Damahana is a village which has some historical significance by virtue of the fact that it belongs to the region where the world famous primitive 'Balangoda Man; better known as 'Balangoda Manawaya' was discovered. The Mahawalathanna plateau and the Damahana village merge to form a picturesque site.
Damahana Maha Vidyalaya is an outstanding e-village school in Balangoda, seven kilometers away from the town. The students of the school have done excellent things to the village, through their knowledge in Information Technology We have created an e-village foundation named
"Oasis Damahana Foundation"
and have designed their own Bogs to get foreign funds for higher education of poor village students. We are maintaining a "Hardware and Network Solution Team" which attends to both Hardware and Software free repairs. The well qualified IT teacher of the school Mr. .M.W Bandara is the pioneer of the impressive achievement.
We achieved a great victory at the "ICT Excellency Award" contest, which was organized through the "Secondary Education Modernization Project" by the Ministry of Education in 2009. We obtained second place in the province and placed 9th in all Island stage. As a result, we were able to win a cash prize of 2.15 million for the school. We also bagged 1st place at the All Island Productivity Awards competition in 2011.
The village leaders' eyes were turned to Damahana village in 1949 to develop and improve the knowledge and moral characters of their children. As the result; Ven. Panana Wimalawansa Thero and some of village chiefs took the leadership to head the task .A chief of the village W A. Punchimahaththaya contributed a plot of his land to build a school for the poor ; children. Today a lot of impressive buildings have come up at the school. Now almost 63 years later the school is shining with its academic success as well as the IT achievements. The reins of the school are in the hands of Mr. H.M. Senevirathna and nearly 45 teachers are providing quality education to more than 700 students.
When we talk about the Modern Technology, the major issue confronting rural areas of Sri Lanka is the transfer of technology to these regions. It creates barriers and setbacks which is a distinct disadvantage in the modern education.
Damahana, a village that is situated in Ratnapura district too faced the same problem. In an attempt to address this problem, an e-village Unit was established at the Damahana Maha Vidyalaya under the guidance and supervision of the Ministry of Education, the National ICT agencies and the of Presidential Secretariat. This project brought major revolutions in the academic field as well as changed the life styles of village students. And at the same time, or at the correct time Intel® Teach program cam to the school and it boosted the teaching learning process to the highest level of the area. With the guidance of the Intel® Education team, school computer center is used to learning and teaching activities s in the school hours. During the evenings and nighttime the same center were given to youths, parents and elders to practice ICT knowledge. It was became an ICT center to the village.
The school is well equipped with all IT facilities, to strengthen its' infrastructure and has been able to connect all classrooms through their "Wi-Fi" zone. We started using internet for their explorations in education. As a result, we gradually improved in their public examinations. According to G.G.E. (0/L) examination results from 2011, we have improved quite a lot. Presently more than 65% have got through the examinations.
E-Village team member master W.W. Ruwan Priyantha has proved that he is able to do well in society. He won a bronze medal at the All Island New Inventors' competition in 2011.He presented a ruling machine at the Exhibition which was organized by the Ministry of Education and the New Inventors Club.
Balangoda Damahana M.V. is a very enthusiastic school. The Oasis Damahana Foundation conducts ICT classes and English classes to educate weak students as well as villagers. Moreover, we conduct awareness programs for villagers to improve their knowledge of farming and marketing.
Our vision is to
"improve ICT & Language skills to overcome challenges of the village community"
lives. The principal, staff, students and parents Endeavour to bring an authentic vision to the area.
Mr. M.W. Bandara
Bordering the historical Sinharaja Rain Forest, the one and only natural rainforest of Sri Lanka, Rambuka Maha Vidyalaya is situated in Kalawana Education Division of Nivithigala Education Zone. The ICT usage with e-village activities brought the school not only to the national level but also to the international level.
More than a century back, the school was inaugurated in 1896 as a village primary school. Nonetheless, now with nearly 1000 students and 33 teachers, it has flagged its name with dignity. The present principal is Mr. T. G. Karunarathna and the deputy principal Mr. Y. A. Jayathilake. They are the huge pillars behind this great e-village school.
With the help of them dedicated staff, Rambuka M.V. has improved a lot in their curricular and extracurricular activities during these years. Yearly the students of grade 5 gradually improved in the grade five scholarship examinations. -Recently, the school has been showing very good academic records in G.C.E. (O/L) and G.C.E. (A/L) examinations. Yearly they have been enjoying more than 60% of G.G.E. (O/L) results, They teach Arts and Commerce for G.C.E. (A/L) and each year several students have entered the Universities.
In ICT usage, Rambuka MV is at the top among the schools of Sabaragamuwa Province. The computer unit was established in 2004. Since then the students of this school have submitted more than 500 CD's for the computer software competitions and was placed first in the province. Since 2009 they have been taking All Island second and third places.
The e-village is the other successful unit, which has enabled them to compete with leading schools. Under the EKSP project organized by the Education Ministry, Rambuka MV was baptized and facilitated as an e-village school in 2009. Not only the students but also the whole e-village has been benefiting through this programme. The students have created their own blogs to join their hand with so many local and foreign associations to develop the village. They have been organizing many charitable activities and the result they obtained enabled them to build three houses for the poor village families.
|Mr. H. M Wijewardana is the pioneer behind all these successes as the sectional in-charge and he won "Soorya Lanka Award" in 2009 for his valuable services for the society. Mr. Wijerathne is young and highly dedicated teacher and he spend almost 12 hours every day with the school to share his experience with the students. In 2010, Mr. Wejewardana got a chance to participate for Intel® Teach program at Sumana Balika M.V., Rathnapura. Hence he had done many ICT trainings before, initially he thought Intel® teach also be a waste of time. However, end of 8 day training he was empowered with 21st century learning and teaching concepts and many resources. In addition, as a new motivated teacher. He spread his usage of ICT and technology through the school and village.|
Mr. H.M. Wejewardana - Master In-charge ICT
Because of the work done by the skillful students and helpful staff, Rambuka M.V. received 20 Intel® Powered CMPCs. Adding more value to the CMPCs, Sabaragamuwa Provincial EKSP grant them with a Wi-Fi zone, covering the whole school area. This was the first Wi-Fi zone in the area. With more mobility, students used the CMPCs to enhance their knowledge.
The e-village team has organized an English Unit to conduct English classes to improve the worldwide language among villagers. They have been training student from 6 am, hours before the school commence. They converse with foreign schools through a webpage http://rambuka-english.Ning.Com. Teachers coming from various schools help to educate these students. Also in October 2012, they will be organizing a great event that will bring nearly 20 foreign students from 15 countries for a social programme.
The Media Unit is another amazing area whereof Rambuka M.V. has shone. It was handed over to the school in 2005 and they have named it as “Nipuna School Video Team". There are 20 members in this team and have been trained to video events by using a professional mini DV camera. They use the school computer lab to edit the captured video clips. They have been giving coverage to most of the provincial educational programs.
|In 2008, this media Unit was able to get a professional training at Sri Lanka Television Training Institute (SLTTl)on the advice of the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa. They have participated in many programs such as “Dayata Kirula” and INFOTEL, 2011.|
Rambuka M.V. is an amazing E-Village school which has obtained most of the facilities and credits by their own students.
Interview with Hon. Minister and the secretary of MoE at INFOTEL 2011
- Media Unit
SB/KG/DEHI/Sirisaman Madya Maha Vidyalaya, Dehiowita.
It is a leading mix school in Kegalle District, Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka. With a current student population of over 1300 from Grade 6 to GCE Advanced Level.
On 14th September 2009 to 21st September 2009 we participated the Intel® Teach program held at SB/KG/DEHI/Thalduwa Buddhist M.V. During the Intel® Teach program we learnt lot of things as they introduce to lessons plan effectively and more organized approach. Teachers developed software and teaching tools to help them put on a successful lesson, from start to finish Intel teach program introduce how to create Power point presentation, Web page, Leaflet, notes and others, As a handy tool to help teachers and students, construct a fair assignment also.
That was an important training program in the teaching learning process. Where was first introduced how to find correct information to the teaching learning process and then how it present to the students creatively and attractively. Students very much interested in computer. So this program introduces a new way to apply teacher’s computer skill in teaching process. At the end of this Intel® Teach program teachers discuss new ideas for future plans (how to plan a lesion creatively and attractively) and the possibility of starting a lesson effectively.
After the eight days Intel teach program we trained 40 teachers successfully within our school. We divided 40 teachers in to four groups and then gave time frame for them. According to that time frame after the school we got four hours from the teachers and gave our support for them.
We faced a lot of challenges as we conduct the Intel® Teach program, there ware resources problems. The main problem was the old computers that we had. Our computer lab was built in 2003, eight years back. There were not any “UPS” for any machine. Because of that, we had to face lot of interruptions during our training. Our Internet connection was very slow. However, after we started the training not all these issues were strong enough to stop our teachers form using the available resources. They spent as much they can and use the available resources in very efficient manner.
