Ranjitsinh Disale is a Primary School Teacher. He has been in education domain for around 9 years. Currently he is working as Assistant Teacher at Zilla Parishad Primary School, Paritewadi Tq. Madha, Dist. Solapur.
He began journey as teacher in 2009, after completion of his Diploma in Education. He had completed his post-graduation in Journalism & Mass Communication. He has authored multiple articles and he has been nationally and internationally known for implementation of creativity and integration of technology into his teaching. He looks to inspire other teachers to be transformational in their practice.
After analyzing the gap between infrastructure available to the Government schools & private schools, he decided to bridge this gap. And technology was the tool in his arsenal. He started implementing various pilot projects on his own. He gathered data & analyzed them. On getting encouraging response from his pupils, he started implementing these projects in his taluka across all schools. It took lot of efforts to convince fellow teachers & the government body. Once they observed the results, everybody lends their helping hands. He started conducting awareness sessions for them. This process grown from his school to schools in taluka to schools in district & now he is working with fellow teacher across state, country & even overseas.
He implemented various projects like Chup baith Bapu datenge, Hour of life…… His project of “QR Coded Text Books” gave him first glimpse of wide acceptance. Government of Maharashtra had implemented this project for all curricular books in Maharashtra. Till now more than 6 million students are using his innovative QR Coded Textbooks. He has registered copyrights of this innovation under his belt. Adding to this NCERT has decided to implement his idea of QR coded textbooks in all the textbooks by 2019. His vision to empower every student to achieve more is on the way.
In the beginning, he started making videos and PPTs in my own language so that students will be able to relate to the enhanced and rich content . With the help of a computer and the textbook, I helped to them understand and use language more effectively. I also used many videos on the YouTube. With the permission of those who created the videos, I made them in Marathi. Children loved watching these videos because they understood the language. Looking back on the last nine years, I feel I have developed a large digital resource bank of 140 GB in Marathi. These videos cover various components – power points, word and so on. Creation of digital resource is not enough. It is useful only when used effectively. He decided to get help from parents for this. He felt making parents a partner in my efforts to provide learning to students will make my efforts effective. He felt that everyone should be able to access the digital resource bank that I had created anytime and anywhere. I felt that this is important if I believe that children learn at their own pace. In a village the main problem for this is electricity. In thinking of this problem I thought of the QR code in the book. I pasted the QR code for each lesson in children’s book. This code provides a link to the digital resources – the videos and audios – to poetry and songs and papers related to lessons. This code is operated by mobilizing parents. Such a system required parents to scan the digital resources related to the specific activities. A difficult in implementing this is that parents should have access to smart phone and internet access. In 2014, only 8 parents had smart phones. Through the use of these smart phones the system of accessing the resource was tested. I wrote a total of 290 QR codes in children’s book. The next question was how to use these codes? For this, 2 hours training program was organized for parents. In these two hours, I taught parents about the QR codes, how to scan them to access digital resources. Children also attended this training class. In addition, I created a video tutorial to guide parents and help them out through difficulties they may encounter. This tutorial was saved in mobile phone. When parents did something wrong, they saw the video and immediately remedied the wrong. In June 2014, this experiment was done on eight children of Class 1. The key is to hear the poem that the mobile gets on the book, and the children are very much appreciated about watching the video. The idea of QR code was more popular than expected. Kids have started to have fun in the process of learning. The objective was to achieve the goals that children should learn joyfully. Seeing this, other parents also started buying and bringing smartphones. By the end of the year, 19 parents had smart phones and began using them to access the digital resources. I felt that I had successfully helped my children to begin their journey of learning. I also felt that it was worth investing in developing QR codes, scanning them and accessing them through mobile phones. The idea of QR code implemented in my school also reached the neighborhood schools in India. The parents of that school also started to come to my school to get the code. Gradually, this concept began to move covering more parents and children. In 2015, in Madha Taluka, the QR coded books were started in 297 schools. In view of its utility, the Government of Maharashtra started using QR codes in all the books in the state. Today, more than six million children in Maharashtra are using QR coded books. Microsoft has honored this venture by awarding the ‘Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert’ for this innovative project. In the World Education Council held in March 2017 in Canada, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with 11 countries to implement this project. This speaks for the effectiveness of this innovative venture. Today, most of my students are able to handle mobile phones for educational