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A typical Indian classroom is highly heterogeneous with students of varying learning levels. This can be attributed to a number of reasons, including the no detention policy of the Right to Education Act. There is a huge mismatch between a child’s school grade and actual learning level, making it impossible for a single teacher to cater to all students. In addition, teachers may not have the pedagogical tools to correctly diagnose the learning level of a child and are inadequately prepared to tailor their teaching accordingly. While teachers are still needed, they can be supported by technology to cater to the diversity of learning styles, speed and choice with consistent quality on all days and at all times.
The Nalanda Project is an in-class technology intervention that empowers students to take charge of their learning and allows teachers to efficiently deliver classroom instruction. Nalanda has partnered with open source content providers like Khan Academy Lite and MagoGenie to equip math classrooms with curricula-aligned content on low-cost individual tablets, allowing students to learn at their own pace in an offline system. The teachers employ Nalanda through a rotation model, where for at least 80 minutes each week, every student uses the tablet to practice and apply what he/she has learnt in class. During this period, the teacher acts as a facilitator, enabling students to learn independently while still offering personalised support. The program also provides teachers with training and support on how to blend technology with their traditional classroom practice. It helps teachers track and analyse student data, which allows them to customise time and teaching to each student. Nalanda’s high-quality content, data tracking, and one-to-one student-to-tablet ratio enables seamless differentiation and self-paced learning, consequentially bridging the learning gap in the students.