IT@School Project

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IT@School Project
Itschool.png
Abbreviation IT@School
Formation 2001
Type Government Agency
Legal status Active
Headquarters Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Executive Director
K.Anvar Sadath[1]
Parent organization
Department of General and Higher Education (Kerala)
Affiliations VICTERS
Website itschool.gov.in

The IT@School Project, is an information technology project under the Department of General Education, Government of Kerala in India.[2] Launched in 2001, the Project has remodeled conventional teaching methodologies in classrooms through the use of IT.[citation needed] The project is being implemented in over 12,000 schools in the state of Kerala, and also in schools in Mahé, Lakshadweep and the Middle East which follow the state syllabus. An estimated 5 million students and 200,000 teachers are now part of this project, which has a network of 160 "master trainers" and 5600 school IT co-ordinators statewide, who are school teachers themselves. The project also conducts specialized training for visually challenged teachers in that state.[3] The project functions on a free software platform.

VICTERS[edit]

IT@School is the nodal agency for implementing the EDUSAT network, and runs an exclusive channel for education called VICTERS (Versatile ICT Enabled Resource for Students), which is aired from 6am to 11pm. India's epoch making first broadband network on EDUSAT for schools, "VICTERS" inaugurated by A P J Abdul Kalam, the president of India, on 28 July 2005 in Thiruvananthapuram. VICTERS offers interactive virtual classrooms that enable the school students as well as the teachers to directly communicate with the subject experts and educationists. It also ensures the dissemination of high quality education to the students and teachers from the original source. Various programmes telecast through VICTERS are as follows;

  • Padanakauthukam, Shastrakauthukam educational programmes
  • Examination oriented programme for SSLC and Plus 2 level[4]
  • Shasthramuthukal (Science programmes).
  • Vazhikaatti ( produced by the State Institute of Educational Technology)
  • Ormayile Malayalam ( Specific datewise regional programme)
  • Kerala Sree ( Produced by Department of Information & Public Relations, GOK )
  • Deutsche Welle Time ( DW Programme)
  • Pusthakangalkkoppam ( Introducing various Books)
  • Haritha Vidhyalayam (Educational reality show for schools)
  • Kadhaparayum Neram (Story telling time)
  • Mozhimuthukal ( Detailing famous quotes)
  • Drishya paadam ( produced by the State Open School)
  • Naadavismayam ( Introducing musical instruments and symphonies)
  • Innalekalile Innu ( Yesterday - Today)
  • IT for All ( Technology outlook programme for students and public)
  • Tomorrow Today (DW Programme)
  • Beyond the text ( text based programme)
  • Global Three Thousand (DW Programme)
  • Magic fingers ( tricks and plays on magic)

Animation Training Programme for Students (ANTS)[edit]

Animation training session in progress

The project provided training in animated movie making entirely based on free and open source software such as KToon, Gimp, OpenShot Video Editor and Audacity.[5][6]

Other training programmes[edit]

camera training for students
  • ICT training: Training given to familiarise the basics of operating systems and office software packages and other application software.
  • Hardware training: 3 day training programme on hardware maintenance and basic support.[7]
  • Internet training: This 20 hour training programme was given to all SITCs and interested school teachers. The trained SITC then trained all High School teachers in their school. The government also issued strict instructions that every student in Std X in the school should get at least 10 hours of internet exposure per year.
  • IT training for the visually challenged: In association with Insight scheme of Kerala State IT Mission, the Project has successfully imparted IT training using free software for teachers of special schools for visually challenged, by exclusively using free software based screen reading software named ORCA.[3]
  • Camera handling training: Two day training on camera handling was given to the teachers, enabling them to create educational videos which could be beneficial in implementing ICT enabled education.
  • Training on ICT enabled content: Specific training on ICT enabled content was provided to teachers so as to enable them to use ICT enabled content in all subjects in order to equal teachers in classroom transaction.[8]
Video conference class for English teachers

IT@School GNU/Linux[edit]

IT@School GNU/Linux is a Debian based GNU/Linux distribution that was created for the IT@School project to impart ICT education in public schools in the state. The distribution was originally developed by SPACE[9] and is currently being maintained by the internal team at IT@School project.[10]

Content Development[edit]

IT@School Project has rolled out several programmes which included the development of its own Operating System - IT@School GNU/Linux- which is now being used in all the schools in the state. Apart from this, several educational software like Dr. Geo, Rasmol, K-Tech lab, Geogebra, Chemtool, Kalzium etc. are being extensively customised by the Project in developing teacher friendly applications for facilitating complete ICT enabled education in the state. The project prepared interactive multimedia CDs, handbooks and training modules for ICT, as well as text books for IT. All content developed by the project was per the approach based on the National Curriculum Framework 2005.

FOSS initiatives[edit]

Some of the free software applications developed or customized by the Project include the following.