purposes. Children are able to deal with English with a fair amount of confidence, particularly while speaking. Skype as a means to learn beyond the Textbook I have always felt that effective education should take should take into consideration the world outside of the school, the village outside, and the new experiences. I decided to start a program called Skype in classroom so that student get an experience of the world outside. There was a computer in the school. With the help of villagers. I bought a projector. The Gram Panchayat had made the solar system available. These freed us from the problems of physical facilities. Now I wanted children to go beyond textbooks. I felt that they had to learn from the outside world – form their own opinions using their own language. For this, I felt that they had to interact with strangers, find information they need, independently. Skype in the classroom was designed to find an answer to these questions. We took the first step in this direction by communicating with schools in the neighboring village. We started with a 10 minute interactive session. The purpose of this interaction was to develop situational conversation skills. I focused on the idea that they should be prepared to communication freely without fears that children in their childhood generally harbor. With Skype, students began to understand the elements of the textbooks more effectively. As a teacher of Government school, my understanding of language, Mathematics, English and Sociology deepened because of training. A good teacher needs to have a broad understanding of several subjects. But a teacher cannot have mastery over all subjects. A good mastery, is however, essential for effective teaching. For teaching poems, it is important that the teacher’s voice is good. I began to actively look for teachers who had the mastery and could teach really well. I felt that talking to them gave students an opportunity to learn from Experts. They can learn many things that are present in the outside world but not in textbooks. For example, Shivaji’s biography in history book for class 4. Instead of watching video of the remnants of Fort, students, using skype contacted locals who knew more about the locality of the Fort. This helped them develop skills of communication, questioning, verifying information. After collecting the information, they discuss among themselves – strengthening their skills of discussion. It may be a journey or a trip to Kansas City in America or Cape Town in South Africa; it may be a trip to study the marine water resources – my students have experienced the water beneath the ocean from the Aquarius Base Center with the help of Fabian Kostav; we have also studied penguins in this way. The Virtual Field Trip of Science Park is very useful to understand the many scientific concepts in schools where there is not a well-equipped laboratory. Virtual field trips help students study the Science Park, Textile Park and Dinosaur Park and gain a variety of experiences. Such field trips help students to expand their learning beyond the text books. Children, in 30-minute sessions also learnt five concepts of Science. These concepts are explained through the use of virtual experiments. If the children do not understand something, then experiment is repeated again and again till children understand it. At the end of the sessions, children ask questions strengthening their understanding further. According to me, as a teacher, this is one way to implement quality education for the children around the world and to make them a future scientist through the use of technology for the purposes of learning Over the past two years, we have been able to interact with teachers from 152 schools in 87 countries in the world through skype and gain experiences that have made contributed to the learning of students. The effectiveness of using technology in this way is evident when one sees children discussing, asking questions, and talking about their motivations and purposes. Since 2017, these kinds of Virtual Field Trip has been initiated as a worldwide experiment for promoting learning of children through the use of technology. In the last 5 months, 9034 children from 253 schools in 42 countries have benefitted from this. About one lakh children are planning to take advantage of this in the next year. India has thus become the 8th country in the world. I teach in a school which is located in drought prone area of Maharashtra. Parents were completely unaware about the importance of education. Using technology in the classroom , I could change this perception and opened the doors of futuristic world. Today although my students don’t have passports, They have travelled nearly 90 countries without leaving classroom. In the last 9 years, I have empowered more than 12000 Students from 250 schools in 42 countries. I think, in future, through the use of technology, students and teachers will have the freedom to choose what they want to learn and from whom they want to learn with an emphasis on getting a variety of learning experiences. Teachers will have the freedom to teach children in any country. I am aware that the journey of reaching this point is a tough one. With the help of digital platforms , I have been able to develop my capabilities. I am trying to prepare my kids for future. I try to empower them to create the world of tomorrow.
His efforts in the field of Education are recongnised by various organisations across the world. Government of Maharashtra, Ministry of HRD for Government of India, Microsoft Corporation, British Council, The Teacher App Foundation, SIR Foundation to name a few. He is bestowed with Microsoft Innovative Education Expert (MIEE) twice by Microsoft Corporation, Skype Master Teacher by Microsoft Corporation. He was awarded as Best Blogger by ABP Maza.
Alipur road, Shivaji Nagar, Vankalas Plot, Barshi-413411
Dist: Solapur , Maharashtra