In her classroom, twelve-year-old Ananya Mohapatra is testing the electrical property of metal, paper, wood and plastic. “The LED lights up when there’s current passing through,” Ananya says, thrilled that she can detect a conductor of electricity.
Her teacher, Manoj Ranjan Dash, has just demonstrated how to use an insulator-conductor to explore electricity passing through objects. He says, “Two years ago we were introduced to Digital Equalizer. One of the methodologies we were exposed to, Flipped Classroom, helped me to improve my pedagogic skills. It also helps students to develop their conceptual clarity and triggers critical thinking and problem solving ability in them.”
India has around 250 million children in school where technology is rapidly integrating into classroom learning. Teaching and learning are best thought of, not as separate and independent activities, but rather as two sides of the same coin, interconnected and interrelated. Based on this principle, AIF’s Digital Equalizer program introduces pedagogical techniques such as “flipping the classroom” in which students are actively engaged in reading up their study material outside of the classroom and spending their time in active learning during class. This allows teachers to use their classroom time more effectively, by focusing on more challenging aspects of the topic or group activities that promote the development of creativity in students.
Ananya’s home has three generations of strong women: a grandmother, who barely got through middle school, and Ananya’s mother, who had a better chance at education but no exposure to the world of computers. Both of them marvel at Ananya’s dexterity at navigating her way on a laptop. The Digital Equalizer has provided her the opportunity to explore digital resources in math, science and social studies. The program begins by equipping each school with a computer center, providing an educational laboratory to enhance student learning. Targeting secondary students in grades 6-10, the program primarily trains educators in basic computer literacy, internet research and teaching methodologies that together bring creativity diversity, and real-life examples into school curriculum through the use of technology.
Digital Equalizer schools have demonstrated increased student motivation and improved learning outcomes. Students engage in technology-supported collaborative activities with other students in the classroom. Teachers display curriculum-related resources such as videos and simulations to their classes. Last year, Digital Equalizer pioneered the broadcast of financial literacy modules through the satellite EDUSAT hub directly to Receive-only- Terminals (RoTs) in schools, combining video content with teacher development, significantly impacting students’ inferential and creative thinking skills.
Ananya enjoys exploring digital content in math and science, but it is in social studies that her interest has shown a radical improvement with higher class participation and better performance. “I want to be a doctor when I grow up and serve my village,” she says, a sentiment that is strongly supported by both her mother and her grandmother.