Here we have to remind our past principal Mr. S. P. Gunawardane. He gave his full support for this program. He asked all the teachers to get this training and give its benefits and opportunities for the students. According to his advice we started this Intel teach program and we were able to train 40 teachers effectively. All teachers participated for this program actively, they did not consider about any disturbances. They helped us to overcome those problems and conduct this program effectively. With the principal and all the teachers’ contributions, we conducted the program successfully.
We trained 40 teachers. It was a remarkable turning point in our school history. With short period of time, usage of technology became a usual habit in classroom teaching and learning process. Even though we do not have lot of recourses, we use what we had in very effective manner. Hence we trained more than 40 teachers, in July 2011, our school was named as a High
with Intel® Teach program. It was great honor to all of us in SiriSaman MV.
Our teachers actively participated for the Intel teach program. These pictures show some of them in action.
Mr. S.E.M. Rathnayake & Mr. M.D.S. Dissanayake
SB/KG/DEHI/Sirisaman Madya Maha Vidyalaya,
Intel Teacher Training in Chavakachcheri Ladies College, Chavakachcheri, Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
By- Sivanangai Uruththiramoorthy- Chavakachcheri Ladies College
"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." -Malcolm Forbes
Chavakachcheri Ladies College was started on 14.01.1952 at Chavakachcheri Zone in Jaffna, Northern Province, Sri Lanka with 14 students and 3 teachers by former Parliament member Mr. Veluppillai Kumarasamy. Schools first principal was Miss Balampikai Kanakasabai and motto 'Shine on' continues with the colors of "Blue and white". In 1993, school was upgrade as an AB Type school. Now it is consists of more than 1000 students (both girls and boys) from grade 1 to 13 with Advanced level Science, Math’s, Commerce and Art streams.
In February 2010, Miss.S.Balananthini and I were able to participate for the Intel Teach program at J/Driberg College, Chavakachcheri, Jaffna. This program was conducted by the Master Trainers Mr.Rukshan Edirisinghe and Mr.S.Mugunthan. Even though I am a subject teacher, I have been using computer for Internet and social media for some time. After 8 days with Intel Teach Program, it helps me to use IT effectively in the classroom. From this program, we gained more simplified teaching ideas like:
On the last day, we got Intel binders and CDs for our school staff teachers. Miss.S.Balananthini and I started the training on 24.03.2010. We conducted it after the school hours from 2.00pm to 4.00pm whenever possible and some Saturdays from 9.00am to 1.00pm. The Program was finished on 26.05.2010. However, by their own will participants continued their work in their free times to work more on their websites and brochures.
Twenty teachers were involved in the program very enthusiastically.
1. Mr. K. Shrikaneshan
11. Mrs. S. Vinothini
2. Mrs. B. Sivakumaran
12. Mrs. T. Sivaramachchandran
3. Mrs. N. Suthamathy
13. Mrs. S. Sritharan
4. Mrs. R. Kuganeswaran
14. Mrs. J. Balachchandran
5. Mrs. S. Arulrani
15. Miss. V. Mannivannan
6. Miss. S. Sasikala
16. Mrs. P. Pirabaskaran
7. Mrs. K. Chandrabalan
17. Mrs. V. Indrakumar
8. Mrs. P. Mangaleswaran
18. Mrs. S. Thevarajah
9. Miss. A. Yogarani
19. Miss. V. Logathaxsha
10. Mrs. G. Sivapalan
20. Mrs. V. Subas Chandrabose
After our Training at the schools, most of our teachers explained their success with the computers and what they learnt for the training. According to them for the first time in their teaching life, they learnt:
How to prepare the lesson Plan more effectively and easily,
New techniques and teaching skills using 5E model,
Utilizes essential questions and vast ideas to direct instructional design decisions,
Encourages working in teams,
Participate in peer review of our units,
Introducing technology tools in the classroom
Strategies for enhancing learning through research, communication, productivity and assessment.
Now our teachers uses PBL to make their students learn. Teachers have identified that they should help students to learn. Not only in Education side, also our teachers realized how easy is to make advance ICT features like brochures, websites & blogs. Now they are enjoying ICT.
Mrs.S.Sivanathan, our school principal encouraged us very much to carryout the trainings. She made necessary arrangements and gave permission to conduct the training. Every time she tracked the progress and the difficulties. She motivated us in many ways and arranged refreshments for the teachers during the trainings.
After the training, our teachers were improved by technology skills and promoted higher-order thinking. Now they explore the use of online thinking tools in unit planning. They implement teaching strategies very effectively and try to develop 21st century skills in their students. Most teachers are now highly engaged with students and help them to communicate their understanding in complex concepts.
Mrs S. Uruthiramoorthy
M.Ed, BSC, BA, PGDE,
Screen captures from our teacher brochures and websites
The new educational reforms implemented in the year’07 in Sri Lanka, through the Intel Initiatives, emphasize on the ‘5E’ concept which give priority to the students in the classroom setting. They focus on improving the competencies of students through: Engagement, Explanation, Exploration, Elaboration and Evaluation.
In March'07, the Intel® Teach Program was implemented at Sri Rahula Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Malabe. Initially it faced some opposition because it changed the way teachers taught. Teachers were hesitant and not confident of their own powers of picking up new teaching skills because they were technology based. Senior teachers, honed in their expertise of classroom teaching, were even more reluctant. On the other hand some younger teachers were very keen to pick up these new skills and inculcate them into their teaching.
It was in this divided environment that the program was launched at the school. The winds of change had blown and everyone waited to see what they would bring.
To their complete delight the senior teachers found that the program did not diminish their teaching skills, only added to them. Not only that, once they became familiar with technology through the excellent training and the helpful trainers, they enjoyed learning. They were happiest, because these skills gave them new found confidence. Professionally and personally they felt they had grown.
These teachers now looked forward to teaching their students the same skills and incorporating it in their educational system. The younger teachers were very excited at trying out new and innovative learning through various technology tools.
In the classrooms the learning’s and skills acquired during the training, equipped all the teachers to effectively implement various concepts with the students. The students were then encouraged to explore the concepts on the net. The pedagogies and skills acquired during the Intel training program matched well with the '5E' concept.
The Intel Teach program equipped the teachers with relevant and useful techno-pedagogic skills. As a result, learning in the classroom became congenial and stress free, especially during the group work and pair work activities. This enabled the teacher to have students who were highly enthusiastic about their work and helped in their building positive relationship with the students.
About learning it is said “It is caught but not taught”. That is the way learning now became, acquired automatically and not forced, leading to an all round personality development of the students.
The students enjoyed the project work and it helped them to become aware of the issues surrounding them like the environment, Global warming, cleanliness and hygiene etc. They learnt to form well educated opinions through research and then to implement them into positive interaction.
As the principal of Sri Rahula Balika Maha Vidyalaya, Malabe feels," the Intel Teach program, has incorporated a completely new way of teaching through research and project based learning which has become a novel learning experience for both teachers and students".
Ms. Sandamali Wijekulasuriya of Sri Rahula Balika Vidyalaya, Malabe teaches Science at Grade 8D. She was trained under Intel Teach program. During the training, she became aware of the values of Project Based Learning, which inculcate skills such as research, gathering information, analytical and critical thinking. Impressed with such new techniques, she decided to integrate the same in her class also.
The 12 year old students were given the role of Nature Investigators and assigned the task of finding out the strength of human race and what makes it stand out from the rest of the species that live on earth. The lesson was about Adaptation.
First Ms. Sandamali explained the meaning of Adaptation to her students who were inquisitive as well as enthusiastic. To enable the children understand the meaning of adaptation and to make the concept clear, the whole class was taken to the mangrove area around the “Diyawanna Oya” where a natural environment is preserved near their school.
The naturalists observed different behaviours and movements of various animals living in that natural habitat-the way of taking food, protecting themselves from the predators and movement of animals from one place to another. The different groups analysed the features of animals that help them to eat/find food, to protect them and to move from one place to another.
They returned to the classroom and researched further on the subject by browsing the Internet and referring to books from the school library. It deepened their understanding about adaptation. There were several types of adaptations noted by the children.
Having learnt about the adaptation theory, the students investigated how human beings have become the most developed animal on Earth. There were lots of discussions in the groups and a brainstorming session took place in the class. There was an astounding change in some students who were basically shy in nature. During the project, they overcame their inhibitions and shared their views with the teacher more openly.
A brochure was also designed to explain how human beings have adapted themselves to the environment and how they are affecting the natural habitat of other animals. The brochure was circulated to the entire school. A website too was created for awareness.
After the completion of this project Sandamali observed a remarkable change in her students. The research helped the students to identify and observe characteristics in animals as well as to design brochures which created awareness in them. The Project Based Learning (PBL) helped them in planning the curriculum and to engage students as investigators. It also helped the students in relating to real-life, outside the classroom. Further, it created a learning environment where teacher was a coach or guide who facilitated deeper levels of understanding and guided students on how to work as a team. Moreover, it improved their personality, built confidence in them, improved their observational skills, motivated them to take initiatives and be proactive in the class.
