... and what led to it.
At Acharya Narendra Dev College - maybe because we have a young faculty, maybe we have more science teachers, maybe because we believe in academics, maybe also because we need to contribute more than just classroom teaching, or maybe just because we are made that way - we believe in Free and Open Source Software, in information being freely available (as in Open Educational resources) and making our presence felt on the world wide web!!.
Following links are available which makes our presence felt on the web:-
Some of the resources on the web created by the faculty at Acharya Narendra Dev College: Certificate Course on Bamboo and Rattan, Bamboo, Rattan, Study material on Plastics, Health effects of water pollution, Thermodynamics, Stages of Meiosis, Efficient Chemistry lab, Insects as Pests, Insect Pest mangement and Experiment protocols in Biology.
All of us are computer savvy, we believe in using the web for uploading information and content. We were the first to independently start econtent development in the University of Delhi and we used the wiki for educational content - the Wikieducator (WE) for uploading our content. We created a college page on the Wikieducator and linked all individual pages to it. We are also connected to the India page on WE. (Wikieducator was founded by Wayne Mackintosh at the Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver).
Wikieducator has its limitations when it comes to video materials - we then went on and learnt how to EasyNow - a set of tools developed by Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) that help in adapting content for uploading on the web easily. Content created by the faculty of the college and participants in the workshop in Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Mathematics is uploaded on EasyNow@ANDC
We not only learnt how to wiki or EasyNow, but we believed in teaching this to as many people as possible. More than fifty teachers in college are trained in econtent development - through-in house trainings. Hardly a month goes by when we do not have one or the other workshop that teach participants how to upload. We now have a team of ten (or more... the number keeps increasing) who are into teaching and training Wikieducator and Easynow to other teachers, both from schools and colleges, as also faculty at NCERT!!
See the following pages for details of workshops : L4C08, L4C31, L4C32, L4C42, L4C43, L4C44, L4C45, L4C46, L4C64, L4C68, L4C 69, L4C 71, Dhaka Workshop on WE and Easy Now. For presentations about WE see this. The Principal and her team have recently been called upon byCOL - CEMCA to help the Mumbai University in creating OERs and uploading it.
The Principal Dr Savithri Singh leads from the front in this area - not only is she an elected member of the Wikieducator International Community Council, she is also the Vice Chair (see here). She was responsible for the launch of the 'India Node' of the WE. She has made several presentations about her work with the Wikieducator but the most important one was the one at the Pan Commonwealth Forum - PCF5 at London in 2008. The next Forum - PCF6 is at Cochin this year where she will be accompanied by another colleague Dr Neeti Misra whose paper based on 'Easy Now' has been accepted. Just two weeks back two teachers from our college were at Uttarakhand Open University, Haldwani for three day conducting a hands-on workshop on Wikieducator - June 14-16, 2010.
Dr Savithri Singh and Neeti Misra authored the handbooks on 'Easy Now' for the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia CEMCA last year. Dr Singh was invited by CEMCA to train some community workers in Wikieducator and Easy Now tools end of last year at Dhaka. Both she and Neeti Misra attended the advanced Easy Now training workshop 'Training the trainers (TOT)' workshop in Penang, malaysia from 21th to 25th June 2010; this was also attended by participants from Maldives, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Sri Lanka besides from India.
Dr Savithri Singh is also a member of the Core 'India' team for development of 'Quality Assurance in Multimedia Learning Materials' - an activity also of CEMCA where the other node is in Malaysia. The report is now available on the site http://cemca.org. Further evaluation on the 'quality assurance' tools will be the next step.
Dr Savithri Singh was fortunate to be able to attend the 'Wikimania 2007' at Taipei, Taiwan, from where she returned fully convinced on the need to adapt FOSS in college. The importance of the learning opportunities that FOSS provides cannot be missed by any student least of all be a student of Computer Science. This enthusiasm led the college switching over to Linux in two of the three Computer Science Department Laboratories and searching for Open source alternatives to software in the syllabi. We were fortunate that the University gave us dual boot machines two years back - we believe we are the only college that uses the Linux boot. We lead the University in this too - we are first college (and maybe only) college to switch to Linux starting December 2007. We have set some standards!! Frequent Linux workshops are now the order of the day. See presentation made a student-group comparing open office with other word processors.
Our switching to Linux did create some problems - we could not find vendors who were prepared to give AMC for the software - networking created problems. That was a blessing in disguise - we now have student volunteers who maintain all machines in the college, for a small fee. Learning for them and saving for us!
That Linux provided learning opportunities was evident when students, with financial support from Delhi University, and egged on by the Principal and a young faculty member, started a 'Cluster Project'. A Group of four students ( numbers were really variable - but four stuck it out through and through) learnt how to cluster the CPU's (of discarded computers) to work together as one - in effect creating a super computer. Though there were several disappointments and frustrations ( and not the least because they were forced to use condemned computers) the students did finally succeed - AND it was huge learning experience. The report is available here.
This website that you are now browsing is also made using an Open Source Software - DRUPAL. It has been made by students and students are maintaining it!!. What you might find interesting is that it allows people with rights to directly write into it (as I am doing just now) - and who do you think taught us all this - none but these students. The pupils became the teachers in this. The workshop organized by them was well attended and one could not have found more committed 'teachers' or such sincere 'students'. The anxiety in the 'teacher' and the 'taught' was palpable. The college website is very easy to maintain/upload etc. More important since no outsiders are involved there is no 'time lag' between wanting to upload anything and actually doing so. I am sure that you will find our website amongst the most updated if not actually the most, at least ,in the University of Delhi.
When the University started its major project on econtent development our teachers were naturally part of it - both in the UKIERI project of Campus of Open Learning (COL) and that of Institute of Life Long Learning ( ILLL) - several modules prepared by both groups were prepared by our teachers.
Earlier in 2007, several teachers from our college were part of the NISCAIR (CSIR) effort on econtent development.
The college has taken the first steps in a related new area by attending a National Base Camp on Radio-enabled Learning at the India International Centre on 25th and 27th June, 2010 to discuss the possible structure under the four quadrant format. We should soon be initiating work in this area.
(This page is under construction - we will soon be providing links to more pages that have been uploaded by our teachers)
Maybe because we 'wiki' we do not hesitate to write in the open on the web and neither wait for polished 'materials' to be uploaded!!