Technology in Podar International School, Mumbai :A motivated leadership building creative spaces : Dr. Vandana Lulla, Podar International School

Power School

Podar International School ranked fourth amongst the best schools in the western zone, is a model school in ICT implementation with latest technology for an overall improvement in delivering quality education to all its students and nurturing an interactive teaching-learning environment. The school is an example of pro-active leadership to break the rules of traditional archaic methodology of delivering quality education. The transformation has been possible under the guidance of a motivated and enthusiastic school management which believes, it is time for introduction of technology tools for students and teaching aids for teachers in classrooms.

New age classrooms: Nurturing students for 21st century

The school has been techno savvy right from start. There are no Blackboards in the classes. The school boasts of an interactive whiteboard in each classroom – a facility for all students, from kindergarten to senior secondary classes. The StarBoard, an interactive white board allows students and teachers to make notes, save lessons plans, conduct assessment tests and deliver class presentations. The school has installed Visualiser, in all the science labs. The tool enlarges and scales up the specimens with magnification power upto 200% the original size. It aids in teaching science concepts that require attention on minute details and makes subject live and interactive. The ICT lab has computers and laptops for all students to learn and research on assigned topics. The library has a workstation with 150 computers with WiFi connection. The teachers regularly use them to research on their subject and get information on their assigned syllabus. The school has had a robust school information management system for the past four years and has all its students-teachers records on electronic format. The school has recently launched SMS systems for parent-teacher interactions, wherein the parents are informed about the attendance and performance of the students’ alongwith regular SMS alerts of circulars.

The Interactive Whiteboard – ‘Starboard’ has transformed the way students learn in the classroom at Podar School. Its presence in each classroom gives each student access to the latest technology in learning using technology. Young students enjoy drawing activities and confidently make their presentations on the software. As the software can directly link up to the Internet, so the teachers open the wide world of information on line using images and videos to explain difficult concepts of science and other subjects. They then save their work reports, assignments and projects on the Starboard, as the software has the option to folder the entire syllabus and curriculum that is to be taught for a particular class. The advantage of the repository lies in the ability to upgrade the teaching resource material each year. This also eliminates the loss of teaching resources if a teacher becomes absent or leaves the school, as the new teacher can just reach out to the relevant folders and start from the same point where the previous teacher had left. This saves a lot of time for the teacher and the school in delivering classes.

The whiteboard also provides the facility of paper-free tests and assignments using the software, as the students respond to each question using a remote control and the software captures their answers and evaluates them at the end of the test. This feature relives the teachers of checking answer sheets – a paper-less assessment methodology is done in each classroom.

The school has been conducting the School Council elections on Starboard in the recent past. The candidates are introduced along with their photographs and the voting happens using the remote control, the software then processes the data and generates results.

The technology component has been a facility offered by the school since its establishment, with computer labs since its initial years backed by an equipped IT support team. So whenever the monitor doesn’t power up, the teacher need not push the panic button

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