Kandy, the last royal capital of Srilanka is a famous tourist spot, known for its beauty. It lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy Valley where Botanical Gardens, Royal Palace, Temple of the Tooth, including the number of recent Buddhist monasteries can be found. One of the foremost world heritage events, which attract a large number of international tourists, is undoubtedly Asela Perahera where the sacred tooth relic of the temple is taken in procession. Kandy; a charming hill resort is a tourist’s delight and a year - round tourist destination. However, people visiting this area face many problems like conveyance, accommodation and guides etc. of visiting to these places. Tourism is vital for many countries, due to the income generated by the tourists. It generates substantial economic benefits to a country like Sri Lanka.
The project named as “Heritage of Kandy” motivated the students to work together to explore the importance of the area.
The class was divided into groups and they were asked to play the roles of guides and researchers, which gave them a learning opportunity and emphasized the "real-world" side of problem. The teacher initiated them on how to play their roles and deal with the issue. It challenged the students, as they had to use a variety of skills. Students set the wheels in motion.
The teacher advocated a three-phased approach: Phase 1 involved an initial discussion of a project. The students were asked to create an action plan for their research and a schedule to follow. Phase 2 involved various aspects of gathering information by browsing the internet and referring the literature about the places they had to visit. The school also planned for the field trips along with the teachers. The groups had visited many places and gathered all the necessary details through interviews held with various people. The students also maintained a log for their research.
The final and 3rd phase of their project was to create a multimedia presentation and a brochure using the data and information gathered. Assistance of the teacher and the discussions amongst groups enabled them to create a valuable product successfully. Finally, they arranged some special programs in their school to educate and to make the audience aware of all the attractive places of Kandy, which has plenty of iteneries to offer to the tourists.
The teacher was very happy as the students were given the gift of exploration, both in practical and in theoretical ways. They worked in teams to explore real-world problems and created presentations to share what they have learned. Compared with learning solely from textbooks, this approach had many benefits for students, including: deeper knowledge of subject matter; increased self-direction and motivation; improved research and problem-solving skills. The transformation seen in the children was, 'a visible hunger to learn the new concepts.'
However, the focus of learning environment is the students’ excitement about solving a problem or addressing an issue they find meaningful. The students seemed to have enjoyed the chance to interact with people and acted out roles of guides and researchers. This project has helped the students of class 10 to reach their potential.
Water is a must for life to exist on earth. We can not think about living without water for even one day. Ms. Indika Masakoralalage of Sri Rahula Balika Vidyalaya, Malabe teaches Environmental Studies at Grade 7C. She wanted her students to identify the various uses of water, the resources of water and its characteristics.
She was trained under Intel Teach program. While on training, she found out the value of Project Based Learning and 21st century thinking skills. Impressed with such new techniques, she decided to integrate the same in her class.
The 10year olds were given the role of Health Inspectors and asked to select different areas of water usage. Each group was instructed to take an adult supervisor to help them in their data collection. One group was given the task of collecting data from households, another from the factories in the area and another from the offices close by.
Once back in class they analysed the various means of water collection, benefits to the consumers and the hazards concerning water. They researched further on water resources all around the world. It deepened their understanding about water being used as a resource. A brochure was also designed to explain the importance of water and the benefits and the diseases it carries if polluted water is used. The brochure was circulated to the entire school. A website too was created for interest groups to share information online about water as a resource.
After the completion of this project Ms. Indika observed a change in her students. They were functioning as water ambassadors informing the students in other classes about conserving water and making sure that water is used carefully in school. The research helped the students to identify and find out the benefits of clean water and how precious it is today.
Broadly speaking, Project Based Learning (PBL) helped them in planning the curriculum and to engage students as investigators. It also helped the students in relating to real-life, outside the classroom. Further, it created a learning environment where teacher was a coach or guide who facilitated deeper levels of understanding and guided students on how to work as a team. Moreover, it improved their personality, built confidence in them, improved their observational skills, motivated them to take initiatives and be proactive in the class.
"Changing all our thoughts and attitudes, Intel training has empowered me and my colleagues a lot. I support the Intel framework of 50% technology and 50% pedagogy, as I feel technology without pedagogy will lead nowhere." Mr. S. Mugunthan, Jaffna National College of Education. Sri Lanka
As one of the main hubs of producing trained teachers for Sri Lankan Education system, Jaffna NCoE has been leading the rest for last 10 years. Since 2000, Jaffna NCoE produced over 2500 prospect
ive teachers in 14 different courses. As a leading Tamil medium institute they are focusing on “to provide the Nation, through the curriculum in progress and Teachers who are dedicated and with sufficient competencies to assist children to develop their potentialities to the maximum in order to enable them become good citizen”.
|JNCoE was also a Resource Center for the In-service Training of Tamil teachers. In 2009 for the first time lectures of JNCoE were invited to Intel® Teach Program held in Dharga town NCOE, almost 550kms away from Jaffna. President announced the opportunity and although it was very tough schedule 3 lectures, Mr. Mugunthan, Mr. Balaganeshan & Mr. Gugan agreed to participate for this training,. They underwent the Intel® Teach training and joined the Master Trainer community, where they play a key role. Mugunthan says, “I feel the Intel training has empowered me a lot. I could appreciate the benefits of technology aided learning only after undergoing the training.” Balaganeshan considers that technology is a wonder tool. He has observed that the only classes children are particularly enthusiastic about, apart from entertainment!|
Mr. S. K. Yoganthan – President JNCoE
As senior lecturers of JNCoE, they want to involve in developing skills of their student teachers. While they were gaining their knowledge, they look for opportunities where they can facilitate their student teachers with technology and skillful lessons. Technology has connected JNCoE to the world. They have been in contact with many organizations through the Internet. In 2010, they received grants to build a technology based online English training center in their college. Trio grabbed the chance in style.It was a truly different experience for lecturers and students.
Mr. S. Muguntthan and his colleagues had participated several Programs about ICT, and among them, Intel® Teach which they like and feel to give some idea to school Children. So they felt to the skills and competency to be transferred through computer.
According to the anticipation of the Intel® Teach workshop, after the Intel® teach training, the above lecturers joined together 90 teacher trainees, dividing them into three groups and started the Intel® Teach workshop to the groups of students for eight days, four weekends in a month, February, 2010. The workshop for the Teacher students was conducted very successfully.
Then Intel® Teach gave many opportunities to conduct workshop at schools in Jaffna. In this regard, Mr. S. Muguntthan, Mr. B. Balaganeshan and Mr. Gugan have successfully conducted workshop for teachers in schools and teacher educators in Jaffna National College of Education.
Intel Teach workshop to J/Chavakachcheri Driberge College
Intel Teach workshop to J/Chavakachcheri Driberge College
Intel Teach workshop at J/Manipay Hindu College
Intel® Teach workshop for Teacher Educators at Jaffna NCoE.
Resource person Mr.A.Gugan and group work for the teacher educator in Jaffna National College of Education
As we are in the 21st Century which is expected to be a paradigm shift in Education through Technology. Most of us expects this positive shift should take place by means of computer with multimedia facilities. In this regard, this College of Education involves both in Tamil medium and English medium instruction. The need of Education is to satisfy the need of the society.
So, Jaffna National College of Education conducts some special Lectures from volunteer teachers from England with the help of ‘ORU PANAI’ and ‘Hope out Reach”. They visit through Skype and conduct classes not only to English Medium courses but to Tamil Medium courses also.
Jaffna National College of Education celebrated an Educational Exhibition, from 16,17,18 and 19th September, 2010, on the eve of 10th Anniversary. During the period of exhibition, through Skype, students from various schools have participated interactive learning in English with teacher volunteers from England. Here are some snapshots of Skype class for the school children.
Students from Uduppiddy American Mission College at Skype connection
Students from Hardly College Point Pedro, Jaffna participating in online English lesson.
Now, Jaffna National College of Education is expected to do more teaching learning process by using Intel® Teach for all the subjects after having workshop to some teacher educators from Jaffna National College of Education.
For further details: www.jncoe.net
Mr. S. Mugunthan, Mr. B. Balaganeshan & Mr. A. Gugan
Teacher Educators, SLTES III, Jaffna National College of Education, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
First e-Village of Sri Lanka - Opening Doors of Opportunity
ICT’s are being used all over the world to improve the delivery of and access to education. This approach has the capacity to enhance education by increasing the efficiency with which instruction is distributed. But its benefits are accrued not just in education alone.
ICT’s have the potential of transforming lives and the capacity to cope with rapidly changing, complex, and uncertain environments. New skills and abilities can also be fostered through technological literacy providing opportunity of progress to the community.
The Damahana Maha Vidyalaya in Sabaragamuwa Province is one such prime example. From being a rural hamlet it is now a high powered WIFI enabled evillage with a lot more opportunity and equity to its people.
Under the SMEP project IT and ICT were made an integral part of school education in Sri Lanka. Encouraging progress the government also donated CLC centers and provided IT training to fifty percent of teachers from the government sector. CAL (Computer Assisted Learning) has been introduced in schools to teach other subjects and Internet facility provided to further research and learning.
