The kspreparedschools.org, is an Information Technology project under the Department of General Education, Government of Kerala in India. Launched in 2001, the Project has remodeled conventional teaching methodologies in classrooms through the use of IT. The project is being implemented in over 12,000 schools in the State of Kerala, and also in schools in Mahé, Lakshadweep and the Middle East which follow the State syllabus. An estimated 5 million students and 200,000 teachers are now part of this project, which has a network of 160 Master Trainers and 5600 School IT Co-ordinators statewide, who are school teachers themselves. The project also conducts specialized training for visually challenged teachers in the State. The Project functions on Free Software platform.
kspreparedschools.org is the nodal agency for implementing EDUSAT network and runs an exclusive channel for education called VICTERS (Versatile ICT Enabled Resource for Students), which is now aired for 17 hours a day- from 6am to 11pm.India’s epoch making first broadband network on EDUSAT for schools, “VICTERS” inaugurated by A P J Abdul Kalam the President of India on 28 July 2005 in Thiruvananthapuram. VICTERS offers interactive virtual classrooms that enable the school students as well as the teachers to directly communicate with the subject experts and educationists. It also ensures the dissemination of high quality education to the students and teachers from the original source. Various programmes telecast through VICTERS are as follows;
- Padanakauthukam, Shastrakauthukam educational programmes
- Examination oriented programme for SSLC and Plus 2 level
- Shasthramuthukal (Science programmes).
- Vazhikaatti ( produced by State Institute of Educational Technology)
- Ormayile Malayalam ( Specific datewise regional programme)
- Kerala Sree ( Produced by Department of Information & Public Relations, GOK )
- Deutsche Welle Time ( DW Programme)
- Pusthakangalkkoppam ( Introducing various Books)
- Haritha Vidhyalayam (Educational reality show for schools)
- Kadhaparayum Neram (Story telling time)
- Mozhimuthukal ( Detailing famous quotes)
- Drishya paadam ( produced by State Open School)
- Naadavismayam ( Introducing Musical instruments and symphonies)
- Innalekalile Innu ( Yesterday – Today)
- IT for All ( Technology outlook programme for students and public)
- Tomorrow Today (DW Programme)
- Beyond the text ( text based programme)
- Global Three Thousand (DW Programme)
- Magic fingers ( tricks and plays on magic)
Animation training session in progress
The Project also engaged in giving training in Animation movie making skills entirely based on Free and Open Source Software such as KToon, Gimp, OpenShot Video Editor and Audacity.
Other training programmes
ICT training: Training given to familirise the basics of Operating Systems and office packages and other application software.
Hardware Training: 3 day training programme on hardware maintenance and basic support.
Internet Training: This 20 hour training programme was given to all SITCs and interested school teachers. The trained SITC then trained all High School teachers in their school. Government has also issued strict instructions that every student in Std X in the school should get at least 10 hours of internet exposure per year.
IT Training for the Visually challenged: In association with Insight scheme of Kerala State IT Mission, the Project has successfully imparted IT training using free software for teachers of special schools for visually challenged, by exclusively using free software based screen reading software named ORCA.
Camera handling training: Two day training on camera handling was given to the teachers, enabling them to create educational videos which could be beneficial in implementing ICT enabled education.
Training on ICT enabled content: Specific training on ICT enabled content was provided to teachers so as to enable them to use ICT enabled content in all subjects in order to equal teachers in classroom transaction.
Video conference class for English teachers
kspreparedschools.org has rolled out several programmes which included the development of its own Operating System – kspreparedschools.org GNU/Linux- which is now being used in all the schools in the state. Apart from this, several educational software like Dr. Geo, Rasmol, K-Tech lab, Geogebra, Chemtool, Kalzium etc. are being extensively customised by the Project in developing teacher friendly applications for facilitating complete ICT enabled education in the state. The Project has also prepared interactive multimedia CDs, Handbooks & Training modules for ICT, as well as Text books for IT in standard 8, 9 and 10. Every content developed by the Project is strictly as per the new curriculum approach based on the National Curriculum Framework 2005. The Project has also associated with Intel Skool for collaborative content development programmes http://kerala.skoool.in . The Project has also developed contents for Upper Primary classes – for 5-7 classes and the same has been given to all schools. To add with this, the Project had developed E-Text books for Std 8 to 10
Some of the free software applications developed or customized by the Project include the following.
Application software like Open office, GIMP, Dr. Geo, Rasmol, KEduca, Klab etc.
Examination software –to conduct IT practical examination to more than 1.6 million students
Handbook for GNU\Linux – prepared as a user manual for working in kspreparedschools.org GNU\Linux
Training modules in GNU\Linux – to train teachers in open source
Textbook for standard 8th 9th and 10th – Prepared in association with SCERT
ICT training programme based on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for students who require special attention
ICT training to all visually challenged teachers in the State using the free software – ORCA.
Public Awareness programme
The project also engaged in organizing State-wide awareness campaign,exposing the everyday computer user to the possibilities and advantages of using Linux-based software.Resource persons of the kspreparedschools.org in these sessions, demonstrate how there is a free software alternative to each and every computer application that an average user requires on a daily basis.
kspreparedschools.org y implemented several E- Governance initiatives in the state. The major e-governance initiatives are the Single Window admission system for Plus One admissions and the Online Transfer and Posting of technical assistance to teachers. The online transfer and posting of teachers gains more advantage as it benefits over 60,000 teachers in the state. Some of the other e-governance initiatives of the Project include the Noon meal distribution computerization, Youth festival software, Pre-metric scholarship online, Centralised Online Text Book Intend system, Implementation of SPARK (Service Payroll Administrative Repository for Kerala) within General Education department, Total Physical Fitness Programme software etc.
Implementation of SPARK
SPARK (Service Payroll Administrative Repository for Kerala) is a program of Department of Information Technology (DIT) of Government of Kerala for digitizing the service book details of all employees of the state so that the database could be used for the decision makers and to ensure the welfare of the employees. Through this process implemented by the Project, details of as much as 72,256 service books from 2266 schools were entered in the database. Moreover currently 107 schools use this software to generate the monthly salary bills of teachers and staff on a regular basis.
Total Physical Fitness Programme software
Completely digitized software on Total Physical Fitness Programme wherein details of 30 lakh students are available for further action.=
‘School Wiki’—modelled on the Wikipedia—attempts to foster the culture of collaborative learning in Kerala’s schools.The portal named www.schoolwiki.in provides a comprehensive knowledge database of all schools in the state. The innovative portal include the learning outcomes of students derived from group activities as well as various educational contents prepared by the teacher groups.This collaborative website is completely Prepared in Malayalam All High Schools in the state include their educational contents and other details in their allotted space. Each school would be able to enter details such as basic elementary data, their historical references, statistics, infrastructure details, details of alumni, school websites and blogs, various clubs and forums, class magazines, supporting images and videos. Apart from these contents, analytical language projects such as “Pradeshika patram”, “Nadodi Vijnanakoshan” and “Ente Nadu”, which are part of learning Malayalam language, would also be entrusted to all students in Std 8, 9 and 10 respectively, which, under the guidance of language teachers, would be completed and the reports and findings would enrich the knowledge base of Schoolwiki. Schoolwiki, also feature an “ICT Learning Corner”, which include the various contents prepared by schools for all subjects in ICT enabled education. By facilitating the students with easy access and modification of all contents in Schoolwiki, this project also ensure the participation of general public including school Alumni