Teachers of city schools are familiarising themselves with interesting software that help students learn poems by turning them into catchy song, or take them on a virtual tour of the universe.
With several schools bringing in technology to make classrooms more interactive and entertaining, teachers too are being trained on software that can help them maximize the benefit. “It is necessary that students are interested in what is being taught in the class,” said Seema Dinesh, a science teacher at Children’s Academy, Kandivli.
Dinesh attended a training programme in the United Kingdom in April, where she learned about the use of digital games in classroom teaching, which she is now hoping to implement with her students. “There are several digital games based on scientific principles. We will soon use a game where students can learn the concept of simple machines as shown by a virtual robot,” she said.
City principals were introduced to several new software in a technology workshop conducted by Microsoft Corporation — a US-based computer software industry — on June 13 at Children’s Academy, Kandivli.
Apart from using it to aid learning, principles are also keen on employing technology to simplify teachers’ work. “Software such as the Math worksheet generator, which can create a questionnaire with as many as 100 maths problems under two minutes, will reduce the burden on teachers to a great extent,” said Nafisa Bhinderwala, principal of Children’s Academy, Kandivli. “We are training teachers to use this software, and will begin using it next month,” she added.
“The most inspiring aspect is that the software are user-friendly and can be used by anyone since they are free,” said Ranjana Chaudhary, principal, KES International School, Khar.
Some of the software and tools that are part of Microsoft Learning Suite, a collection of tools, are Songsmith, which creates a tune for poems or mulitiplication tables, to help memorise them, and Photosynth, which creates three-dimensional diagrams and photos. Other interesting ones are World-wide, which gives a virtual tour of the universe and Skydrive, which uses cloud computing to help teachers share documents and collaborate with each other.
However, technical glitches have posed a problem in the implementation of these new software. “We have been using a software to help students learn computer applications better, but the lack of technical support has been bothering us,” said Lalitha Hariharan, principal, Rizvi Springfield High School, Bandra. “For the proper use of technology, it is necessary that there is adequate back-up to handle frequent technical snags,” she added.