The Government of Meghalaya has started an online learning portal in collaboration with CR projects for classes KG to X to ensure continuity in students’ studies even as they are faced with an inability to carry out normal learning activities in a school/classroom environment.
The platform features a robust system for communication, collaboration and sharing of digital contents which allows access for schools, teachers and students to ensure as per the table below:
|Seamless and free online classes||uploading of video lessons by teachers||Interactive learning process and communication between Teacher and Student|
|Syllabus wise class lessons||Student evaluation||Prometric tests|
|Anywhere anytime access to study materials||Downloadable Content||Availability of Mobile App( Android and IOS)|
Registration with the e-learning portal is free for everyone to encourage participation of schools from all over Meghalaya. This is one option to permit accessibility to study material, necessary instruction and most important, to assure students that their teachers are within reach. The portal can be easily accessed on a desktop, laptop, tablet and even a smartphone.
At present, 33 Schools have been registered with CR School platform. Total App Users - 18168; Total Students – 12252; Total Teachers - 783.
On the 27th April 2020, the Department of Education, Government of Meghalaya, announced the pilot launch of the e-scholar portal https://niceinfotech.co.in. Through this platform digital content developed for secondary level under Supporting Human Capital Development in Meghalaya Project was aimed at SHCDM project schools. However access has now been given to all secondary and higher secondary schools to aid in their studies during the pandemic. This portal has content for all subjects with the exception of MIL. An emphasis has been stressed on the availability of comprehensive and interactive study material, multimedia, reference books, in tandem with the MBOSE Syllabus. Other resources such as Articles, Assessment Tools will be added subsequently. The Department is ensuring that schools are made aware regarding this through the Meghalaya School Improvement Programme, State and District teams. As of 8th May 2020, more than 3500 students throughout the state have registered with the e-scholar portal.
The free online course for teachers was initiated as soon as COVID 19 lockdown started as there was no reliable mechanism for teachers to connect with their learners to ensure learning takes place at home. Teachers had to rely on WhatsApp Groups, sending assignments on SMS and connecting with their students through platforms like Zoom, google classroom, etc. Even though the efforts of teachers were highly commendable, it was observed that there were few gaps especially in the structuring of content and an absence of robust assessment strategies. Further, even the very well produced e-learning resources brought out by teachers lacked alignment with learning outcomes and in many cases did not address learning objectives adequately. As a result the MSIP team from the DERT decided to offer a free online course to help teachers in the following aspects:
The course was initially targeted at only the MSIP Schools as teachers have been capacitated in using learning outcomes. However due to the sudden surge in online enrolments, the DERT had to start two teacher cohorts with the capacity of 250 enrolments each. A sizable number of teachers (289) registered and this experience has revealed the existing divide and the need to shift to large scale ICT infusion in schools.
The Education department, Government of Meghalaya has also signed an MoU with DDK Shillong and AIR for broadcasting lessons to students designed by the department and focus on hard spots of the school curriculum. Students can tune in to AIR Shillong , Tura or Jowai for these lectures.
In addition to the various efforts of the government, some school teachers have improvised during the current lockdown situation and are using social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram and other online video-hosting services to deliver resources and assignments to students.
Case Story – Mr. Aibantiplang Rynjah, a teacher in Mawkhar Christian Higher Secondary School, Shillong has taken it upon himself the responsibility of imparting knowledge to students during the ongoing covid-19 lockdown by launching a YouTube channel entitled Minot Thop after failing in his effort to start with a website for this purpose due to the high cost for server space. He effectively took advantage of YouTube being a platform viewed particularly by the younger generation and utilized it to share video lessons on important concepts of Mathematics and Physics at secondary level education.
The DERT is currently working with Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) from the different districts for content creation, curriculum mapping, sharing unit & lesson plans etc. The Learning Outcomes documents (elementary & secondary) have been coded and an adjusted school syllabus is currently being finalized with the different PLCs. Apart from this PLCs are identifying all LOs to be covered through Inquiry Based Learning and Direct Instruction. All this is being done through online mode.The DERT has trained and is working with a pool of 25 teachers and have created 120 audio and 617 video e-learning resources for Remote Learning.The DERT Studio is also producing Masterclasses by the best teachers in various subjects which are then telecast in DDK, YouTube and shared through offline mode.On the anvil are sharing of Unit and Lesson Plans through resource pooling under the Meghalaya School Improvement Program (MSIP) & PLCs.