The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) is compiling a DVD containing games about basic education concepts to make learning fun. The games employ simulations, animations and assessment tools for basic mathematical equations, chemical reactions and human and frog anatomy.
The DVD, being developed under PITB’s eLearn.Punjab initiative, is titled “Teaching with Games”. It aims to offer digitised content and supplementary learning resources for students and teachers.
Launched in January, the eLearn.Punjab initiative aims to provide online learning and interactive tools, including e-books, on science subjects for grade 9 and 10. The board also offers assessments, simulations and animations related to learning content on its website.
The PITB has now compiled hundreds of interactive games on various subjects, including mathematics, biology and chemistry from more than 10 different developers, such as KScience and Sheppard Games.
According to the PITB team, animated lessons along with simulations have been made part of the collection to help make learning interactive.
The team has also developed nine new games for high and middle school levels on human anatomy, mathematics, biology and chemistry. Students can learn about multiples, the periodic table and frog dissection through these games.
PITB team leader Kashif Farooq said e-learning was a relatively new concept in the country.
“Our aim is to offer solutions to teachers that help them move from conventional teaching methods to modern and digitised teaching,” he said.
Farooq said the availability of interactive teaching content was increasing. “The use of interactive material as a teaching and learning tool needs to be further explored. The introduction of DVDs with learning content is part of the project since its inception,” Farooq said. He said the PITB team had so far developed 500 promotional DVDs that would be distributed on a large scale.
“The PITB also plans to train teachers in government schools in content usage in collaboration with the Directorate of Staff Development,” he said.
The team has already trained 50 teachers from a private school about content usage and content development.
“Since this was our first attempt, teachers were selected largely on the basis of their enthusiasm and willingness to take part in the project,” the PITB official said. He said the teachers were educated about how to use the interactive tools and also to develop them on their own.
Farooq said the training of the first group had ended just before the start of Ramazan. He said the teachers with basic IT skills and a background in computer science were selected for the training.
“Teachers were trained to use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign and Adobe Captivate. The end result was development of interactive content by teachers,” he said. He said the PITB hoped to expand circulation of the DVDs by offering an online booking mechanism. Teachers and students will be able to place orders. Each DVD would roughly cost around Rs100 including the delivery charges.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2014.