Tata Trusts collaborates with MassachusettsInstitute of Technology (MIT) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to improve learning at secondary school level. The collaboration called Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx) plans to reach 1,65,000 students across 1,000 schools in four states: Mizoram, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh by 2018-19. This will offer content in both English and in regional languages, starting with Hindi and Telugu. It will offer curriculum in English, science, mathematics, and professional values. An additional major focus will be professional development for roughly 4,400 teachers in the four states.
"Tata Trusts have initiated partnerships with the finest institutions globally to find innovative solutions to pressing social issues in India," says Ratan Tata, chairman Tata Trusts. "Indian education is at a crossroads: With large numbers of students entering secondary education for the first time in Indian education history, on one hand, and new advances in technology and connectivity, on another, we have a unique opportunity to provide quality education at scale.
Through focus on English, science, mathematics, and values for work preparedness, CLIx promises to break new ground."
CLIx will align technology-integrated offerings with existing school curricula. In sync with India's national goal of improving the quality of secondary education, the initiative intends to leverage new technologies; enhance professional development of teachers; and create an open ecosystem to foster collaboration for innovation.
CLIx has its roots in a visit Ratan Tata made to MIT several years ago, in which MIT president L Rafael Reif described edX - an online-learning platform, launched by MIT and Harvard University, that offers university-level coursework to learners worldwide.
Inspired by the potential to use digital tools to enhance secondary education on a very large scale, Tata began the conversations that led to CLIx. Now CLIx will leverage OpenEdX, along with other educational technology, to deliver active learning resources and experiences to students at secondary schools.
"At MIT, we believe online learning technologies can offer teachers (and learners) everywhere the tools to transform the educational experience by engaging students in active learning that stimulates their curiosity, makes every lesson more memorable, and helps build skills relevant to students' experiences," says Reif. "CLIx is the most ambitious effort to date to put these ideas into practice," he says. CLIx's instruction is largely interactive and hands-on, making it a valuable complement to the education currently offered in India's secondary schools. It augments the existing curriculum in grades 8, 9, and 11, so that it does not interfere with the board exams in grades 10 and 12.
A central focus for CLIx is building capacity in the system to help these educational enhancements take root and spread. Accordingly, the initiative will not only prepare teachers to blend online technologies into their teaching, but will build a cadre of educators prepared to become digital learning innovators themselves. The Centre for Education Innovation and Action Research has been created at TISS to incubate CLIx, and will serve as the key Indian collaborator with MIT.