Then in August 2006, a well equipped computer center was handed over to Damahana Maha Vidyalaya in Rathnapura District with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, through the Secondary Educational Modernization Project (SEMP). It consisted of twenty computers with all its accessories.
This proved to be a turning point in the sphere of education in the school and in the district. With computers and the Internet being readily available students were able to access vital and relevant information pertaining to their education. In school hours these computers were used for teaching and learning processes but after school, extra classes were encouraged so that children could pick up skills to use computers for internet exploration for information on their subjects, special online courses and for enhancement of their English language education.
A successful result of this effort was that the students were able to start their own website and even started maintaining their own blogs. The school by itself has about 180 children who are regular Bloggers and maintain their own blogs on various subjects.
This was just the beginning of the success story……
In appreciation of all the good work done by the school, the Ministry allocated to the school, 20 Intel classmate PCs to Damahana Maha Vidyalaya which were donated by Intel.
The school also received wireless internet facilities along with the laptops. This was the first time that WIFI technology had been introduced to the Sabaragamuwa Province. As a result of which the area surrounding Damahana Maha Vidyalaya also had access to WIFI technology.
The school authorities and the teachers decided to take this benefit to the community and extend their reach of impacting lives with technology.
Internet access meant that residents of the village could avail of information on the net for various purposes like medicines, for agriculture etc. They could look for job opportunities and more significantly improve their familiarity with the English language using digital technology.
They declared the school environment as a WI-FI zone with the help of the secondary educational modernization project sponsor. There was now the capacity of accessing the Internet from any place of the school garden. The WI-IF zone was built with 8 access points to cover all the school buildings.
Tremendous improvement has been seen since then. Enhancement in usage of ICT in education is foremost among these. Students enjoy the integration of technology in education and have shown greater interest than before in learning in the new environment.
More significantly, introducing technology has contributed to advancing the quality of life and awareness in the community by providing opportunities to members of the community to use the WIFI facilities.
In 2007, another revolutionary initiative was launched by the Presidential Secretariat and the IT agency. R/Damahana MV with its connected village was selected as a pilot project for setting up the first e-village in the Sabaragamuwa Province. The main objective of this project was to enhance the development process of the region by providing IT technology to the rural communities.
Hence, an e-village centre was structured and designed to function as the information provider of the rural community. The R/Damahana MV IT Learning Centre was now used to provide vital and timely information required by the community thereby contributing immensely to the rural development process.
With the help of the Centre in School a website was set us for the village which contained all the information and development activities taking place in the village. A regularly updated web-blog was also designed for this purpose. The website is www.oasisdamahana.org and the web-blog is http://oasisdamahana.wordpress.com are used actively and are also regularly updated. Besides, the community is given access to this centre to obtain any relevant information or training pertaining to IT.
To make it easier for farmers and wage earners to have regular access to the computer and internet facility, an independent ecentre was also established with the help of the R/Damahana MV.
The e-village project that commenced with R/Damahana MV as its focal point has by now developed to being a service provider that brings together various sectors of the community enhancing rural development in the process. As the first step in this direction, a CBO by the name ‘Oasisdamahana Foundation’ was formed and registered under the Social Services Act No. 31 , 1980 of the Govt. of Sri Lanka.
The elearning centre has now become a social services organization registered with the Balangoda Divisional Secretariat, bearing No. DSB/So/09/2009. This gives the organization a legal and professional status it otherwise lacked at a regional level.
In the immediate future the Foundation intends to implement a program to improve the English language skills among members of the community. Plans are underway to provide IT training to the otherwise ignored Tamils living among the community.
The Foundation is also focused on setting up a BPO with the intention of improving and increasing the employment opportunities for the youth of the community.
The WI-FI zone of Damahana Maha Vidyalaya was formally handed over to the students by the Chef Minister of Sabaragamuwa on 29th of June 2010.
What began as a small ICT integration at the school level has become a large movement. This has gained status and recognition to the region and assured a brighter future to the youth of the community who are proficient in the skills of the 21st century.
ICT integration has transformed lives and empowered communities.
Leaders for the 21st Century – Integrating ICT into Education
ICT’s are transforming schools and classrooms by bringing in new curricula based on real world problems, providing scaffolds and tools to enhance learning, giving students and teachers more opportunities for feedback and reflection, and building local and global communities that include students, teachers and parents. Students in Sri Lanka are reaping benefits of ICT integration into their educational curriculum taking on the mantle of becoming leaders for the 21st century.
Dulari Harshika Muhandiram is one such senior student of “OasisDamahana ICT Foundation”. She attributes her vision for a bright future and her success in academics to the ICT inculcation in education, which has broadened her horizon and provided her with the tools for leveraging it to her advantage.
Dulari was skilled in the usage of technology in education and during her preparation for her General Certificate of Education Advanced Level exam in 2009, was able to learn and incorporate far more and beyond the book by researching on the net. Her critical skills, sharpened by the regular use of technology enabled her to analyze and assimilate relevant material faster than others. It was a proud Dulari and an even prouder family when she managed 3 A passes.
Being adept on digital skills, Dulari started her own blog (http://dulariharshika.wordpress.com), expressing her ideas on life and the world with in a creative, fresh voice. Her enthusiasm greatly impressed her elders and it was an extremely delighted Dulari who presented with a scholarship of 1000 LKR a month. This has enabled her to enroll in the University for Further Studies, a dream she had always held in her heart.
Today she is a cheerful and happy student who aims to enhance her creativity and opportunity through use of her 21st century skills in her higher education also.
In four years Dulari will be a graduate and a degree holder. Her aim is to repay her community by working for the cause of education in the Sri Lankan society. As a successful student of her foundation she feels that the incorporation of ICT by the school at the right time provided her with the impetus she needed in her education.
As Dulari says “ICT was not just technology integration, for me it was the confidence I got in communication and critical thinking by working with groups of children on projects which we presented in front of the class, the assembly and sometimes even the parents”
Adapting this innovative way of teaching has helped students enhance their learning and enabled them with the skills of critical thinking and effective communication for the 21st century. Significantly their communication in the English language, a requisite skill in today’s world, has also improved tremendously because of the opportunity of working learning and expressing in this medium in their projects.
With the objective of uplifting ICT knowledge of the students in rural areas, the Sri Lanka Ministry of Education has also established the e-village project as a part of the secondary educational modernization project. The “OasisDamahana ICT Foundation” is the first such initiative in the Sabargamuwa province.
With a vast base of ICT and English Oasisdamahana Balangoda in Rathnapura district of Sri Lanka provides to students from rural areas skills that will carry them towards progress.
"Knowledge creation, technology, technological innovativeness, and knowledge sharing can contribute to the transformation of the education system and to sustained economic growth and social development". Robert Kozma
Lasantha Jayantha intends to open up his own Video Photography center one day called ‘Jayantha Video’. A gifted and able photographer he earns money even at a young age, taking photographs at weddings in the village. His success in adapting to multimedia, earned him an award in the Soft Ware Competition in 2008 in Sabaragamuva Province, with which he was prompted to buy a Personal computer with only a little help from his father. Today he is able to study online the one course he has passion for – video editing and animation. He maintains a personal web blog and is earning quite a reputation for himself as a budding entrepreneur.
Lasantha Jayantha Peellawaththais owns his success to the of Oasisdamahaha ICT Foundation, where he is a senior student. He was given his basic ICT knowledge after joining the foundation. His training made him adept at internet skills and more than that fascinated him to explore the internet for learning how to use other multimedia skills.
Thanks to the support of his teachers he was able to continue pursuing his budding interest in animation and video editing and also balance his academic pursuits. Using the video camera of a relation he proudly earns about 8000-12000 LKR per month for his shooting films of peoples weddings and other important functions.
While there are many research studies which reveal the benefits and gains of enhanced motivation and creativity that can be achieved by students, teachers and administrators when confronted by the new learning environments, Lasantha Jayantha is an epitome of the success of ICT integration in education.
“This generation will be known not by how much you know but how much you are willing to learn, unlearn and relearn”
The school of Kg/Wara/Niwatuwa Maha Vidyalaya, Sri Lanka, has been known for its progressive attitude. Situated in the hilly area of the Kegalle district and Niwatuwa it lies in the picturesque but backward and rural village of the Warakapola division. Four kilometers away from the nearest town in the past it was very difficult terrain to travel, lacking these facilities most children of the village didn’t attend school because of the distance.
In 1921, a school was started here when a kind hearted Mr. W.L. David Appuhamy donated a piece of land to establish a school in this rural environment. There was only a cadjan thatched hut in the beginning with only one teacher and 4 girls but over the years the school has grown from strength to strength. With its progressive attitude and positive approach by 1952 when the school had two permanent buildings it became a mixed school and then was promoted to a Maha Vidyalaya in 1967 when another building was constructed. Today it has classes from grade one to thirteen, the largest playground in the Warakapola division and 87% of its students qualify for university entrances.
