The Indian Express | Priyanka Sahoo | Mumbai | November 11, 2016 |
THE Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, (IIT-B) is planning to set up a first-of-its-kind centre of excellence to train teachers across the nation on how to integrate technology in their teaching. Through a combination of online and offline learning methodologies, the institute plans to extend its existing teacher training programmes to over hundred million teachers. The institute, which has already trained around 1.5 lakh engineering college teachers through its ‘Train 10,000 Teachers (T10KT)’ programme, now aims to extend the training to teachers from schools, colleges and vocational training institutes. The proposal to build a ‘Centre of Excellence for Online and Blended Learning and Educational Outreach’ was tabled in an alumni meet held last month to invite financial contributions. The estimated budget to establish the centre is around Rs 100 crore. While the other teacher training models of the institute are funded by the MHRD, the IIT-B has sought financial aid from its alumni association to set up the centre. The proposed centre will have three wings. While the research wing will conduct research in the field of education technology, the innovation wing will implement the research findings through projects.
The outreach wing will conduct massive teacher training programmes through a combination of methodologies. “We have been providing training to teachers of engineering colleges since 2009. With our experience, we feel there is scope to extend the training to teachers from schools, high schools, and Industrial Training Institutes,” said Deepak Phatak, professor in the computer science and engineering department. He said the centre will mimic the T10KT — a four-week model where teachers are taught through pre-recorded videos, live-streamed lectures from the IIT-B, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and workshops. Phatak, who has been spearheading the T10KT and other projects launched under the MHRD’s National Mission on Education Technology through ICT, said there was an urgent need to improve the skills and teaching methodologies of teachers, particularly in remote locations. “The teachers don’t have to physically come to Mumbai for the training, they can complete part of the training at home and part of it at the nearest remote centre,” said Phatak. The teachers will also be evaluated throughout the training process. The centre will be beneficial for teachers in rural areas, said Sandeep Gund, a primary school teacher in Pashtepada in Thane district. He, however, pointed out that many teachers in rural India do not have access to internet or gadgets. “Such a training course will be beneficial only if access to technology increases,” said Gund. – Courtesy