We met with seven teachers, including Ashish, Salar, and Divya, at the boys’ high school today to brainstorm ideas about how to introduce computer literacy education to the students there. The following are my notes from the meeting:

  • Class size
    • 9th – 340
    • 10th – 200
    • 11th – 100 (64 taking physics)
    • 12th – 150 (76 taking physics)
  • 50% of 10th grade students will drop out after board exams
  • English skills
    • Stats
      • In 9th & 10th grades, 25-30% have good English skills
      • Only 11th and 12th grade students know enough English to work a computer (?)
    • Students don’t know enough English to translate English-Hindi or Hindi-English
      • For homework, they memorize passages and sentences
      • For essays, they basically copy passages from their textbooks
  • Subject structure
    • One textbook and workbook for each subject
    • One year is just right to get through all of that
  • Teaching ideas
    • Who to teach?
      • First discussed teaching only 11th and 12th grades because they have better English skills
      • Typing skills can be taught to all grades
      • Can also type in Word in Hindi or English
    • New period
      • Take 5 minutes from each class (right now, periods are 40 minutes – make them 35)
      • Using that time, create new period for dedicated computer class
    • Research project
      • Pick small topic
      • Write 5-6 pages on it
      • Possibly pick the 10 most interested students
      • Prepare in style of Ashish’s thesis
    • Typing skills
      • English – software
      • Hindi
        • Typing book belonging to one of the teachers
        • There are teachers who are totally fluent in Hindi typing
      • Can be taught to all grades
    • Computer lab open hours
      • Future plans: network the computers and get all the students their own accounts
    • School website
      • Find way to learn HTML
    • Teach teachers first, then students
    • Get on the Internet!!
    • Can use to look up exam results, print admit cards, etc.
  • Administrative ideas
    • Because it’s an Excellence school, a lot of the whole town’s school-related administrative work comes here
    • Knowing how to use email, scanner would be really helpful in sending documents to other places (right now they’re mailed)
      • Set up teachers with own email addresses
    • Keeping marks sheets in Excel, instead of by hand

We also visited the girls’ high school, to work with three male teachers. As with the women teachers and the girls’ high school students, we started off with basic formatting techniques in Word. The biggest piece of news that I’ve received all week was that apparently broadband was brought to Bijawar a few days ago; one of the teachers was planning on having the principal fill out the form to bring it to their school. This is something we should look into for the boys’ high school as well.