Towards the Path of Technology based Learning:
Technology has become an effective tool for learning. With the support of Intel Education in Pakistan, Aga Khan Education Service Pakistan (AKES, P) has realized the importance of integrating information technology in the process of learning for both the teachers and students. To acknowledge the importance of technology and specially information technology, AKES, P provides lots of opportunities to its teachers to enhance their knowledge and skills for the use of IT in the process of learning and teaching. This translates to an investment in terms of resources and time to provide IT based resources to the schools to promote technology based learning (TBL) for the students.
In 2001, when Intel launched the Intel® Teach to the Future Program (as it was called then) in Pakistan, AKES, P was chosen as the first partner. AKES, P willingly opted for this learning opportunity as it was in line with its vision for TBL. Following schools participated in the program:
SMS Aga Khan School, Karimabad
Aga Khan School, Kharadar
Aga Khan School, Garden
Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad
The program played a vital role in raising the motivation and understanding of the teachers to integrate technology in learning. Initially 20 Master Trainers were selected from all the four Aga Khan Schools in Karachi and trained. The Master Trainers then organized training programs for rest of their colleagues which were 400 in number. AKES, P has the privilege to train the biggest number of participants through this Course. Organizing training for almost 400 participants was a big challenge. Lots of arrangement and plans were developed to facilitate almost 400 teachers to participate in the training. The challenge became more daunting in the light of the fact that all computer labs were going through the major up-gradation process, initiated by the management.
The training provided an excellent opportunity to the teachers to enhance their own technological skills as well as to broaden their horizon for integrating technology in the on-going process of students’ learning in various subject areas. Teachers got several new ideas to develop technology integrated lesson plans with creativity.
After the training for all the teachers, schools were supported to develop a plan to implement TAL in its full force. All the schools developed a schedule for their teachers to provide all the teachers an opportunity to implement their learning from this course and their previous learning about TBL in their classes. Following are a few models which have been tried out in the schools. A shift from one model to another was made on the basis of implementation experience and reflection of teachers, computer teachers and school management.
Fixed timetable for each class was abandoned.
Each teacher was asked to develop a technology based lesson plan with the help of Master Trainers.
Computer teachers developed a timetable for the teachers and teachers were asked to implement their lesson in those particular periods.
Since three computer labs were changed to the capacity of 20 students at a time to provide one computer to each child, all the lessons were implemented twice for a class of 40 students.
After two months implementation, a detailed review of the implementation experience was performed. Feedback was gathered through formal surveys and data was collected by observing classes and talking to computer teachers.
There was a lot of enthusiasm amongst teachers to plan and deliver technology-based lessons.
Students were very enthusiastic when they participated in the activities.
Slow learners took great interest and were extremely motivated.
In primary classes, there was no swapping / rescheduling carried out. The teachers took students to the computer labs during their own periods.
Colorful presentations made learning more interesting.
Some of the plans were implemented in combination i.e. Intel Education trained teachers worked with non-Intel education trained teachers and delivered the lesson collaboratively.
In some activity-based lessons, the computer skills of the students were also enhanced.
Conceptual understanding of the students was cleared when the lessons were delivered using technology.
The coordination between computer instructors and teachers was excellent and various adjustments due to power failures were carried out effectively
Implementation of the Intel Teach Program in the Aga Khan schools has been one of the highest in the country. What has worked is the collaboration between all teachers, principals and administrators involved, all of whom have displayed a strong commitment and enthusiasm to empower students with the latest knowledge and skills.