In collaboration with the Department of Education, Himachal Pradesh Supported by ShikshaLokam, Kaivalya Education Foundation and Google.org
The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns saw a major shift from conventional chalk -talk teaching models to the emergence of digital technology support for teachers and students. Educational technology, which is a systematic and organized process of applying modern technology to improve the quality of education, has become even more crucial in these times.
The National Education Policy (2020) emphasizes on digital enablement of teachers and states that ‘teachers require suitable training and development to be effective online educators.’ It cannot be assumed that a good teacher in a traditional classroom can perform similarly in a digital set up. Apart from that the NEP also suggests that teachers should undergo rigorous training in learner-centric pedagogy and on how to become high-quality online content creators using online teaching platforms and tools. Therefore, to act upon the strong need for a system where teachers are leveraging technology and tools to blend instruction to children and engage with parents, ‘Digi-Saksham’ program was launched in Himachal Pradesh.
The Digi-Saksham’ program is a program to enable teacher educators and teachers with digital capabilities, processes and tools to deliver quality education. The program aims to upskill teachers and enable them with digital capabilities, processes and tools that help them facilitate high impact distance learning and thus create new learning opportunities for children. Moreover, It aims at strengthening institutions at state and district level in harnessing the potential of technology and its better utilization in the teaching-learning process inside classrooms by developing a cadre of Master Teachers with digital competencies.
Around December 2020, a new capability called to conduct assessments and surveys was added to Diksha - the National Education Platform by MoE. The Diksha Survey is an app for school leaders and teachers to lead surveys, observations and school assessments. It enables them to conduct frequent observations and surveys easily and offers access to data in the form of easy dashboards to make informed decisions.
Himachal Pradesh becomes the first state in the country to pilot the Diksha Survey App by conducting a baseline of competencies for digital teaching-learning. Diksha Survey capability has enabled 12 districts of the state to run such an intensive capacity building program at scale.
The objective of the program is :
1. Developing cadre of 1200 MTs to reskill teachers and enable them with digital capabilities, processes and tools that help them facilitate high impact distance learning
2. Enabling 30,000+ teachers to create and facilitate engaging online and distance learning experiences and blended learning once schools reopen. 3. Enabling teachers on concepts of emotional Intelligence and managing self 4. Developing digital capabilities of D.El.Ed students in DIETs
5. Developing basic digital skills of ECCE teachers/anganwadi workers Journey So Far Around 160 Master Teachers (Cohort A) across 7 districts completed 46 hours of learning. They have covered modules related to platforms for Conducting Virtual Meeting/Classes, DIKSHA Learning App and Diksha Survey App – orientation and onboarding, Story based virtual/distance classroom, emotional Intelligence and how it helps in enhancing student learning and developing growth mindset in students.
Moreover, the MTs also completed three online courses on Diksha, namely:
1. Technology ke saath sikhna-sikhana (Use of technology in learning and teaching)
2. Ghar sikhne ka sansadhan (Resources for learning from home)
3. Vikassheel Maansikta (Growth mindset)
MTs also shared their experience and how their improved digital skills have enabled them to enable teachers and eventually benefit students.
Shikha Sharma, State Coordinator of Samagra Shiksha in Himachal Pradesh said, "The program curriculum is very well designed and we are getting excellent feedback from the MTs. "
Indira Bhushan, Master Teacher, Chamba, said that she learnt a lot about virtual/distance classrooms through Google Meet. “Little did I know that this training would help me reach out to the children at home so easily,” she said.
As a pilot, the DIKSHA Survey also received good feedback from over 57 percent of Master Teachers with respect to its utility in context of Teacher Training. In terms of experience of submitting a baseline survey on Diksha Survey App, 48% of the MTs also rated it the highest. Moreover, 35% of the MT’s felt that it is feasible to use the app for doing surveys and assessments on a large scale.
Thus, this program has been successfully enabling teacher educators and teachers digitally for impactful online/remote and blended learning. These training workshops with the MTs will further help in capturing the voice of the stakeholders and address the challenges through the DIKSHA Survey app.