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Learning to Learn Digitally

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Ashish Arora, Vice President, Publishing and Digital, Cambridge University Press

Ashish Arora, Vice President, Publishing and Digital, Cambridge University Press

A one of its kind digital learning solution, comprising of books and learning resources on a tablet, Cambridge University Press has launched Cambridge Learn, which will transform teaching and learning for teachers and students. Ashish Arora, Vice President, Publishing and Digital, Cambridge University Press, India, in an interaction with Bhawna Satsangi of Elets News Network (ENN) throws light on the digital solution designed to engage students in a better way

Please throw light on Cambridge Learn and how is it beneficial in developing skills of students?

Cambridge Learn gives us an opportunity to look at learning in a better way. It acts like an ecosystem of collaborative learning. It’s a maiden attempt, in a way, a vision to fill the gap. It is first of its kind digital solution which uses technology to deliver digital learning ecosystem in a classroom. We have high quality Cambridge content which is for IB related schools across various levels. Collaboration is the key so it is a tablet-based solution. Every student will have one device and the beauty of the solution is that it is device-agnostic. It will work in apple ipad, android as well as windows operating system.

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Whether the school is equipped or not with the infrastructure, we are ready to give the solution. Every student will have a digital textbook enhanced with learning objects which will help the student in learning in a better and easier way. There is a management and classroom component to help the teachers, parents and students.

Is the content in sync with the syllabus of the school?

Yes, it is a complete teaching and learning programme that would enable the introduction and optimum use of technology in the classroom. Cambridge International Examination in International Board (IB) is in sync with the endorsed textbooks which are available.

echnology to deliver digital learningDo you also provide any teacher training programme?

We provide a teacher training programme that helps them understand the tool. We also give teachers training on how to teach with the solution. The solution offers lot of tools for personalisation and enables teachers to give specific and customised instructions to students because not two students are alike. It is very important that the differentiated instructions are given which caters to their different learning capabilities. There’s a simple and powerful learning management system in place where teachers can add on the content, their PowerPoint presentation, or their references and they can then share it with students also. The teachers are thoroughly trained, we do lot of hand holding to the extent that what kind of questions students can ask or the parents. The idea of training is to empower teachers.

What is the time duration of teacher training programme?

Two days of teacher training programme take place at the school. We do a medial review and evaluate how well the technology has been used and what are the difficulties they face, what are the good things, how it makes a difference. So, training is a continuous process and again we are available on call to support them. After the schools have adopted the solution, it is a very big responsibility for us to support them in whatever manner we can.

Which schools have adopted the Cambridge learn solution?

Podar International School has adopted this solution. It’s a group of seven schools and at present, there are around 800 subscriptions done across all chains. The response has been very encouraging and they are one of the early adopters of technology.

Should schools be infrastructure ready to adopt the Cambridge Learn solution?

Certain percentage of schools are infra wise best tech oriented. With the micro -level schools which have decent server, LAN connectivity, internet connectivity, projectors, Wi-Fi for a classroom management solution, the solution is deployed in a local server which is sent to the cloud, so you don’t have to necessarily connect with the internet always. In a local area network, a child tablet or a teacher tablet can connect to the local server which then syncs with the cloud. When a child goes home, he can connect to the internet so that everytime the system is in sync.

There are less number of International Board schools in India. What is the roadmap you have developed to achieve the targets?

This is just a start. We are also working on a solution for CBSE market which we will be launching shortly this year. As a starting point, the IB schools are the early adopters of technology. So, we made a system that can be used for betterment of the students. Even before implementing the solution, we did quite a few pilots, took the feedback and then made the product. The CBSE solution will have collaborative learning and personalised learning and the stakeholders will be students, parents and teachers. Since it is a different market place, the solution will be different from Cambridge Learn.

What actual road-map are you planning to develop?

We are focusing on doing further pilots, marketing communication, reaching out to schools, lining up the pilots. Let the schools experience the solutions first and then the implementation of the solutions will be done.

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