Technology-based contents have made Bangla learning a fun
Save the Children through READ program works to improve Bangla reading skill of grade I to III students. It has produced interactive reading materials that can motivate children to read. Unavailability of appropriate digital materials has been a challenge for teachers as revealed in the ICT situation analysis of READ. Therefore, READ ICT team developed ‘Reading Hub’ to support Bangla reading skill of the early graders. It also envisage to assist teachers and e-contents are easily downloadable from Reading Hub (http://ict.readbangladesh.org/).
The Reading Hub contains two types of e-contents: textbook-based contents and digital supplementary reading materials (DSRMs). Uploaded games and contents go beyond the textbook lessons children receive in classrooms. In addition, READ standardized the letter names with the collaboration of Bangla Academy, National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), International Mother Language Institute (IMLI), Institute of Modern Language (IML) and Institute of Education and Research (IER) of University of Dhaka, BRAC and other respective government and non-government entities. The e-contents include the standard version of letter name.
E-contents have an offline version as well. READ provided these to 2250 government primary schools equipped with multimedia. READ also provides training to the school teachers on using ICT for developing Bangla reading skill. Participating teachers are very encouraged to use the contents in their lessons.
“I felt problem in pronunciation, so it was difficult for me to teach standard pronunciation. These e-contents helped me to learn and teach correct pronunciation” -Susanta Karmakar, Assistant Teacher of Jalilpur government primary school, Jhenaidah said while expressing his reaction.
E-content help teachers to simplify particular concepts and make the learning sustainable. “Comparatively ‘hard to grasp’ contents of the textbooks are placed in Reading Hub. So, it becomes very easy for me to teach Bangla subject” said the Head Teacher of Lamatshi government primary school, Habiganj. E-contents are also equipped with lot of entertaining games. Students are learning through fun. Standard letter name and pronunciation of the texts help the students read correctly and fluently.
Moreover, contents are aligned with national curriculum and terminal competencies. This alignment made teachers more enthusiastic to use them in the classroom. On the other hand, considering Science and English as difficult subjects, teachers and developing partners made contents for English and Science. Content for Bangla was very limited. Now, teachers have these e-contents available for them. Technology not only has changed the way teachers teach, but offering educators effective ways also to reach different types of learners and assess learning outcome.