  1. Application software like Open office, GIMP, Dr. Geo, Rasmol, KEduca, Klab etc.
  2. Examination software – to conduct IT practical examination to more than 1.6 million students
  3. Handbook for Linux – prepared as a user manual
  4. Training modules in Linux – to train teachers in open source
  5. Textbook for standard 8th, 9th, and 10th classes– Prepared in association with SCERT
  6. ICT training programme based on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for students who require special attention
  7. ICT training to all visually challenged teachers in the state using the free software – ORCA.[11]

Public awareness[edit]

The project also engaged in organizing State-wide awareness campaign, exposing the everyday computer user to the possibilities and advantages of using Linux-based software. Resource persons of the IT@School project in these sessions, demonstrate how there is a free software alternative to each and every computer application that an average user requires on a daily basis.[12]

E-governance[edit]

IT@School project implemented several e-governance initiatives in the state. The major e-governance initiatives are the single window admission system and the online transfer and posting of technical assistance to teachers. The online transfer and posting of teachers benefits 60,000 teachers in the state. Some of the other e-governance initiatives of the project include the noon meal distribution computerization, youth festival software, pre-metric scholarship online, centralised online text book intend system, implementation of "Service Payroll Administrative Repository for Kerala" (SPARK) within the general education department, total physical fitness programme software, etc.

Implementation of SPARK[edit]

The "Service Payroll Administrative Repository for Kerala" (SPARK) is a program of Department of Information Technology (DIT) of the state's government for digitizing the service book details of all employees of the state so that the database could be used for the decision makers and to ensure the welfare of the employees. Through this process implemented by the Project, details of as much as 72,256 service books from 2266 schools were entered in the database. Currently[when?] 107 schools use this software to generate the monthly salary bills of teachers and staff.

Total Physical Fitness Programme software[edit]

The "Total Physical Fitness Programme" software manages fitness details of 30 lakh students are available for further action.

Schoolwiki[edit]

Schoolwiki, modelled on Wikipedia, attempts to foster the culture of collaborative learning in Kerala’s schools. The portal at www.schoolwiki.in provides a comprehensive knowledge database of all schools in the state. The innovative portal include the learning outcomes of students derived from group activities as well as various educational contents prepared by the teacher groups. This collaborative website is completely prepared in Malayalam.

All high schools in the state include their educational contents and other details in their allotted space. Each school would be able to enter details such as basic elementary data, their historical references, statistics, infrastructure details, details of alumni, school websites and blogs, various clubs and forums, class magazines, supporting images and videos. Apart from these contents, analytical language projects such as “Pradeshika patram – [school newsletter]”, “Nadodi Vijnanakoshan – [Local Encyclopedia]” and “Ente Nadu- [My Village]”, which are part of learning Malayalam language, would also be entrusted to all students in Std 8, 9 and 10 respectively, which, under the guidance of language teachers, would be completed and the reports and findings would enrich the knowledge base of Schoolwiki. Schoolwiki also features an “ICT Learning Corner”, which include the various contents prepared by schools for all subjects in ICT enabled education. By facilitating the students to access and modify all contents in Schoolwiki, the project also ensures the participation of the general public including school alumni.[13]

Awards[edit]

  • National e-governance award for the best project in 2005
  • E-India award - 2008[14]
  • World is Open Award 2008[15]
  • Open Document Format Alliance Award 2009[16]
  • Kerala state e-governance award 2010
  • Stockholm Challenge awards 2010- honorable mention in the education category[17]
  • 'ANTS' got an eINDIA 2011 award under the best skill development initiatives of the year 2011

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IT@School Contact Page". 
  2. ^ "IT@SCHOOL PROJECT". General Education Department, Government of Kerala. 2010-04-16. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  3. ^ a b IT@School initiative lauded. The Hindu (2011-09-19). Retrieved on 2015-04-21.
  4. ^ SSLC Results 2017
  5. ^ "IT@School Animation Training for Students". 
  6. ^ IT@School attempts a record. The Hindu (2011-09-05). Retrieved on 2015-04-21.
  7. ^ Hardware clinics for school computers. The Hindu (2008-09-03). Retrieved on 2015-04-21.
  8. ^ IT's a great success here. Deccanherald.com (2011-05-26). Retrieved on 2015-04-21.
  9. ^ "Free as in Freedom: The Story of Free Software in Kerala, India". swatantryam.blogspot.in. Retrieved 2016-07-31. 
  10. ^ "Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Education–IT@ School Project, Kerala, Region of India". Retrieved 2016-07-31. 
  11. ^ FOSS-Based ICT training for Kerala students. Efytimes.com (2011-11-03). Retrieved on 2015-04-21.
  12. ^ News Archives. The Hindu. Retrieved on 2015-04-21.
  13. ^ School wiki getting ready for launch. The Hindu (2009-10-29). Retrieved on 2015-04-21.
  14. ^ IT@School bags national award. The Hindu (2008-08-04). Retrieved on 2015-04-21.
  15. ^ http://theworldisopen.in/index.php?option=com_phocagallery&view=category&id=1&Itemid=113&limitstart=20
  16. ^ http://www.odfalliance.org/blog/index.php/site/2009/05/
  17. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120425030823/http://www.stockholmchallenge.org/project/2010/itschool-project-programme-ict-interventions-schools-kerala-india. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

IT@School project to upgrade infrastructure in schools

External links[edit]