School Education Department, Ministry of Education, Government of Punjab organized an ICT week in collaboration with Intel Education Initiative in Higher Secondary Schools of Punjab as a part of 21st century teaching practices initiative; the objective of the ICT week was promotion of ICT integration, critical thinking and collaboration. This activity will be held yearly across Punjab, the ICT week pilot was held at Lahore. 11 Government Higher Secondary Schools were short listed by Education Department out of many, to take part in one of its kind initiative. Such activities indicate government’s commitment towards ICT integration and promotion of 21st century skills. ICT week will unlock the limitless possibilities for teachers and students both; it is definitely another step towards new era of schooling.
Teachers worked on Action Plans and Unit Portfolios considering accommodations for differentiation prior to the week, students completed different “hands on” activities while working in collaborative groups; they created presentations, publications, survey forms etc. and they used internet as research, collaboration and communication tool. Schools have been instructed by provincial education department to adopt Intel Teach “Unit Plan” template as their standard lesson plan.
Students enjoyed the experience because they were actively involved in problem-solving and research activities; but all this had its fair share of difficulties, teachers had to implement in a class of more than 50 students; to solve this mixed ability groups were formed and other teachers helped as implementing teachers in the classroom. On the last day of the week students showcased their projects.
Government of Punjab, School Education Department will facilitate Intel Education Initiative in monitoring and evaluation of such activities in future as well. By embracing the change in paradigm shift from “chalk and talk” to “student-centered” classroom teaching practices, government has proved that ICT integration is need of the hour and to be able to succeed in today’s knowledge economy that’s what our teachers and students need.