Early on in 2002 when they got a multi media unit as a resource, Mr. W. Geethananda the present Principal of the school realized the need of providing students digital literacy in the changing world. He also understood that for his students to succeed in the global economy they had to train their teachers with digital skills so that they could further teach their students. In keeping with the progressive attitude of the school he introduced the Intel Teach program for his teachers.
Over the years all the teachers of the school have been trained on the program. Today they are capable of inculcating in the students not only technological literacy but thanks to regular enhancement workshops are competent to teach students the skills of collaboration, critical thinking and communication essential skills which they require to be leaders of the 21st century.
At each step, by adapting to suit the needs of its students, the school has in its rural setting becoming a paradigm for providing competencies to match those in any part of the world.
All their teachers after their Teach program training use the computer for the teaching learning process. It has enhanced their teaching greatly and improved the standard of the student learning and retention. The school has introduced computer courses for school leavers as well as for the students of our school. Most of the 300 students use the computer for their studies. A large number of its students have passed the G.C.E. O/L examination and are studying for opportunities ahead.
The school is a shining beacon in what it has been able to achieve. Despite the challenges of its rural setting and limited resources it is today competing with all schools in the cities.
The students are capable of working efficiently with technology and showcasing their work with powerful multimedia presentations. The teachers because of the constant professional enhancement feel very confident and proud to be able to provide opportunities to their children that they would get in the cities.
Today, the school is collaborating to provide the students skilled training in science and technology so that they can not only be successful for themselves but use their skills to work for the welfare of their community.
"One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things."
ICT has added more colors to a child’s rainbow making education varied and beautiful. But to get the child to be able to access these colors we need to enable our teachers with the power to use this technology as a part of their teaching and guide the students to the opportunities open to them.
As a Master Trainer of Intel from Sri Lanka, I have had the opportunity to see this change come about by being a part of the change.
|ICT use has today become all pervasive in our daily lives. ICT use has also developed in the educational sector and education has become more interactive and far more interesting than before. Training all teachers on ICT has become even more important to provide equitable opportunities to all. The effect of this training being evident in the way education is being imparted to students and the paradigm shift that has come about in the confidence level of the teachers as they feel more empowered and professionally far better equipped.|
The Navodya School in the rural area of Hemmathagama, in Mawanella education zone, is one such school. The ‘Intel teacher training’ in the school has opened up new avenues for students and teachers. Although I have had the experience in training hundreds of teachers, the experience that I gained when I trained 39 teachers on Intel teacher training was quite different.
Mr. M.T.M Aslam Sajah Center Manager
Throughout the program the content made the teachers stay enthusiastic and very active in group work and discussions. Since the course was a full time one for the required duration, the teachers were able to incorporate what they learned in the course into their teaching methodologies and even got practice on how to bring about a change. Back in school they eagerly employed these changes in their teaching in class and are now trained to incorporate technology to all aspects and subjects of their curriculum.
The Teach program has motivated the teachers to pursue further avenues also and today most of our teachers from the school have completed the CAL, ICDL, ICT, GIT, IPICT and e-learning courses. The training has given our teachers a different experience and the strength to teach the lesson using Information and communication technology.
The teaching - learning process has also been greatly enhanced for the teachers and the students. The students who are the benefactors of the change find new resources open to them and have learnt how to use them for themselves and for the good of the community. Gifted students find new challenges open to them while those who need a little more space and time are able to understand and pace themselves out better.
The Computer Learning Center (CLC) is today buzzing with activities, like a new life in the system and we owe it to the Intel Teach program.
I believe and pray that this empowerment reaches all teachers in Sri Lanka to make teaching and education more progressive and qualitative.
We need to replicate in the classroom the world in which students are living.
If we teach today the way we were taught yesterday we aren't preparing students for today or tomorrow.
By M. T. M. Aslam Sajah Center Manager, Computer Learning Center, Kg/Mw/Al-Azhar, M.V., Hemmathagama
A success story by Miss Visaka Lindakumbura, St. Anthony’s Girls’ College, Kandy Sri Lanka
Often creativity is lost in marking copies and disciplining the students. Then, even when you want to reach out to the students you don’t know how to.
That was the story of my life. An enthusiastic teacher at St. Anthony’s Girls’ College in Kandy, I had started my career with stars in my eyes on how to be a role model teacher.
I was one for a while, but then over the years the cutting edge started to blunt. In the midst of activities in school and books to be marked I wasn’t being able to reach out to children.
That is when my principal nominated me and two other teachers for the Intel Teach Training Program. I had often thought of enrolling myself in one such computer program but though all these programs taught a variety of things I to do on the computer none of them taught me how to enhance my teaching using technology.
As I entered the class for the first session of the Teach Program albeit slightly reluctantly and definitely very cynically, the trainer was discussing Blooms Taxonomy. Pleasantly surprised, it took me right back to my days of training as a teacher. I listened and soon found myself interested and responsive despite my initial drawbacks.
We discussed the theoretical aspects of teaching and how technology could help improve the teaching and learning process. It was fascinating; we were not learning computer programs but how to use these various programs to make teaching more efficacious.
In the preceding classes we recalled how students retained best by doing things through projects. Confronted by a fast paced changing world, projects made by the students of today needed to incorporate a lot of research that were made easier by using technology as a platform. But to make students forge ahead and to provide a platform for creativity, they needed teachers who were comfortable with this new medium of technology and were able to guide the students.
The Teach Program strengthened the content knowledge of our teaching methodology and also taught us how to assimilate technology into our lessons to reinforce project based learning.
Very soon we were adept students, keen on trying out what we were learning in our own classes. The students of our school responded very enthusiastically to our efforts to inculcate technology into the curriculum.
Our Principal, who had been our motivation behind doing this course, had also completed the Intel Teach program for Principals. She now encouraged us to become master trainers and to train the entire lot of teachers in school.
Starting on the 13th of July we trained two batches of 20 teachers each. Today our school has proudly managed to integrate technology into our curriculum, not as a subject but as a platform. The students have found project based learning very challenging and have dealt with community problems and solutions for their project work. They have learnt not only to work collaboratively but also to think critically and scientifically.
They have learnt innovative ways to showcase their work using multi media and have even bettered their communication skills. As a teacher of English Literature for A/Ls my students have created multi media presentations on Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. They were very interested in the project and I observed how they collected information from the internet and enthusiastically prepared the multi media presentation.
I am extremely grateful to Intel teach for giving us this opportunity and also very glad that it has helped me revive my interest in teaching again.
Nugawela Central College is situated in Central Province. It is an area where the concept of computers and technology was practically unheard of. Integrating technology and Project Based Learning with the involvement of students and their parents, with the support of teachers, was a challenging task as awareness about technology was low in the area.
Government Education System realized the importance of integrating information technology in the process of learning for both the teachers and students. The System aims to provide opportunities to its teachers to enhance and facilitate the process of integrating IT in their teaching practices. The year 2008, saw a new beam of light with the introduction of the Intel® Teach Program. With the help of one Master Trainer, most of the staff was trained on the Essentials Course (EC), focusing on integration of ICT in the curriculum.
Project Based Learning (PBL) was first introduced in the School by a Science teacher, Ms. Dilrukshi to give students a hands-on learning experience which results in the successful acquisition of real-world skills and sound academic principles. The data management project given to the students provided them with the opportunities to use technology in investigating the problem and conducting successful research. Students were put in mixed ability groups, designed questionnaires, and visited the community, Earth Quake Relief Camps, Libraries and other offices to conduct their surveys and collect data. The students analyzed this data and shared their findings in the form of PowerPoint presentations.Instilling concepts of protecting the soil in the community
Nugawela Central College is located in an area where people are unaware of the damaging effects of Soil. Keeping this in mind, two teachers of grades 7th & 8th, Ms. Dilrukshi and Ms. Krishantha, decided to give their students a project based on "Soil" to create awareness regarding Protecting the soil. The role assigned to the students was that members of environment protection club to investigate and understand the causes of destroying soil and to find the benefits of the earth and what will happen if we destroy it. Students worked in groups, observed the community, researched on the internet and interviewed people to find out how soil can get destroyed and lack of awareness causes more dangers to humans and what steps can be taken to improve the conditions in their own surroundings. Finally students developed presentations and shared their work with their classmates.
The students' project was vital in creating awareness among the community and helping them realize the importance of earth and rocks. Environmental day was celebrated in school where they invited community members and the students performed skits and dramas, and recited poems; to create awareness on protecting the earth and rocks and its importance in daily life.
After this project the teachers felt a marked difference in their students, in terms of responsibility towards the community as a vital, contributing member and students became more conscious of basic concepts of the lesson "Soil". The suggestions made by the students were practical which they began implementing in their homes and areas around.
"We broke new ground in designing icons in collaboration with the rural communities. The whole project was done with the involvement of the community at every stage", said Ms. Fouzia Latif.
Also one of the students of their school was selected to go to Intel science and Engineering fair. Not only the teachers, but also the students and the community members - everyone is now more actively involved in their community activities, constantly looking for solutions to their day to day problems.
