As Alan Moore has rightly quoted -“Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.” We would like to extend it by adding - "Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it, under any circumstances."
With this unprecedented event that has affected the world, the industrial and the educational sector has taken the worst hit. Especially in a developing country like India, where education mostly relies on the student-teacher interactions as opposed to the virtual methods, this pandemic demands reinvention of the conventional teaching methods for schools.
George Siemen's learning theory of Connectivism, has already been implemented in different forms of MOOC platforms for students. However for school going kids in India, this is the first time wherein the lectures are being conducted online. Likewise for most teachers, this is a completely new struggle altogether. With the virtual classrooms, they now need to improvise on new methods which would help them teach effectively. The lack of know-how of using simple digital tools, adds to the amount of time which needs to be invested by teachers behind every lecture.
With inTUITION, we aim to simplify this virtual teaching-learning process with a minimalistic, easy-to-use software application.
What it does
inTUITION is a teaching-learning platform that offers the opportunity for the students and teachers alike to continue with the learning process irrespective of the current physical conditions. The driving force behind this idea was social-distancing.
Teachers are currently not aware of the wide spectrum of facilities available online which ease their task of teaching. Our web-based platform also provides an inbuilt training module which familiarizes teachers/educators/mentors with basic tools for virtual classrooms. With this feature we aim to overcome the primitive problem of digital illiteracy amongst teachers.
Challenges we ran into
Currently, there are several products available freely or with premium which offers a wide range of tools from which the teachers are adapting as the day passes. Our major challenge here lies in finding the most essential tools needed and guide the teachers through one single platform. Another challenge is empowering the teachers so that they are self-reliable in creation of virtual content. Finally, we also need to address these features keeping in mind teachers from different age groups as well as teachers teaching different age groups.
Sitting in our homes, communicating virtually and trying to develop a web-based application is in itself a challenging task. However, this setup enabled us understand the gravity of the situation and also helped us experience the problems which our educators might be facing presently.
What we learned
Through our research we came to know that many teachers are not confident enough to make use of the virtual platforms for their needs. We also discovered that majority of them are not tech-savvy and would prefer a simple, user friendly platform for teaching online.
Also interactive learning sessions are crucial for effective transfer of knowledge in an eLearning course. This encourages learners to interact with the teacher and each other as opposed to passive listening. Thus allowing students to engage more and above all extract more from the course.
What's next for inTUITION
Enabling teachers to use virtual platforms for their sessions is a process which will require new features every now and then. We plan on introducing enhancements like timetable generator for teachers which will help them to map their content to the respective classes. We are also looking into the offline content repository that will make the content available for students after the session is concluded. Lastly, with its own social media page, inTUITION hopes to better connect with teachers socially and take their feedbacks and suggestions to groom itself in the future.