The importance of early or foundational learning can’t be overstated. Those who have been out on the field will vouch that this area has been overlooked for long. If carefully addressed, it can sow the seeds to produce life-long learners and society nurturing individuals. At Recherche, we strive to provide the simplest to adopt and yet the best technology interventions to help address this. To this end, the My sCool Server (MSS) is packaged with some of the best educational software available. So let us get on with what we have specifically for our early learners.
Sugar is an activity-focused, open-source learning platform for children. Collaboration, reflection, and discovery are integrated directly into the user interface. Through Sugar’s clarity of design, children and teachers have the opportunity to use computers on their own terms. Students can reshape, reinvent, and reapply both software and content into powerful learning activities. Sugar’s focus on sharing, criticism, and exploration is grounded in the culture of free software (FLOSS).Source: sugarlabs.org
The Sugar platform has been integrated onto the MSS thanks to the Sugarizer project. The activities are accessible over a computer or a tablet. A rich dashboard displays students’ progress with each activity. Such information is worth a goldmine for a teacher and helps keep the focus on learning outcomes. Several Sugar activities are available in multiple languages including Hindi. They can be translated into your language of choice.
GCompris is a high quality educational software suite, including a large number of activities for children aged 2 to 10.Source: gcompris.net
Some of the activities are game orientated, but nonetheless still educational. Currently GCompris offers more than 100 activities, and more are being developed. GCompris is free software, it means that you can adapt it to your own needs, improve it, and most importantly share it with children everywhere.
GCompris (pronounced “gee-compree”), has been an integral part of the My sCool Server since its inception. It is an amazing way to have fun while learning. The activities can be instantly accessed on a computer in our recommended lab setup.
In GCompris, one can track students’ progress in each of its activities. Classes can be added using the GCompris Administration tool. Groups of students can then be added once a class has been created. The Administration tool allows for the modification of menus and generation of reports on students’ progress among several other features. Finally, GCompris offers several configurations relating to graphics, language and sound.
GCompris is available in around 34 languages and has been partially translated to Hindi. It definitely deserves more contributor participation. Anyone interested may get in touch with our support team to help coordinate the efforts. It is a wonderful platform that can be easily adopted by those seeking a mature technological intervention for early learning.
Khan Academy – early Math
Content from Khan Academy needs no introduction. It provides some great content in the form of lessons and exercises for early mathematics learners. The content covers topics such as Counting, Addition and Subtraction, Place value (tens and hundreds), Basic Geometry, Measurement and data with videos and exercises. Content is currently available in English and Gujarati and may be available in more Indian languages soon.
The content is loaded in Kolibri – the definitive offline learning platform from Learning Equality. It can be accessed over computers or tablets. It facilitates self-paced learning and provides multi-dimensional tracking of the learners’ progress.
CSpathshala – Computational Thinking
It is possible to use computational models to solve a variety of problems, from basic problems in mathematics to answering questions in biology. And laying the first bricks of computational thinking is important during the foundational years between grades 1 to 3.
To prepare our students to participate creatively in the digital age, industry leaders and top academicians in the country are working together to bring a computational thinking curriculum for primary and secondary schools along with teaching aids.– cspathshala.org
Curriculum content and teaching aids in 4 languages from CSPathshala as well as the Computer Masti series released under the creative commons have been made available offline on the My sCool Server. The CSPathshala material is for teachers to be used in a smart class setup and the Computer Masti books deliver best results with a hands on approach in a computer lab.
The My sCool Server is built around a core principal that learning while having fun will be long lasting and will help create a life-long learner. Hence it is packed with over 50 games that help develop the logical, analytical and cognitive abilities of children. Most of these games have been prescribed in a carefully researched curriculum by IIT Bombay professors which took final form as the Computer Masti book series. Hundreds of stimulating activities in multiple Indian languages from Pratham Open School are also available on the MSS. All of these can be best experienced in a computer lab setup.
What’s more magical than colourful storybooks that make learning maths and science fun. We have loaded the My sCool Server with books from Pratham available in over 20 Indian languages. They comprise a range of genres including fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry.
This has been made possible via a publicly available Kolibri channel which contains fabulous books from around the world. The books can be displayed and read out loud by a teacher in a smart class or be used for self-reading over tablets from the digital library.
Join in for a better world
We strongly believe in the gems that our world has to offer. Hence instead of re-inventing the wheel, we prefer collaborating with the existing goodness to make it even better. Each of the above early learning tools bear testimony to what is possible. As we continue to unearth more such hidden gems, we urge all to join hands to educate and help solve the global learning crisis with the help of open educational resources.
The My sCool Server, initially conceived to cater to the computer lab needs of the Gujarat State Board schools, has come a long way. It now caters to almost every need of ICT infrastructure in a school. It can simultaneously power a computer lab, interactive smart classes and a (read WiFi) digital library. The software tools and content cover the needs of all grades from K to 12.
Hence, if your need is to have an integrated ICT solution for K-12 then you need not look beyond the My sCool Server’s. You may also like to explore more about our offline content platform and the integrated educational software. The MSS has been carefully curated and thus is apt for almost all educational environments including that of foundational learning.