Guru Nanak National High School located at Sion in Mumbai has been one of the first schools of its kind (PPP model) to have integrated technology in classrooms for its students. Today we spoke to Geeta Ma’am, teacher of Zaya Class at Guru Nanak High School. Geeta Ma’am found her passion for teaching while in college and has a wide teaching experience of over 20 years. Excerpts from our conversation today-
Zaya: How long have you been taking Zaya classes here at Guru Nanak? Tell us about your experience using Zaya program?
Geeta Ma’am: I have been taking Zaya classes for the past 2 months for grades 1-5. The experience has been interesting so far. Though it`s a short time, I have seen that children are excited doing something other than listening to the teacher and they always look forward to the class. We see some of the highest attendance on the day of Zaya class, there are hardly any students who choose to remain absent on that day.
Zaya: As a teacher I’m sure you’ve faced your share of challenges with student learning. Has our solutions helped you overcome any of this?
Geeta Ma’am: Some children learn fast and others learn at a slower rate. So it’s difficult to attend to the needs of all the students at once. Through the Zaya platform we can keep track of which students need special attention and extra classes are arranged for these students during free lectures.
As the program has multiple level of practise tests, students find it challenging to keep progressing and crossing the next level. Also as a teacher it is difficult to give feedback for every question, but the software does this very well so it saves my time and also keeps children engaged.
Zaya: What have you noticed has been the impact on the students so far? Give us one example?
Geeta Ma’am: I have seen maximum progress in the higher grades 4 and 5. Students look forward to the arithmetic class and we have seen that participation has increased in the class. Students are very eager to learn new things through the videos.
Students from grades 1-3 usually take a lot of time to get acquainted with the tablet devices. A lot of these students lack basic English reading skills, but there is a considerable amount of progress. Students now know the difference of ‘I’ and ‘You’ thanks to the fun videos on the platform. Now if I ask a question in class, students answer in English and also explain to me the meaning of concepts they learnt during the class.
Students are very attentive in the class and do not disrupt the session at all which usually is not the case with a normal class. Other teachers have started pointing this out to me, which is very amusing!
Zaya: What has been your challenges with using our platform in your class?
Some of the challenges that I have faced is that some students tend to get bored if the content is not very engaging. For fast learners this can be a challenge. So I need to be involved in this process of teaching and engaging with students too. I earlier thought that technology will take care of everything but I now realize that my role as a teacher is equally important in the process.
Zaya: How have the parents reacted to the progress of the students in your class?
Geeta Ma’am: There have been no negative reactions till now as most parents still don’t know or understand this program. But students eagerly introduce me to their parents ‘as their Zaya teacher’. We need to educate parents on what is being done in the class.
Zaya: What is that one message you would like to give to the teachers about the importance of tech in classrooms?
Geeta Ma’am: Technology is good. Once the child is used to it, it really helps learning. Children are very eager to learn through technology. Everyone, especially the teachers should give it a try with their students. The best part is seeing a smile on the students` faces in class when they are learning something new on the tablet.
We thank you Geeta Ma’am for your time and effort to bring about a change in your students` lives . Your success is our success. Thank you!
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