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Whiteboards take over blackboards

- East Singhbhum keen on digital learning model for govt schools, but inadequate power a hitch

Jamshedpur, Aug. 18: A digital learning experience, that replaces the age-old blackboard with a whiteboard on which lessons are projected, was set up at yet another local school today, its efficacy and interactive nature prompting the East Singhbhum education officer to explore ways of introducing the method in government schools.

Tata Interactive Systems, a division of Tata Industries Limited, installed the new technology, Tata Interactive Classedge (TIC), at Baridih High School. It is already in use at Jusco South Park, AIWC Academy of Excellence and Narbheram Hansraj English School.

Explaining its working, business development manager Daman Chandra Das said there were two sections to TIC — classroom and staff room.

In each classroom, they would have to install audio systems, projectors and interactive whiteboards that would be linked to the staff room section where teachers would have the option of planning their lessons for a week, month or even an entire academic year

Each school that adopts the technology would have a server which in turn would be connected with the main server of Tata Interactive Systems.

In the TIC technology, lessons, or contents, are developed by a team from the company based on specific requirements of a school keeping in mind the syllabus they follow namely, CBSE, ICSE or Jharkhand Academic Council.

These lessons are preloaded and beamed through the projector onto the interactive whiteboard that is connected to a computer. Teachers and students are able to control the computer using their fingers or a stylus.

East Singhbhum district education officer (DEO) Tulsi Das, who was present at Baridih school today, liked what he saw. He held talks with company representatives to discuss ways of introducing the concept in government schools.

“The e-learning method which I witnessed at Baridih High School not only helps students grasp concepts more easily but makes studies interactive and interesting. It also helps teachers plan their lessons in advance,” Das said.

He said he would be able to sanction funds to the tune of Rs 1 lakh for high schools to benefit from the technology.

“It will be a win-win situation both for students and teachers,” he said, adding that the technology, once introduced, could boost the district’s pass percentage that now stood at an unimpressive 63.91.

There are 64 government high schools and 145 government aided, minority and upgraded high schools in the district. And the biggest challenge they would face while setting up such a technology was lack of electricity in remote areas.

There are around 17 high schools in the district which do not have electricity.

“Initially, we will start with those schools that are in the city areas which do not face power problem. Ideally, we will begin with Jamshedpur High School at Contractors Area in Bistupur and thereafter move to other high schools,” Das said.