The leading CeramicSteel manufacturer conducted a pan India survey along with partners Whitemark and Teach for India to measure the impact on student learning depending on the quality of writing boards used.
Mumbai, March, 2016: In a bid to reduce the education inequity in India, one of world’s leading CeramicSteel manufacturers, Polyvision, launched an initiative in India to provide a vital premium teaching tool to classrooms which needed it the most. In partnership with Teach for India, and Whitemark Limited, the company’s national distributor in India, Polyvision donated hundreds of high quality e3 CeramicSteel whiteboards and chalkboards to underdeveloped classrooms across seven cities; Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad and will continue their donation efforts with Teach for India throughout the year.
To measure the positive effects on teaching and learning capabilities Polyvision launched a post installation survey for the teachers. This survey has helped in determining the ease with which a teacher can now conduct classes. Additionally it highlighted some of the core stress points that teachers and students have had to deal with until now.
These new writing surfaces not only help teachers communicate to the students better but also help the children learn better together. Patel teaching in Mumbai points out that “In a lesson, having the students make a connection between what the teacher is saying and words or images on the board is crucial to understanding a topic and improving one’s vocabulary. Visual learning is particularly important in primary classrooms.” While writing information and ideas on a whiteboard or chalkboard frees users from having to remember important information, displaying information helps create shared group knowledge. “When the teacher is writing the kids have time to absorb the content slowly also the kids understand how to start and end a paragraph. How to present answers in exams,” says Aditya from Pune.
Whiteboards make it easy for users to collaborate by jotting down thoughts, drawing correlations and building on each other’s ideas. Many teachers reported struggling with basic issues such as being able to write clearly on and erase the writing surfaces they were previously using. Not only did this cause them unnecessary stress but it also ate into their class time. As Dhwani from Pune noticed, “It is through visual aids like drawing and labeling that my young students increase their vocabulary easily. Hence, being able to erase and write very fast to be able to keep up with their energy levels.”
A research undertaken by the University of Washington demonstrated a special relationship between the hand and the brain when a person composes thoughts. Finger movements activate regions of the brain involved in thinking, language and working memory. While teachers faced difficulties using their old writing boards themselves, they could rarely conduct learning sessions where the children could also use the tool to learn in a group. However post the installation of their new e3 CeramicSteel board Divya reports her students in Mumbai “were very happy to see the new white and bright board in the classroom. I even ask them to solve the problems on the board and they come running to solve the sums. We are also very comfortable in showing videos. It is much clearer.”
The fact that India reports, a school drop-out rate of 40% at the elementary level while 4% never make it to school, is alarming. Reports also claim that the low quality of education is the prime deterrent, resulting in only 10% of Indian children being able to go on to college. The numbers unearthed by the survey indicate how important this initiative is as a step towards the goal to ensure that the future generation of India has a chance of writing a better future for themselves.