Introduction to the American India Foundation (AIF)
The mission of the American India Foundation (AIF) is to catalyze social and economic change in India. AIF mobilizes resources in the United States and India and invests these to improve education, livelihoods and public health for the marginalized in India. It has implemented programs through over 115 Indian non-governmental organizations since its inception in 2001.
AIFT singed a MoU with Punjab Govt. in year 2005 for monitoring & evaluation of ICT project in govt. schools. In year 2006, AIFT started the Digital Equalizer (DE) program in 200 govt. schools after signing MoU with GoP.
What is Digital Equalizer (DE) Program?
AIF's Digital Equalizer (DE) program is a Techno-Pedagogy (Integration of Technology for general subjects) program that is bridging the education and digital divide in India, and preparing tens of thousands of children to compete in the digital economy. Targeting children in grades 6 and above, AIF supports a DE school for 3 years and prepares it for self-sufficiency after this period. DE imparts computer and internet education to subject teachers and students through project-based learning techniques. The program is tightly integrated with the school curriculum thereby improving subject matter expertise through the use of technology. To date DE has covered 24,000 teachers and 750,000 children in 2054 schools across India.
"An India where ALL children have access to technology and information to prepare them for the emerging Digital Age."
"To advance the use of technology to engage, educate, enrich and empower India’s under-served children."
Components of DE Program:
DE program can be categorized into three broad categories:
We provide technical & pedagogical training under the program. We impart the training at three levels:
I. Training for Subject Teachers
Training on Technical Part
Our main objective is not make subject teachers to be an expert of computer we just want teachers to use and explore their subject and create interest of their student by using technology as teaching aid.
Training on Pedagogical Concepts
In pedagogical part we have planned tools to understand the mind of students how to build his interest in their subject, how to explore the qualities of students, boosting their confidence, learning in groups, building the questioning spirit of Student, how change their misbehavior’s into learning and making student creative.
II. Training for Students
Making the effective and productive use of technology by helping them to explore their subjects through technology or use of computer like searching their subject content on internet, Developing presentations and let them to explore his thinking through the use of Technology.
In Student training our major part is PBL ( Project Based Learning) , in which student work in groups to explore and research on the topic in the real world and with use of technology which help the students , Like in building the confidence , more concept clarity , Sharing of thoughts & Presentation skills etc.
III. Training for Administrative staff (i.e. Principal, clerks etc)
B. Development of Digital Content
What is the Training Module under DE?
AIF has a well defined training manual named; Instructor Led Training Manual (ILTM), which covers the concept of IT training, Integration of Technology, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Multiple Intelligence and Collaborative Learning. It is a 85 hours training content.
Role of Subject Teacher for Content Development
IT enabled teaching- learning is one of the most valuable features of DE program. A list of the hard-spots has been compiled at state level by subject experts across various subjects. Teachers are assigned the topic out of this list on monthly basis in the school. Subject teacher review and authenticate the content. He looks after the necessary video clips, animation and pictures, respective to the content with the help of AIF coordinator.
Teacher selects 3-5 students to work along with in project development. They collect and compile the data/ information and put in presentation form. After the quality check by the concerned subject teacher and coordinator, projects is shared with other schools also.
Role of AIF Coordinator for Content Development
AIF coordinator work on designing the out-frame of the project in coordination with subject teacher. He also extends his support in-terms of technical issues, animation, videos etc if teacher is not competitive enough to do the needful. Coordinator is also responsible for meeting with time-line and helping to students.
Additional Features/ Supports of DE
Content development is a major aspect or the DE program. And dissemination of the projects across the schools was a crucial issue. Punjab team developed a website (www.depunjab.org) for various kind of programmatic support i.e. sharing of projects, DSTs and teachers forum etc. Teachers can download the projects anywhere and use for their PBL classes.
Besides the website, awareness campaign & quiz competitions are regular feature under DE program.