Partners in Learning

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    Registration Name: eMaharashtra 2012
    Project Category: digitalLEARNING :: Best Technology Practices in Teaching- Learning Process
    Project Name: Partners in Learning

    Details of Applicant
    Name: Gauri Arora
    Address: DLF Cyber Greens, 9th Floor, Tower A, DLF Cyber City, Sector 25A
    City: Gurgaon
    State: Haryana
    Country: India
    Zip Code: 122002

    Details of  Project/Implementing Agency:
    Name of Organisation: Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd.
    Address: DLF Cyber Greens, 9th Floor, Tower A, DLF Cyber City, Sector 25A
    City: Gurgaon
    State: Haryana
    Country: India
    Zip Code: 122002
    Name of the Head of Organisation: Bhaskar Pramanik

    Brief description of the programme/project/initiative :
    Microsoft endeavors to promote education and skill development using ICT – we believe technology offers new educational possibilities that can help empower both teachers and students through Partners in Learning (PiL). PiL aims to reach out to 250 million teachers and students globally by 2013. Project Shiksha, a part of Microsoft’s PiL program aims at incorporating innovative methods to provide new avenues of social and economic empowerment for the underserved communities. ICT-based education emphasizes on the need to equip educators with the requisite skills to effectively impart innovative education to children in schools. With the help of ICT based education, teachers are able to integrate IT tools in their classroom teaching and other functions to ease the process of education. Till date, this project has trained over 6, 94,426 government school teachers who in turn have impacted over 32 million students by making ICT a part of their teaching.

    Why was the project started?
    In India, there is a huge gap between content/services and the citizens at large, and by implementing Project Shiksha, our aim is to bring relevant technology to the education sector to address this problem. Education and skills development are undoubtedly, one of the imperatives for the country. We are committed to digitize the classroom environment as a first step to accelerate the economic growth of the country and reduce the \”digital divide\” and \”content gap\” between technology empowered and technology excluded segments of the society. With this in mind, government school teachers are trained on the use of the latest technology tools to teach the most difficult subject, thereby giving students at the primary education level access to technology. Project Shiksha supports the overall objective of enabling of a digitally inclusive society.

    Microsoft via this program aims at bringing innovation in the teaching-learning process in a classroom, by empowering the teachers with ICT skills that can be embedded in their conventional teaching pattern. Partners in Learning works in association with governments and education leaders around the world at the national, state and local levels to deliver a portfolio of professional development, curricula, tools and resources designed to advance 21st century teaching, learning and digital inclusion that improves not just the earning outcomes for every student but also enhances their skill development. This ties in very well with India’s goals of enhancing education and employability through skill building using ICT.

    Target Group:
    Government school teachers

    Geographical reach:
    Microsoft India has partnered with 12 state governments (including Maharashtra, Uttaranchal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh) to set up 14 Shiksha academies and operate close 100 state run District Institutes for Education and Training (DIETS) so far to offer a spectrum of education resources. Till date, 2,50,384 teachers have been trained in Maharashtra. 

    Date from which the project became operational :
    In February 2005 , Project Shiksha started in Maharashtra.

    Is the Project still operational :

    10 points that make the programme/project innovative:

    1. It is a Public private partnership, which works directly with Educators, Institutions and Governments towards improvement in education
    2. Computer based learning (ICT) is promoted across government schools with emphasis on providing software solutions & scholarships to teachers and students. For example, Mr. Nagu A. Virkar, from the Z. P. School, Khoni, located in Thane district, in less than six months was able to computerizethe school and now is equipped with 8 computers with Power backup, a LAN, a printer and a scanner too.
    3. Shiksha gives global exposure to trained teachers through national contests. Winners are given an opportunity to represent India at the International level in the Microsoft Worldwide contest. For example, Anil Sonune, participated at ITLA in Cape Town to showcase his own local website, for which he was also awarded by the Government of Maharashtra.
    4. Each teacher designs a digital lesson around their respective subject which is a direct take-away to be used in the class-room post training. For eg. Sarojini Rawool, a teacher in Zilla Parishad School, Kunde, located in Thane district, developed a content CD of the syllabus for class III students; created powerpoint presentations to teach her subject, science and build the interest level of students
    5. Monitoring – the trainers go to randomly selected schools to gauge whether the teachers are using IT post training or not and how much self-learning enhancement has taken place. For eg. Sarojini Rawool, a teacher in Zilla Parishad School, Kunde, located in Thane district , started ICT training for other teachers in the school, so that they too could develop their own presentation of their subjects.
    6. Microsoft goes beyond training and connects the teachers with the partners post training via the List 5 achievements of the programme/project”

    List  5 achievements of the programme/project:

    1. The reach of the Project Shiksha is across 12 states in India .Under this program, Microsoft has trained over 6, 94,426 government school teachers till date, who in turn have impacted over 32 million students by making IT a part of their teaching. As an example, Mr. Nagu A. Virkar from Z. P. School, Khoni, located in Thane district has trained more than 579 teachers till now and almost 8978 students have been benefited till date.
    2. Microsoft India has partnered with 12 state governments (including Maharashtra, Uttaranchal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh) and has tied up with various state-run District Institutes for Education and Training (DIETs)
    3. By 2013, ‘Partners in Learning’ aspires to reach over 250 million teachers and students globally, 10 million teachers actively connecting and contributing to the Partners in Learning Network.
    4. Several teachers have created their own websites post ‘Shiksha’ training and are also regularly participating in e-communities, ICT contests with the help of various relevant websites eg.;

    List 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative and how they were overcome?

     1. Lack of learning initiative from the teacher’s end- some teachers argued that they were due for retirement in a few months or a year or two and did not foresee the necessity of picking up new skill so late in their professional lives.
    2. Lack of infrastructure for the running of the Program – even when a computer lab was provided, the school administration could not guarantee/arrange for uninterrupted electricity supply.
    3. Challenge of identifying teachers who will be willing to teach in the regional language of that State
    4. Challenge of identifying teachers who would be willing to coach other teachers in the locality.
    5. Training the Principal and officials is a necessity as without their support and co-operation, the programme would not have been this successful

    List 5 points on how  the programme can serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?

    1. Motivating other teachers of the school to learn and integrate technology in the teaching learning process. Thus, make schools self-sufficient in Innovative teaching using ICT.
    2. Creating IT awareness in the community and improving IT infrastructure of the school. The program has inspired many SUPW teachers (Socially Useful & Productive Work) along with their students demonstrate the need of hygiene, AIDs awareness etc. in their neighboring villages through their digital presentations including ‘nukkad nataks’ to make a difference in the lives of villagers
    3. Motivating the community to participate in the development of the school and the students
    4. Empowering the teachers to use innovative ICT skills to make their daily lesson plans interesting.
    5. Encourage collaboration amongst Teachers on Partners in Learning website

    List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative

    1. Going by the great response and results of Project Shiksha, we have now started partnering with education leaders in different Indian states, to introduce a sustainable model of ICT skills training for pre-service teachers and that too, on a scale that is unprecedented anywhere in the world.
    2. The information technology curriculum is introduced for teacher training in colleges across the state of Maharashtra and Karnataka. This would help teachers improve their ability to use technology and incorporate innovative ICT tools into their classroom
    3. In the Narvodaya Vidyalaya Schools, IT clubs have been formed in schools to motivate students to use technology effectively
    4. School leaders have realized the importance of using ICT in the teaching-learning process and making learning engaging
    5. Tie up with various state-run District Institutes for Education and Training (DIETs) has helped spread the reach of the program even more.

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