Now, the students and teachers alike are increasingly and critically using FOSS elements/softwares as an aide or learning tools at our LTSP powerhouse in Bijra. Specifically, KDE Edutainment package, project gutenburg etc. are practical examples of such aides. The students use KBruch to do mental maths, KGeography to brush up their geography and simultaneously these made the teachers’ life lot easier.
But there is a problem. There are **no** maps of India in the kgeography, let apart the state & city maps. Now, in simple terms, a techie geek in general needs no geography but the students need to learn the same. So a typical solution would be a geeky write-up how to add maps adapted from the KGeography Handbook for their aid. Initially, I even made such an attempt: Insight into KGeography. As Indranil Dasgupta posted, “It was fairly good! And it was also just plain WRONG! If we wanted the experiment to get the geography and history and language and science teachers to collaborate, really scale, then we needed to speak in THEIR terms, and NOT speak __to__ them in our language.”
So following the pedagogy in OLPC which housed a collaborative activity-oriented approach, we tried an “activity oriented approach“. So, instead of talking tech to a geography teacher regarding XML layouts and all, we can actually discuss with them in terms of drawing maps, colouring them, adding them and creating questions and interactive activities around the maps with which they are already familiar with. Well, in this case I re-made the entire stuff and ended up with a sort of draft presentation “Lets’ add the map of India in KGeography“.
The whole idea is to present the tech thingy in a more structured, focussed and digestable format to get the much needed things done. Thus this activity oriented approach has double advantages, the students not only gets to learn much more about their subjects using FOSS elements but also gets to know the technical aspects. Also ultimately in this way we get a far bigger community todo more n’ more stuffs!!
So please put up your comments, suggestions for improvements regarding
this and brickbats if any
Photo set: Bijra High School Project