Mr. Hettiarachchi, the Principal, expresses his happiness and gratitude in the following words, "I am extremely happy to say that Project Based Learning methodologies, through the Intel Teach Program, made a huge difference in how our teachers interacted with and educated our students. Education is no more a bore; learning is more fun and the last year has been yet another successful year in our developmental efforts. We thank Intel for providing us with this opportunity and with the ongoing program we will exceed the in all standards of education."
Teacher learners Intel initiatives in Sri Lanka
"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."
Alvin Toffler, American futurist
Sometimes the teachers become the students and that is what makes this story different. In this changing world, for teachers to
teach students the skills to create and innovate, they have a lot of reinventing and re-learning to do. Faced with the challenges of time, resources, and sometimes lack of motivation, the teachers needed someone
to provide them with that real opportunity What was needed was a mind set change, not with just a push but a continuous shove.
For anybody who expects the society to be a better and developed place will have to focus not only on the traditional education. They will have to keep their eye on the modern world which is directed towards high technology developments. The computer education and knowledge on internet has become a mandatory tool for a teacher.
Ven. Navela SaddhanandaThero B/Welimada Central College (faculty).
Mr. H.R.C. Alakolawewa is the Centre Manager and trainer of the Welimada College in Badulla. He was invited to a Master Trainer training in Al Adaan Muslim Collage in Badulla, which was themed ‘Teach to the Future’. As he had already attended much such other training, Mr. Alakolawewa was convinced that there wouldn’t be much to gain from this one too. He had a resigned approach and was unhappy to have to attend another workshop where they didn’t really gain anything.
Unchallenged and unmotivated he approached it as any other training. But what he saw over the initial two hours made him suddenly sit up and take notice. During the first two days of Intel Teach program, his negative thoughts about the training disappeared really fast. He understood that this was not just another Traditional training program and that generated new hope in his mind. Working with Mr. Sarath Senanayake, the Senior Trainer: seemed to take him down a new learning path.
The group of Master Trainers was brainstormed with original ideas to make teaching more challenging. Using technology as a platform, the training opened up a path of self discovery and innovation which had lain dormant for years in all the participants.
Mr. H.R.C. Alakolawewa “Completely lost in the traditional norms of teaching, we had forgotten that to succeed in the Information Age everyone would have to recreate themselves”.
Mr. H.R.C. Alakolawewa
Suddenly teaching seemed not just instructing and learning but exploring, creating and innovating. The training taught them various new ideas to be used in teaching.
Mr. Alakolawewa challenge became not just to rediscover his passion as a teacher but to ignite that same passion in his colleagues,
using technological skills as the platform. The end result-to provides students with more and more opportunities.
Having completed his training Mr. Alakolawewa enthusiastically approached the Principal of his school. Impressed by the spark and
enthusiasm in him, the Principal Mr. D.M Karunasena was keen to benefit others in his staff and gave whole hearted approval and support
for Mr. Alakolawewa training all the other teachers.
Mr. Alakolawewa’s school has 96 teachers, 20 non academic staff, and nearly 2500 students. The first thing he did was to put up a
notice informing teachers about the training, that it was voluntary but would involve staying back after school.
Much to his delight there were 30 teachers, newly appointed ones as well as teachers with more than 20 years of experience,
who wanted to be a part of the first batch.
On the 17th October 2008, he began the first program with the 18 teachers who had volunteered. In an attempt to provide as much
ease and flexibility to adjust the 40 hours required around teachers time tables, Mr. Alakolawewa planned his schedule very carefully.
The first batch generated a lot of publicity in the school. There was a lot more interest among the faculty and the result was
that the number of applications received for the next training increased exponentially.
Mr. Alakolawewa had done his best to adjust time tables for the teacher’s trainings. He took 16 hours from evenings and Sundays to
build discussions and to teach them basics. To complete their activities he used 6 hours from their free periods on school days.
He gave another concession by giving all of them a little extra time to finish their unfinished activities. Therefore teachers had
used more than 40 hours or more for the entire course.
Despite the challenges of poor internet access, lack of enough working machines and a multimedia projector, Mr. Alakolawewa
managed his trainings very successfully. What was even more rewarding was the post training evaluation of his teachers which provided
him with the satisfaction of knowing that his teachers had fared very well.
Today he is a confident trainer but an even happier teacher.
Mr. Alakolawewa has managed to train 80% of his school staff. His contribution is aptly recorded in the words of his principal who
says “New Information and Communications technologies flow to the rural areas very
slowly. When it comes to teaching the students on how to use multimedia, it is necessary that teachers have developed an interest on
the same. When lessons are developed using new technology tools and data collected using those, students absorb lessons much faster and
more sensitively. Therefore it is an encouraging factor to see that thanks to Intel and Mr. Alakolawewa most of the teachers of my school have undergone the training under this project”.
The management of the school is also very proud to have a technologically abled staff and is willing to motivate new programs to
encourage integration of technology into their curriculum.
Teachers who have undergone this program are more confident in classrooms and look forward to more programs like this for
“This program taught us how to build up a lesson using the technology and the resources available. I am very confident that
this program helped teachers to develop lessons that are easy to understand by students and will help to achieve their objectives
very successfully” K.N.M.P.S. Gunasekara, Staff Welimada Central College Bandarawela.
“Pagna naranan rathanan” (Knowledge is like a gem for a Human)
“Human being is a member of the Global village. In order to communicate in the context of a global
village, we need a common language and a platform. I think that common language is the computer. I have
heard of computer, I have never used it before. It was only when I got access to it; I got to know the
potential that the computer has. I am very grateful to Mr. Alakolawewa for giving me the opportunity to
join the computer training program conducted by Intel.”
A. J. M. Abeyrathne, Section Head – Arts, Welimada Central College, Bandarawela.
“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” - Sydney J. Harris
Uva College, Badulla, Sri Lanka, has a state of the art computer lab. Students used to flock to the lab in large numbers drawn by the hi-tech machines. Unfortunately, their use of it was limited to entertainment purposes like playing video games or at the maximum exploring the paint brush program.
The Computer Center in charge would look on ruefully, wishing he could inspire the students to explore the efficaciousness of computers for innovative purposes which would help them in their educational pursuits also.
As a leading school in the Uva province, the Uva College, Badulla, focuses on nurturing and developing basic skills in students, and giving them a strong foundation. The school has as part of its progressive attitude, a well equipped computer lab with twenty of the latest machines. But all this was quite wasted. Despite the infrastructure, the teachers were at a loss on how to motivate and inspire students to make use of computers for research and creative project work which would help in their development.
In 2007, Intel organized a professional development program for the teachers of the school. The teachers were trained by senior trainers from Intel, who opened up a world of knowledge and skills for the teachers, under the Intel® Teach program. The teachers were divided into groups and asked to work collaboratively on different projects. After the initial apprehensions, the teachers realized the potential of ICT in Education (information and communication technology). Their minds were exposed to a completely revolutionary way of teaching, a far cry from their classic teaching approach.
The teachers understood how the quality of their teaching could change and also became aware of the personal development that would come about by learning the 21st century skills like technological proficiency. The project based approach they realized could be used to motivate the students to learn through research on topics useful for the school and even for the community.
Uva College became only the fifth school in Uva Province in Sri Lanka to undergo this training under the Intel® Teach program. The teachers proved to be great learners and were motivated and very keen to share their experience and newly acquired knowledge with the students. They initiated a project involving the students of grade twelve to computerize the entire examination pattern in the school.
The students once informed were very enthusiastic about their role in the project. The teachers became the facilitators and provided guidelines on how to work to the students. For the first time the students did their own research for the information they needed to set up an Online Examination System, analyzed the information with their teachers and were then able to make intelligent decisions.
The new examination system once ready, required students to go online to attempt the MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) set by the teachers. These were then assessed by the teachers online and grades allotted to the students accordingly.
The grade twelve students explained the working of the system through a power point presentation they created. Further enhancing the use of their computer lab, they even designed a newsletter to inform the whole school about the new examination system.
The teachers were proud of the achievements of their students and only too glad to assess the students' performance through automatic evaluation. The management and the Principal felt delighted to have the school teachers and students become techno savvy and were glad to encourage them each step of the way.
The students were happy to be able to take the exam at their own time and on the computer.
Today the Computer Centre of Uva College is occupied by students throughout the day. Their concept of fun has changed. It is no longer limited to playing games online or working on the paint brush program.
Students enjoy being involved in doing research for projects they think can help the community inside and outside of school. Others are keen to read material to enhance their learning and hone their skills for the 21st century. The school has come a long way from conducting exams in a stereotypical way to introducing computer based tests and enhancing learning opportunities for students.
The Computer Center manager is a busy but a delighted man today. He has managed to create student involvement in challenging, long-term projects with the focus on meaningful, engaged learning and feels it is a very important step that they have taken.
