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Mohd Faran Shamsi, Head, eLearning & IT Training, CMS: Technology a boon in this crisis

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Mohd Faran Shamsi

In these difficult times, we at City Montessori School are making the best use of technology to ensure that students’ learning does not stop. Rapidly bringing the world’s largest school fully online, ensuring digital learning for 57,000 students by 2,500 teachers, has been no easy feat. We are making every possible effort to not let the studies of students suffer while also adhering to our social responsibility to maintain social distancing. It has become a challenge for us to keep our students engaged in studies, but under the guidance of our Director of Strategy, Mr Roshan Gandhi, in CMS we are making use of multiple applications including Google Classroom, Khan Academy, Zoom App, Google Hangout, Tata ClassEdge, and more in order to overcome this challenge.

As it started to become clear that a full school and societal shutdown would be necessary, the CMS eLearning Department rapidly mobilised all IT personnel across CMS’s 18 schools to become well-trained in the use of these applications, and through this ‘train the trainer’ model they in turn were able to rapidly impart training to all the teachers (who had already been recipients of ongoing CMS IT training throughout the preceding years, and were therefore already reasonably tech-savvy). This prompt action taken just in time has made it possible to ensure that the studies of students are not hampered.

Teachers are conducting online classes for students from home using these applications, where concepts are explained to students and their doubts are clarified as well. This is done through the online giving and receiving of assignments, and also some live online classes too through video conferencing apps. The CMS IT team is on hand for constant support from their homes throughout this process, to ensure that there are no technical setbacks and to act as a communication channel between parents, students, and teachers. Even Physical Education is being provided to students by the means of these apps, keeping in mind the importance of physical and mental fitness of a student. I appreciate the effort of every teacher and IT team member working from home, who are constantly putting in their best efforts in these difficult times.

Technology has been a boon for CMS at this time. Students have the freedom to communicate with teachers and learning has become a fun process for them. No stone is left unturned while conducting the online classes so as to impart the finest education to all the students and bring out the best in them. Teachers have even prepared certain assessments to test the knowledge of their students and monitor their learning. This process keeps every CMS student engaged and we are able to make the most of students’ precious time. As rightly said and implemented, “the show must go on” and “work is worship.”

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