New Learning’s Updates

E-Learning in Resource-Constrained Indian Schools: A Go-Fund-Me-Campaign

Help Rita van Haren and the Sterlite Foundation — working together to develop new models and practices for the introduction of quality e-learning in under-privileged schools in India.

With the support of Common Ground Research Networks, Rita van Haren and the Sterlite Foundation have just commenced a one year pilot, using CGScholar to teach English in a school in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Indian governments fund teachers’ salaries and provide uniforms, textbooks, and daily meals for students aged 6-14 in public schools. With over 1.2 million schools in India, there is limited funding for other learning resources, including computers. The aim of the project is to create a model for low-cost technology use in government schools with severely limited resources. This means designing learning where one computer is shared by five or six students.

Rita van Haren volunteered her time to train the Indian teachers to use CGScholar, collaboratively design and document learning modules based on the Rajasthan curriculum with the teachers, and to introduce CGScholar to a class of students in grade 5. The learning designs use a blended learning approach where students engage in face-to-face group activities to practice speaking English, and then work online in CGScholar to develop their English writing skills. The starting point is always the students’ first language of Hindi, gradually moving to using English more and more.

At the beginning of the project, there were only four old second-hand desktops in the computer lab, but none of them worked. The first lessons using laptops newly introduced for this project involved groups of six or seven learners sharing one computer. Nevertheless, as the photos show, the Class V students became totally engaged. They only stopped because it was home time!

CGScholar Interventions, in Australia and India

After three weeks in India, Rita returned to work at a primary school in Australia, teaching writing to grade 3-6 students, using CGScholar. What a contrast to the class in Jaipur! All students have their own laptop and collaborate effectively online and in face-to-face interactions. It motivated her to start a fundraiser to purchase four more laptops so that the Jaipur project can move forward.

Tracing a pedagogical transformation, from this (above), to this (next)...

Please check out the Go Fund Me web appeal.

All donations, no matter how small are welcomed. The photos show just how much impact this fundraiser will have on the students in Jaipur. We plan to publish a report on the project later in 2020.

  • Laura Beatriz Vidal Turrubiates
  • Rita van Haren