised attention to students…”.
-Principal Tariq Ah Tariq Ji, AGS in Wayne Kashmir
“…Gone are the days when you needed 4 boards and a marker. Now we have smart boards, which is a wonderful initiative by iDream Education….”
-Vice Principal of AGS IN Chandigaon, Kashmir
“…We learned through videos and digital books from smart class and also used Tablets from TabLab to perform practicals and practice questions. After lockdown, we had no resources, resulting in loss of learning. But, our teachers suggested downloading the iDream Learning App, which is free of cost, and because of this, we were able to matin continuity in our learning….”
-Nafia, a class 9th student in AGS, Krusan in Kashmir
People in Kashmir live at high altitudes, under extreme weather conditions, near India-Pakistan Border with minimal facilities. With tablets in Tablab and Smart Class, we have successfully accelerated the use of digital content in schools located at high altitudes near the India-Pakistan Border.
If in case you would like to know more about our digital learning solutions, comment below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org