Case #2: Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) and EDC T4 in India
By Reynir Winnan

Many schools in developing areas, like India, have strategies that involve media in education. The heaviest usage of ICT in India’s education system has been for teacher training or distance learning. Distance learning was embraced to help overcome spatial and social barriers that frequently present themselves in India’s educational system. However, like many other countries, India puts a prime emphasis on better teachers, and has experimented with ways to train teachers in ICT for their own improvement.

While the government is involved in creating initiatives that encourage media use, it is outside organizations that provide tools and structure. One involved school administration is Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS). KVS trains teachers to more effectively use the ICT infrastructure in schools. This particular initiative has been aided by “interventions from Corporate Social Responsibility divisions of IT companies such as Microsoft Corporation, Intel Corporation, and Oracle.[1]”

Project Shiksha (which means “knowledge”) was started by Microsoft, and designed to provide training for teachers, and monitor the effectiveness when the new lessons they developed were used in classrooms. The program focuses mainly on helping teachers learn how to use presentation material for the lesson content. To evaluate the teachers, Microsoft set up a program where a representative visits the schools to review the teachers and their progress.

The Intel Education Initiative partnered with KVS to use a similar program, but working with government designated SMART schools. First, Intel organized “leadership forums” for principals, where they can gain some insight from Intel, and from each other, on how to best use the technological infrastructure for teaching. The Intel Teach Program sought to provide training like that available in Shiksha, while providing online resources, where teachers could download material like lesson plans, for free. The access allowed Intel to help KVS design new curricula.

The Education Development Center, introduced Technology Tools for Teaching and Training (T4). The T4 strategy is to use both Institutional and Individualistic approaches to offer a wider range of “solutions” in the teaching field. T4 utilizes instruction “in the field,” and workshops that bring teachers together to train, and discuss methods, the ideal result being, teachers collaborating and using new ideas to form a new learning experience.[2]

Another company, Oracle (via, created a project involving the option for kids to create websites and projects, and interact with other kids around the world. This is more along the lines of the Individualistic approach, which we discuss later.

One of the biggest obstacles to starting these projects in the first place is distrust of technology—especially by teachers who believe ICT is a replacement for teachers. These programs seek to address this by working with teachers, rather than the students, first. Their hope is to convince teachers that ICT has enormous potential, can be ver
new teaching methods with Intel.jpg
New teaching methods with Intel. (Source: Intel Teach Photo Gallery, click image for link)
y efficient, and that good teachers are still a major part of education.

Post-implementation, these projects run into a problem that seems to an afterthought for these companies, especially considering the emphasis India is placing on a universal education system: The lack of consistency that these programs unintentionally promote. The training revolves around helping teachers to use technology effectively, but the teacher decides on the final structure of a lesson plan, so there will be an enormous amount of variation. Even the programs themselves—similar as they may be—are not universal, and there are no guidelines for “quality” content. Microsoft has taken a step in the right direction by trying to establish a team to follow up and evaluate, but this is an issue that must be addressed for these programs to gain any presence in a country that is determined to universalize their education system.

[1] Survey of ICTs for Education in India and South Asia, Country Studies. Published by Pricewaterhouse Coopers. 2009
[2] Annual Report. Technology Tools for Teaching and Training. Education Development Center. 2010.

Video Source: Microsoft Video Gallery

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