Ramesh Khamrana has worked tirelessly to bring technology to his school and community, and has the results to show for it. A pioneer in the use of ICT in teaching in his native Rajasthan, Khamrana established the first e-learning classroom in his school. He is also a member of his state’s e-learning core group and e-content developer group. As a science teacher, Khamrana wanted to make science learning easier and more interesting for his students. So he prepared about 1500 multimedia animated PowerPoint slides on different science topics (physics, chemistry, biology) in Hindi. This novel approach, along with Khamrana’s distinctive teaching style, convinced politicians, teachers and students that ICT could revolutionize the teaching and learning process. Here, Khamrana shares what he’s learned in the process.
What has changed as a result of your efforts?
I have been working in the field of ICT since 2001. When I demonstrated my first animated audio-visual e-lesson (using PowerPoint) at the public library on Science Day 2004, the District Collector, District Education Officer, all the teachers and students appreciated my efforts and expressed their views that it was very helpful in learning and motivational. It was easy to understand different concepts of science and create interest in the subject. There were quick responses from students. It encouraged many teachers to innovate and use technology in their teaching. In the last 10 years, my projects have been selected for state science fairs. These projects, when discussed with other students, motivated them as an eye-opener to the varied applications of science. The teachers, the students and the school authorities have accepted that the school science program can also contribute to research projects, and that learning takes place in a better way when the teacher acts as a mentor and guides the students to attain a specific goal.
The teamwork in project-based learning is a motivation for the students to think beyond the curriculum. It also helps develop an attitudinal change in the students’ notion about science. It motivates students to use ICT, and they are ready to make their best efforts.
How can others facing similar challenges implement what you’ve learned through your work?
We cannot satisfy today’s students by traditional teaching methods. Students are more active and get exposed to different media. As teachers, we must keep ourselves updated according to change. Technology is available and it is easy to use. They should use ICT in their teaching profession to create interest in the topic and to better understand the problems of students.
How have you applied technology in innovative ways to support your work?
I have used Visual Basic, Microsoft PowerPoint and other Microsoft tools in my teaching. I have also prepared multimedia animated PowerPoint slides on the different topics of science in Hindi and developed multimedia tools to develop understanding and new skills. I established an e-learning classroom in the school, using the Internet as a source for content.
What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome to ensure students are receiving a quality education?
The ritualistic thought that computers cannot be utilized as teaching tools. But by working hard, preparing slides about the contents, and by using effective multimedia techniques, I overcame this obstacle.
What is your country doing right to support education?
In-service teacher training, including the use of ICT, is helping to update teachers. CALP (computer-aided learning program) is introducing innovation. Providing Internet connectivity in the schools is also a positive move.
What conditions must change in your country to better support education?
The school curriculum does not have any space for projects or research, but the real learning begins there, when the students learn to apply their knowledge beyond the curriculum.
What is the best opportunity for innovation in education?
ICT should be used by teachers and students. Today it is easily available. We may utilize it at international level. It is the transitional period, but it is the best opportunity for innovation in education. A difficult topic may become joyful. It develops wide understanding about content. It develops collaboration skills, communication skills, problem solving skills, leadership skills. It develops the global village concept. Student can use their knowledge in real life. It is useful in the complete personality development of students, and it is useful to develop human values.
What advice would you give a new teacher (or to anyone wanting to make a difference in education)?
“He who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” They need only to be updated with more effective ways of teaching. Start using ICT in education. Get experienced by updating your knowledge — it is the technology of the future and what we need to reform education.
What educational “trend” do you think is helping students? Is there a trend that is getting in the way of learning?
ICT being used in lessons makes the teaching and learning process more effective.
If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be? Why?
It would be tablet and content according to age group. This would develop the skill
of global collaboration.
About Ramesh Kumar Khamrana
Senior Science Teacher, Pali, Rajasthan, India
Ramesh Khamrana is a senior science teacher at Seth Bangar Government Senior Secondary School. Khamrana has long been an innovator in the classroom and has been widely recognized for his contributions in promoting the use of technology to explain difficult concepts. Khamrana has received many invitations to participate in seminars, workshops and conferences to deliver and share his work on the use of ICT in making science teaching more effective. Khamrana is now in charge of the District Computer Education Center (DCEC) where he realizes his dream of developing scientific temperament in his students through innovative practices. He also shares his insights on his blog and website.
Birthplace: Pali, Rajasthan
Current residence: Pali, Rajasthan, India
Education: M.Sc. Botany from M D S university, B.Ed. from Rajasthan Vidhyapeeth
Websites I check every day: http://www.pil-network.com , http://dailyedventures.com
Person who inspires me most: My father, who always taught me that proper preparation is necessary before starting any task. Collection of required equipment and knowledge about a task helps me to complete the task successfully. It develops my confidence. And it is the key to success in my career.
Favorite childhood memory: Good skill of drawing.
Next travel destination (work or pleasure): NCERT- New Delhi
When was the last time you laughed? Why?: Every day when our colleague poet Mr. Dalpat Singh enters in the staffroom with a new, unique joke.
Favorite book: Biography of Mahatma Gandhi
Favorite music: Classical
Your favorite quote or motto: Live and Let Live