The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation has joined forces with Vidya Shakti, an initiative of OpenMentor, to use online classes and virtual reality to educate students in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation has collaborated with ‘Vidya Shakti,’ an initiative of OpenMentor, to provide online classes and virtual reality education to students in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh. OpenMentor is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Softsmith Infotech Private Limited.
The main objective of this partnership is to address the educational gap that has widened between urban and rural students due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The classes primarily focus on language fundamentals, mathematics, and science. So far, the initiative has been implemented in 100 villages within the Varanasi district, offering sessions in Hindi medium for students in grades 6 and 8.
By incorporating various technologies, student retention levels have shown improvement. STEM tutors bring virtual reality headsets to the classes, allowing students to “experience” educational content through sensor-enabled interactions. Additionally, short 3D videos are used to explain scientific and mathematical concepts. To enhance the learning experience, interactive question and answer sessions are conducted, promoting student engagement, communication, and participation. By actively responding during these sessions, students develop better responsiveness and communication skills.
The STEM tutor will carry three to four VR devices for each session, they will visit one school in the morning and one in the afternoon. The concept will be explained briefly to the students, after which they will be asked to view the VR videos in small batches.
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