Sunday, August 20, 2017

Edutech NGO Meghshala App to Help Over 50,000 Teachers in 2017

Meghshala, a non-profit edutech organisation founded by former teacher Jyoti Thyagarajan and entrepreneur Sridhar Ranganathan, has launched its 'Android App' and ‘Pinut’ server.

By setting up 50 low-cost offline content distribution hubs called ‘Pinut’, Meghshala, which is supported by Tata Trusts, allows a teacher to visit a block resource centre near their school and download the app and the Meghshala ‘TeachKits’ for free. Meghshala has close to 500 active users.

The app and server aim to reach over 50,000 teachers in the country, going beyond Karnataka. Teachers with a smartphone and Internet connection can download the app and lessons free of cost.

The organisation partners with Makkala Jagriti, ISHA Foundation, MYRADA and Anthyodaya that helps them communicate with the teachers in the most remote parts of India.
The content is multilingual and has lessons in Kannada, English, and Hindi. The teach kits will have new pedagogical techniques, teaching ideas, activities, videos, and pictures that help teachers engage with students. The app, launched on Friday, also has a discussion forum, which allows exchange of teaching techniques as well as content. Teachers can also post videos, pictures and even ask for help.

Jyoti Thyagarajan, founder and trustee of Meghshala, said that with the increasing penetration of smart phones, the app could be downloaded on the smart phones for free and is easy for teachers to use in their classrooms. Ullas Kumar, vice-president-Education Operations of Meghshala, said the content can be filtered based on the subject, class, lesson, and titles. There are over 2,500 lessons available on the app.

Mallikarjun M.R., an elementary school teacher at a government school in Kodathi in the city, said he had tested the app prior to the launch.

“There could be times when we are not able to ideate on how to teach a particular chapter. The app comes in handy at such times,” he said. He recently taught a lesson on elements, compounds, and mixtures to class 6 students and he said he was able to win the concentration of his students as there were many pictures that helped students visualise.

Rajeev Gowda, Rajya Sabha MP, G. Raghuram, Director, Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru and VR Mehta of Tata Trust were present at the launch of the app at an event in Bengaluru.

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