Springdales Pusa Celebrating Success in Rome

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Simmi Kher

Coordinator India
Tony Blair Faith Foundation

Springdales school in Pusa Road, New Delhi, India was selected by the International Jury to take part in the Mondialogo Symposium in Rome, Italy from 4 to 7 November 2006. Springdales was selected with its partner team from Königin Kathariana Stift, a school in Stuttgart, Germany as one of 25 finalists representing 50 most committed teams from 2600 schools of 137 countries  in this year’s Mondialogo School contest. It was the only school to be selected from India. The contest, initiated by Daimler Chrysler and UNESCO in 2003 is the world’s largest global contest on international dialogue.

Its aim is to encourage dialogue between students from different cultures, paired with each other to work on a joint project. The cooperation is intended to develop understanding, tolerance and friendship between people with different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds. The use of creative and innovative approaches to different topics was one factor influencing the selection of the finalist teams, as well as the intensity of dialogue between them.

The school’s team included students Sainyam Gautam, Priyanka Grover, Supriya Malik, Aakash Lamba, Uday Vir singh, Arjun Bhandari, Pankaj Jindal, Dhruv Gupta, Esha Kher, Suryanshu Prakash and the coordinating teacher was Simmi Kher.

The winners were selected by an international panel of judges, which includes Jean Ping (Gabon), Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola (Japan), Vigdis Finnbogadottir (Iceland), Mounir Bouchenaki (Algeria) and Lourdes Arizpe (Mexico).

The Mondialogo Symposium programme included many opportu-nities for intercultural dialogue and a tour of the sights of Rome. The symposium brought members of these teams together to discuss the importance of intercultural exchange in a series of workshops and debates.

Digital Learning ‘Power School Award 2007’

Digital Learning has also introduced the Digital Learning Awards in 2006. In 2007, we are introducing the ‘Power School’ award for best practice in ICT-enabled education in schools. Digital Learning would run this campaign from January 2007 to July 2007 to select the best school in ICT in education in India. An eminent group of experts would serve as jury members to select the best schools. These schools would be awarded at the Digital Learning India 2007 Conference, to be held in August in New Delhi.

Schools are the drivers of ICT-enabled education for children. While the government has funded the integration of ICTs for learning and teaching in government schools, several private schools have taken the lead in enhancing learning outcomes of students through ICTs. These schools have innovated in training their teachers, engaging students and using innovate multimedia content for teaching.  While their endeavours have met with mixed results, these initiatives have definitely build hopes and encouraged educators and teachers to explore newer ways for utilising the immense potential of ICTs for educating their students.

Digital Learning has encouraged schools and teachers to share their experience in ICT-enabled education. The responsibilities of the educators and teachers have increased manifold in ICT-enabled learning environments- administrator, facilitator, technical support and evaluator, and many of them have taken up this challenge and are leading their schools to show the way for the others.

Digital Learning salutes these schools and their teachers and school principals who are providing leadership in taking teaching and learning through ICTs to a different level.

In the last six months (since the ‘school track’ section has been introduced in this publication), Jeffry Thomas, Academic Technology Coordinator, Woodstock school, Dehradun, Simmi Kher, IT coordinator, Springdales School, Pusa Road, New Delhi, Dr Lalit Modak, Biotechnology Teacher in Delhi Public School, Vasundhara, Annie Koshi, Principal, St. Mary’s School, New Delhi, Divya Jishi, Deputy Director, DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi have shared their schools’ activities in ICT-enabled education. In sharing their stories, these schools have taken the lead in knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer learning between schools and teachers and are also emerging as front-runners in ICT-enabled education.

We invite schools, which may be at various stages for ICT-enabled teaching and learning to share their stories with Digital Learning. We invite you to build your network of peers in other schools who have invested and initiate ICT-enabled education.

We invite schools to share their experience in ICT-enabled education in schools. Please also look out for more details on how to apply for this award in the Digital Learning website
Till then, Happy reading!

Digital Learning ‘Innovation 2006’ Award was given for the innovative ‘Camera school programme’ in Udaipur district of Rajasthan in India, which was implemented to reduce teacher absenteeism in schools. Cameras, the simplest form of ICTs, were provided to single-teacher schools run by Seva Mandir, a not-for-profit organization in Rajasthan. These tamper-proof cameras have shown how to improve teacher attendance by keeping record of entry and exit hour snaps of the teachers in schools with the students.

Cambridge University Press ties up with RiiiT to promote ICT education for schools throughout South Asia

RiiiT conceptualised a unique innovative ICT Education for K-12 and is named as IT Kids. IT Kids is a special package of teaching material, to assist students and teachers in honing ICT Skills.

Cambridge University Press, impressed with the concept of IT-Kids joined hands with RiiiT for publishing, distribution and marketing to cover rest of India as well as the whole of South Asia.

IT-Kids has been successfully tried and tested in Karnataka. RiiT not only provide end-to-end ICT education to schools but also provide ICT solution for school Administration and training teachers on ICT. In stage-1, the child and teacher is supported with conventional books; in stage-2 digital aid is being provided, where in the teacher is supported with classroom presentation, workshops/seminars, orientation programs, session plans, In stage-3, Computers based tutorial and online crossword puzzle, quizzes, memory games, animations & walkthroughs. In stage-4, e-learning content is provided with more through images, audio, simulation and multimedia.

‘Emotion software’ spots distracted students

Tutoring software that knows when students’ are losing interest in a lesson and can adjust to keep them on track is being tested by researchers in China and UK.

The system keeps track of students’ attention by measuring physical signs of emotion. It then varies the speed and content of a lesson based on an assessment of their level of interest. Ultimately, it could improve electronic tutoring, say the researchers, thus helping developing countries deliver education to remote areas that lack educational institutions.
To use the new learning software, a student wears a ring fitted with sensors that monitor heart rate, blood pressure and changes in electrical resistance caused by perspiration. This data is transmitted via Bluetooth to a computer that assesses the wearer’s emotional state. It judges if they are interested and keeping up or bored and struggling.
For example, it can slow down or change topic if a student seems disinterested, or appears to be falling behind. The software might also try a different mode of delivery, switching from text to video. It can also learn that certain types of material are more stressful to the student than others. This could help the system determine which material is most difficult for a student and requires further focus.

Students from NE States steal the show

School students from the north-eastern Indian states stole the thunder at the finals of a digital art competition conducted by software training major NIIT at the “Kidex” exhibition of Confederation of Indian Industry at Chennai Convention Centre. The winners in all three categories — sub-junior, junior and senior — were from the north and some of them were from Meghalaya and Assam. Some of the winners, such as Bhargob Gogoi and Tanya Gupta from Uttar Pradesh, were flown into Chennai by the organisers only on the previous day of the event and were visiting the city for the first time

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