“A torch in the hand of a visionary can light up all the darkness”
Mr. Felician Perera, is the Principal of Raddolugama Pangngananda Madya Maha Vidyalaya (RPMMV), a reputed school in the Negombo zone of Sri Lanka. It is one of the oldest and most reputed government schools there, well known for its history and location. An educationist and a visionary, Mr. Perera wanted to introduce modern methods of instruction in his school in order to fire the quest for inquiry in his students. A skill, he felt was a requisite for progress in the 21st century.
But just then, he was at a loss. The Intel Teach Program had been introduced to several schools in Negombo zone including the RPMMV school. Unfortunately, even though the school had 94 teachers, there was not a single teacher to teach technology to the students. Having a well equipped computer lab in the school also did not serve any purpose.
Mr. Felician Perera needed someone who would help integrate technology with education, not just for his students but first for his teachers.
But vision without action is just a dream and Mr. Felician Perera wanted to make a positive difference. After extensive search for a technology teacher, he decided to approach an ex student of his school - Ms. Tamara Vijenayeka.
Ms. Tamara, even though a youngster, was running IT classes at her own premises for students who were following GIT in school curriculum in order to fulfill her aim of becoming proficient in the IT sector.
For a school they so dearly loved, Mr. Perera and Ms. Tamara were united in their vision of wanting a change in the way education would be taught.
As a leader Mr. Felician Perera had established the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there but it was Ms. Tamara who had the energy and the expertise that the school so badly needed. Together they could make a difference.
Ms. Tamara was highly inspired with the idea of enhancing learning for students with technology skills for the 21st century. In 2003, as the first step, she enrolled herself for Master Teacher (MT) training of Intel® Teach program.
In 2004, Mr. Felician Perera facilitated in establishing a Computer Learning Centre (LLC) in the school. The Secondary Education Modernization Project (SEMP) of Ministry of Education equipped the school with 20 computers and provided them with lots of facilities, the infrastructure for change was now complete.
Encouraged by these initial steps, Ms. Tamara put her heart and soul into her work. With the help of SEMP Western Province Manager, the Principal, and Mr. Perera, she started the Intel® Teach program in her school with 18 teachers who had been selected for this. The idea was to train the teachers who would in turn train all the students.
Impact is a direct result of initiation. Even though Tamara faced many technical problems, the teachers were so highly motivated that there was not a single problem with any of them. For the first time in the history of the school, teachers were in the school on Sundays to attend the training.
The zonal officers were amazed by the response of the teachers. It was the beginning of a new era in Sri Lankan education. Ms. Tamara’s dedication and Mr. Felician Perera perseverance enabled the teachers to accomplish the task very successfully.
Today RPMMV can boast of a technologically enabled staff and students who have learnt to enhance their learning using technology as their platform. They look forward to working on research based projects which will enable them to make a difference to the world they live in.
“Dreams are little steps which when taken lead to achieving the big vision”
Haddaththawa is a village in Badulla Sri Lanka, which fascinates people because of its location. Visitors catch their breath when they stumble upon this little rural paradise, with its breathtaking natural beauty.
The Haddaththawa Maha Vidyalaya is situated in this idyllic resort. Mr. Gamini Marasinghe, the Principal, was determined that in these beautiful surroundings his school would be the best in the area too. However, a lack of technological expertise was the greatest barrier in their life.
Mr. Marasinghe kept his eyes open for any new strategies which would enable him to achieve his goal. He was extremely happy when he was invited to participate in the “Intel Leadership Technology Forum”. His determination did not stop him from traveling 3 hours everyday to reach the destination.
The forum encouraged the Principal in his pursuit of technology integration in his school and also showed him the path to achieve his ambition. Motivated by the desire of integrating technology as a tool to improve students’ learning, he wished to initiate Intel® Teach Program in the school and wanted his teachers to pursue the training opportunities.
Being the end of the academic year, it was a tough time for the teachers as they already had their plates full completing syllabus and preparing students for the final exams. But, at the request of the principal, the teachers went out of their way and worked in the computer lab before and after the school hours. A tremendous support and assistance was given to the Senior Trainer from Intel education team.
The teachers approached the training very enthusiastically and enjoyed every minute of it. Technology as a platform had broken the barriers of education as they knew it. They were learning 21st century skills and gaining more and more confidence in using technology independently. As one of the teachers recalls “I felt more equipped and confident as a person also”.
The teachers worked hard to complete their training. The Principal remembers, “one day I was disturbed by some noises while sleeping in the night. It was almost 1 a.m. I went out of the Principal’s quarters wondering what all was about. Who was giving lectures in the middle of the night? I was shocked to see the lights in the Computer Center. Amazing! The Master Teacher was doing his training at that moment. I though it was a dream. I pinched myself. No, it was not. I saw a batch of energized teachers, working with the computers. I was impressed at the urge that had been created in them”.
The training given by Intel to the teachers of Haddaththawa was the highlight of their teaching career. It was a worthwhile experience which opened new doors for them. Now these teachers play an effective role in implementing Project Based Learning (PBL) in the classroom.
The students are equally delighted by the new concepts of teaching and learning. They are keen to take up projects which they feel will teach them more than their books ever could. Through group research they have learnt to think collaboratively and to take their own decisions. Parents meanwhile, are very happy to see the excitement in the eyes of their children.
Today the teachers and students of Haddaththawa Maha Vidyalaya walk into school with a lot more enthusiasm and confidence than earlier. The opportunity provided to the teachers by Intel has helped them evolve and work more effectively.
As this school in the beautiful, remote and rural part of Sri Lanka, continues to dream big, technology has become an integral part in helping teachers and students to accomplish their goals of growth and educational excellence.
Mr. Gamini Marasinghe is effusive in his praise of Intel® Teach program. “Do I need to say anything more? Thanks to Intel Teach” he believes now his vision of making his school the best in the area will soon come true.
“Technology had made the world a click away, but we needed to learn how to click”
The 21st century shall be remembered as the transition age. When people over came their fears of the unknown and learnt to embrace technology.
This evolution remained in the corporate sector until it was understood that to carry on these skills we needed to groom the students of the 21st century with this expertise. Initiatives like Intel® Teach brought technology closer home, to schools and to students and teachers alike. That is when the real revolution began.
Teachers feared technology, a stumbling block to their progression. In an age where everything was becoming computerized, it was a challenge to overcome their fear. They were poised at the edge, holding the key to the great power of technology in their hands to train and groom our generations to come, but unsure and not knowing how.
Teachers in Tissa Central National School, at Kalutara District in Western Province of Sri Lanka, were no different. One of the leading schools of the area, it had all the facilities including a computer lab. But the computer lab did not serve any purpose as the teachers were not familiar with the computer. In fact, they feared to even touch the computer and felt incompetent with technology. Even though boring and routine, they clung on to their traditional methods of teaching.
The Principal saw the unvarying cycle education was becoming and decided to bring about a change. He recommended two of his teachers, Ms. I. A. K. Shehara and Mr. K. A. J. Ranasinghe for an eight days training course the “Intel Advanced ICT Scholarship Program”. Both the teachers, needless to say, were very hesitant and apprehensive about having to go through this advanced training program.
To their amazement the training went very smoothly. Their Senior Trainer Ms. Thilini Hettiarachchi, provided them with the encouragement to discard their inhibitions. The teachers felt that this training became the stepping stone in their lives.
Empowered by their new knowledge, back at the school the teachers searched for ways of making their classrooms as full of life as the training they had received. They decided that project based learning was the way to involve the students and enable them to look at concepts in a way that they have never encountered before. Technology as a scaffold, they understood, made the topic lively and significant.
Following a brainstorming session in the classroom the teachers decided to deal with the importance of herbal plants and their significant place in the eco system of Sri Lanka as a project with the students. They divided the students into relevant groups and motivated them to do their own research, gather all the necessary information, and conduct surveys for the facts.
The teachers became the facilitators for the students. Based on the comprehensive work done by the students, they helped them design a brochure and a multimedia presentation to create awareness among the people about the value of medicinal herbs. The wonderful work done in terms of quality and content was overwhelming.
The multimedia presentation was showcased to all the people in the village. This motivated the villagers to discern the importance of the environment in which the herbal plants grow and the necessity to protect them. They also became aware its uses for the existence of human beings. As a mass movement they all pledged to opt for herbal drinks.
The students even proposed a plan of action on this issue which amply showed the extent of their dedication and involvement in the project.
Research on such plants is recommended for university students, foreign students and other interested groups.
Launching of a web site and publication of brochures will be a part of this project.
Training will be provided on Ayurvedic Native Health Clinic Centre.
The teachers also observed that the integration of technology in the classroom atmosphere enhanced the students’ sense of personal responsibility and self-esteem, paving the way for academic achievement.
The teachers feel a great sense of personal achievement “We only dreamt about being able to implement modern technologies in our classroom. The Intel® Teach Program has given us a platform and made our dream come true. The Intel Program is a great marvel to promote the teaching and learning process."
“A leader's role is to raise people's aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there.” — David Gergen
Heramitigala Sri Dheerananda Maha Vidyalaya is a school situated in the Kandy district in the Denuwara educational zone. Initially it was known only for its educational and sports facilities but has now become a shining example of the way it has successfully integrated technology into its curriculum. This has enhanced its instructional methods and provided a complete learner-centered environment.
