Teachers at Mumbai school 'blog' the gap between students, parents
At a time when teachers are being criticised for not being as tech-savvy as Gen-X, a city school seems to have taken the onus of changing the trend.
Jagdish Shetty with his wife Sanjana and son Shlok check the blog for updates. Pic/Suresh KK
Faculty members of Don Bosco High School in Matunga recently became part of a new initiative, wherein every teacher has to blog about development in the curriculum and other routine matters that take place in their class every week. Parents and students can access the same through the school’s website.
The blog’s purpose, say school authorities, is to make students go beyond textbooks, and for parents to know what is happening in the classrooms. “Teachers not only list the topics they have covered in every subject, but also link to study material that can benefit the children while revising the subject at home,” said school principal Fr Bosco D’Mello.
The initiative, which was introduced just a week ago has received positive feedback from teachers as well as parents. “There is no compulsion on teachers as to when they should blog. The teachers themselves have taken the responsibility of updating the blog, either by coming early or staying after school hours,” Fr D’Mello added.
Though blogging was first introduced in the school last year, it failed to deliver the desired result. But this time the management decided to give it a second chance after seeking teachers’ approval. “Usually, I used to spend at least two lectures explaining a topic and conducting exercises in the class. Now, thanks to blogs, I paste the writing exercise on the website and ask students to finish it at home.
This not only saves time, but students get access to information that is unavailable in the textbooks,” said Perpetual Nazareth, one of the teachers. With the school management introducing smartboards in classrooms, most teachers now do not need to re-type their work to put up information on the blog.
“We use computers and projectors in the classroom, so most of the teachers have all the teaching material on a pendrive or on CDs. Once a lecture is over, all we have to do is link the study material to our blog. Simultaneously, we also update parents through our WhatsApp groups about any addition to the blog,” Nazareth said, adding that the blog also comes to the rescue of those students who might have missed a class or two.
For Jagdish Shetty, whose son studies in Class VI, introduction of the blog has helped him keep track of his son’s progress. “Both my wife and I regularly check the blog, which explains exactly what our son was taught in school and what kind of exercises he has to complete for the next class. I feel this will be of great help to students, especially before exams, as they can revise each subject by simply going through the blog posts,” he said.
Joining the hi-tech bandwagon
Of late, a handful of schools across the city have done away with the traditional methods of informing parents about what their children are learning in the school and have adopted the latest technology available for the same.
Ryan International Group of Schools recently introduced an app MyClassBoard for all their schools. “Through this app, parents can check any new circular, notice and assignment issued to students on their mobile phone.
The app functions through personal login ids and passwords that have been given to all parents, and is different for each class. Parents have appreciated the app as it gives them an understanding of everything that is happening in the school just by using their phones,” said Alice Vaz, principal of Ryan International School in Kharghar.