Every student in this unique school is provided access to a unique learning environment that offers exciting opportunities to develop talents, skills, and interests that might go undiscovered in classrooms that are more traditional.
But this success had not come easy. In the beginning 40 teachers had been trained for Computer Assisted Learning (CAL). But there had been so much hesitation and reluctance in using technology in the classroom that the computers lay unused and teachers taught in the same traditional way.
That is where leadership had made a difference. The Principal, Mrs. W. M. C. Weerakoon along with Mrs. P. R. C. K. Ranasinghe, the former Centre Manager realized that to have a school which incorporated technology in education they first needed to support the teachers in its use.
They decided to send two teachers Mrs. D. E. M. R. S. Gayani Ekanayake and Mrs. M. K. M. W. Manel Senanayake as Master Teachers to follow the Intel® Teach training program (1st Batch) in the Central Province. The teachers would learn to replace their present system of education with a different kind of structure the platform of which was technology based. These teachers would then integrate technology aided learning into the school system, eventually leading to an improvement in student learning and fostering higher-level thinking.
The two teachers received their training under Ms. Thilini Hettiarachchi a young energetic Senior Trainer. The confidence and the encouragement provided by Ms. Thilini motivated the teachers to come back as Master Teachers and train the rest of the faculty in their school on the Intel® Teach program.
The teachers began the training with the faculty on 9th October 2007. Despite it being the end of the academic year and the teachers being busy in completing the syllabus for the final exams, 36 teachers registered.
Initially, they were reluctant to stay after school hours to attend their training sessions. But once into the training they realized the learning avenues the program opened up. They also understood how as teachers they had to constantly update themselves on the latest developments. Soon they were working enthusiastically before and even after school hours.
What drove their passion was the joy of learning a new concept and knowing that they could make an impact in the class. They were very happy to acquire new skills at the end of the course. This training they knew would impact not only their way of teaching and the students’ way of learning, but would also make them more proficient with technology skills and enrich their professional value.
“The person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn... and change.” - Carl Rogers
Rathupaswala Bodhiraja Secondary School is a small government school in the Rathupaswala village in the state of Western Province in Sri Lanka. Founded in 1950 by the late Prime Minister, Mr. Bandaranayake, it imparts education to 270 students from grade 1 to 11 with a team of 18 teachers.
The students come from a rural background and are not exposed to either English language or Technology. Since the teachers were unaware of the use of technology in education in their teaching and learning processes, the school had only one computer and that too was rarely used.
When Ms. Dinesha Ganepola, a young graduate joined the school as an ICT teacher in September ’05, the school did not have a Computer Learning Centre. Extremely apprehensive about teaching, she was aware that since computers were still not installed in the school she would be able to do any training.
In her determination to train further, Ms. Dinesha joined training in another village school. That was where she trained under the Intel® Teach program. Eager and enthusiastic she thoroughly enjoyed her training. Once she had completed her course as a Master Teacher, she felt she was more than ready to train the faculty in her school.
She understood that the real challenge began now.
Back in her school, the principal shared the vision of bringing about a change in the teaching methodology in the school. To support her initiative he agreed to organize two more computers for the school.
Even with only these minimum resources, Ms. Dinesha was very keen to begin the training. All by herself, she successfully accomplished the task of training all 18 teachers. The teachers were delighted by the training. Technology in education they felt would completely change the teaching and learning methods in their school. Not only that, they felt it was teaching them computer literacy skills which they badly needed. Enthused and full of zeal the Principal and the teachers decided to work towards procuring more computers for the school.
After the training, the teachers started to integrate technology in their teaching-learning practices. On seeing their success, the Principal managed to get the approval to start General IT as a subject in the school.
Ms. Dinesha had shared her vision of technology resource centre with the villagers also. Initially they had been very hesitant, but slowly they began to adapt to the introduction of technology. Especially when they realized how it opened up the world to their children and the immeasurable job opportunities it provided to them. They welcomed this revolution now and did not want their children to be left behind.
The villagers decided to join hands with the Principal and teachers to build a Community Centre in the school.
Today, with the combined help of the community and the authorities, the students of Rathupaswala Bodhiraja Secondary School can proudly boast of a Computer Center with 6 computers.
As Mr. Hakgalla, the In Service Advisor (ISA) of Gampaha zone says “This is the way it should be; with out blaming the government or the management, the teachers of this small school opened the eyes of the ministry and the community.”
ICT Intervention in Western Province - Sri Lanka
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Sri Lanka's craft heritage is an ancient one, traditional and magnificent in its craftsmanship. The Western province of Sri Lanka, with the legacy of centuries of master craftsmanship, is known for its exquisite cane work. Yet these are eendangered traditions for all communities involved in traditional livelihoods. Cheaper and faster produced goods threaten their existence and these simple craftsmen do not possess the knowledge to match them.
Mr. Dinesh Tennakoon
|In this province is the Gampaha district village and in there the Radawadunna Sirimihidu Maha Vidyalaya, a Navodya School. A majority of its students are children of cane workers whose traditional livelihoods were under threat and the parents had no answers to give. Creativity was their life but they had no solutions to save their own craft.|
Mr. Dinesh Tennakoon was the computer teacher in this school and a hard working enthusiastic person. He wanted his students to be aware of things not just around them but across the world. He looked at providing solutions to help the community which he was sure lay in doing research and finding more information but was helpless without the know how and the resources.
In 2007, he was invited to join the Intel Teach Program conducted by Mr. Dulip Gunesekara. This became the turning point in his life. Suddenly he had at his disposal a wealth of knowledge that he could use to reinvent and enhance the teaching and learning in his classroom. Not only that, ICT skills also provided an opportunity for creativity in education and solutions which could help the entire community.
Mr. Dinesh was very keen that this impact be carried to all his colleagues and beyond the walls of his school. As a Master Trainer with full support of his principal, it became his biggest challenge to train the entire teaching faculty on the existing resources. It took him time to draw out schedules so that everyone’s time requirements could be accommodated but in a few months the entire faculty had started using technology to enhance their curriculum.
This change permeated to the students and they also started using computers to learn their subjects. Teachers would visit the computer center whenever they were free. Mr. Dinesh’s efforts had revolutionized teaching and learning methodologies in this little village.
But his zeal did not stop there. As a key member in the Zonal ICT pool he helped the other schools in this pool and trained 95 teachers from other schools for the IT Literacy Program.
Dinesh’s positivity enabled him to win the 3rd Place in the “Innovative Teacher Competition” held all over Sri Lanka. Since then Siri Mihindu Collage has won awards every year not only in the teachers’ competition but also in the student’s category. The school also had the privilege of winning the best school in “National Productivity Awards”.
But Dinesh and his Principal had a much larger vision than benefitting only the school with ICT activities. They wanted to help the community progress through technology interventions. They understood that the well being of their students lay in the wellness of the society.
They decided to start ICT training for parents. The response was so good that in a few months members of different social communities asked for the same training. The cane craftsmen were among those who were keen to join.
1 group of students using the CLC
Teachers sharing the Intel Teach Training
The ICT training proved to be a boon for these craftsmen. They were exposed to methods which would enhance their traditional craft and give it new life. Finally they understood the competition they faced and were able to plan ahead. Through the web they could avail of opportunities for marketing and advertising. The young people involved in this craft were able to design websites to give their business a new life.
Their sales went up exponentially and their approach became more global. The Intel Initiatives initiated by Mr. Dinesh in the community through ICT intervention had a long lasting impact.
Today, the young are ambitious about their traditional crafts. They look forward to expanding their business using technology as their platform. Being the Best Cane Crafters in Sri Lanka, they are hoping to improve the quality of their lives with their new found knowledge.
The End of Training (EoT) Analysis of Intel® Teach In-service Program of 2011
The End of Training (EoT) Analysis of Intel® Teach in-service program of 2011 conducted by Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) revealed the following percentages (low, medium and high extent):
91.67% of teachers indicated the training focused on integration of technology into their teaching.
93.23% of teachers indicated the training provided useful teaching strategies to use with their students.
94.53% of teachers indicated the training illustrated effective uses of technology with students.
92.23% of teachers indicated the training provided opportunities to collaborate with other educators during training.
94.33% of teachers indicated they are prepared to implement methods of teaching that emphasize independent work by students.
96.00% of teachers indicated they are prepared to integrate technology into their teaching.
95.57% of teachers indicated they are prepared to support their students in using technology in their schoolwork.
95.70% of teachers indicated they are prepared to evaluate technology-based work their students produce.
96.73% of teachers indicated they are prepared to align their teaching and assessments with required curriculum content.
96.77% of teachers believed the trainer was successful at leading participants through the process of creating unit plans.
96.70% of teachers believed the trainer was successful at engaging the group in discussions of pedagogical and classroom management issues.
93.13% of teachers indicated the ideas and skills they learnt during the Intel® Teach training helped them successfully integrate technology into their students' activities.