Author: Trishala Hirachan

HomeArticles Posted by Trishala Hirachan

Revisiting laptop program school in Nagarkot

Nagarkot | March 2022:

OLE Nepal has conducted refresher training for the teachers of Shree Chunadevi Secondary School in Nagarkot on March 18-20, 2022. The main objective of the refresher training program was to revisit and recall the skills obtained from the basic E-Paath integrated teachers training. The laptop program in the school was launched in February 2019, where 19 fully-loaded XO laptops were deployed and an offline digital library server was installed at the school’s computer lab. 

This refresher training allowed teachers to practice the skills learnt in the initial training and to enhance quality in the technology-integrated teaching process. The three-day training event was designed to help teachers find solutions for the issues and troubles they have been facing in the regular E-Paath integrated teaching process. Trainers also conducted hands-on sessions to explore offline E-Pustakalaya, its features and content.

Trainers facilitated some sharing sessions between the teachers. Teachers also appreciated the platform to share their knowledge and experience on the teaching and learning process with their colleagues. This was valuable as through their shared experiences and common issues, the teachers were able to discuss some solutions as a group. 

Photos from the training program:

During the school visit, our trainers observed that the school was caring for the devices and running the program well while the school was open. After the training, our team also conducted an endline survey to figure out the learning achievements of the students. Our team will prepare a comparative study report on the findings from the survey.

The technology in education program at Shree Chunadevi Secondary School was implemented in collaboration with Rotary club of Silkeborg, Denmark and Rotary Club of Kathmandu.

Continue Reading

Teacher training for digital learning program

Kavre | March 2022:

OLE Nepal’s team of trainers completed a teacher training program on technology integrated teaching-learning methodology for teachers Golmeswori Basic School in Kavre. The four-day teacher training program was held at the school’s computer lab on March 7-10 2022. OLE Nepal’s technical team head previously completed the computer lab set up in the school on September 14, 2021. They had set up 18 units of RPi computer sets and installed E-Pustakalaya offline server along with all the accessories in the computer lab when the school construction was completed last year.  

Two trainers from OLE Nepal visited the school to conduct the training for six teachers on digital learning using the Raspberry Pi computers and digital resources available in E-Pustakalaya. The objective of the training was to develop teachers’ skills and confidence in integrating technology and digital learning resources in classroom lessons. Teachers were introduced to the contents of the offline digital library server, and trained on the integration of technology in classrooms. 

The training aimed to develop the teacher’s aptitude to seek references and include them in their lesson delivery. OLE Nepal’s trainers were also able to guide teachers on troubleshooting technical problems related to the different devices in their computer lab, as well as the pedagogical aspects. At the end of the training session, the teachers were confident in their skills in the handling of the devices and integrating the digital lessons in their classrooms. This was demonstrated by the teachers in the practice class sessions during the training.

This teacher training program, along with the Raspberry Pi computers and digital library server in Golmeswori Basic School, Kavre was launched in partnership with Kids of Kathmandu.

Continue Reading

Address digital learning needs of children with learning differences

Lalitpur | February 2022:

OLE Nepal initiated this project to create accessible and inclusive content with the aim to reduce disparities that children with disabilities are facing with their learning. In this project we worked to increase inclusive access to learning materials on our free and open digital learning platforms – E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya

An integral part of this project was creating books in Nepali language that can be used with assistive technology. To make our digital library accessible, we enlisted the help of Nepali digital accessibility experts, and users of assistive technology. Our team completed the conversion of school textbooks, enabling students with visual-impairments to browse through them. Altogether, 30 books were converted into accessible formats. Converted books were tested by the Accessibility advisor and blind users familiar with text-to-speech (TTS) software and optical character recognition (OCR) on devices with assistive technology and other accessibility features. We modified our approach to make our digital library and learning content accessible to students with disabilities. Our programmers ran tests on our free and open digital library to ensure it meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

To test our content, we launched a pilot program on technology-based accessible learning for blind and partially sighted students at Namuna Machhindra High School at Lagankhel, Lalitpur. 10 new laptops with accessibility features and assistive technology were added to the resource center at the school, along with an offline digital library-E-Pustakalaya server. Our team completed a three-day training for teachers and students on February 17, 2022. The school has three teachers for the blind and 40 students who are blind or partially sighted.

The main objective of the training was to enable the teachers and students to use computers for digital learning and browse E-Pustakalaya using assistive technology. Participants included three teachers, and eight blind or partially sighted students. The training was designed to be a fully hands-on experience for the participants. Most of the students were being introduced to laptops for learning for the first time, but they adapted to the new machines quickly. With the lessons and skills learnt from this initiative, OLE Nepal is looking for further opportunities to convert more Nepali books into accessible formats.

Photos from the training program at Namuna Machhindra High School at Lagankhel, Lalitpur:

We also integrated Nepali Sign Language in our existing content. To make the learning experience inclusive for students with hearing impairments, we worked with Nepali Sign Language (NSL) experts and interpreters to create NSL instructional videos and embed them on digital learning content 288 E-Paath for Grades 1-6. While all of the contents in E-Paath has text for corresponding audio/sounds, we believe that students with hearing impairments will benefit from the NSL instruction that we have added within each E-Paath lesson and exercise.

A five-day teacher training program was conducted at Shree Adarsha Saula Yubak Secondary School in Lalitpur, on February 20-24, 2022, to launch the Nepali Sign Language pilot program. Our technical team completed the installation and computer lab set-up with 12 Raspberry Pi computers and digital library server in the week before the training. The hands-on training program focused on technical and pedagogical aspects of the program. The E-Paath lessons with new sign language videos, and methods of integrating digital content in daily classroom teaching were the core elements of the training. 

Five Nepali Sign Language teachers in the school were introduced to technical aspects of the program, which included the Raspberry Pi computers and offline digital library server. Teachers were briefed on basic troubleshooting skills so they are able to handle computer networks on their own. Trainers also went over classroom management skills to help them improve student engagement and participation. The training program was designed to develop teachers’ aptitude to seek reference and include them in their lesson delivery. The school was encouraged to create a maintenance fund to foster sustainable use of all these equipment. 

Photos and video from the training program at Shree Adarsha Saula Yubak Secondary School in Lalitpur:

OLE Nepal’s technical and content team will provide support based on the school’s requirements and collect valuable feedback for content enhancement. Our content team will also monitor the usage during this period. Through these pilot programs, we intend to collaborate with the teachers and students at the school to collect feedback on their user experiences and continue to make improvements to the content. 

This project is being implemented in partnership with UNICEF and KDDI Foundation.

Continue Reading

Raspberry Pi computers in new schools

Makawanpur and Sindhuli | February 2022: 

Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal has successfully completed basic teachers’ training on Raspberry Pi, E-paath (National curriculum based digital interactive learning materials) and E-Pustakalaya (digital library) at Manakamana Secondary School, Hetauda, Janakalyan Basic School and Thakureswor Basic School, Sindhuli. The training program was conducted in two events  from  February 16-20, 2022 at Manakamana Secondary School, Makawanpur and February 22-26, 2022 at Jana Kalyan Basic school, Sindhuli. The teachers from Thakureswor Basic School joined the training at Janakalyan Basic School, Barabise.

The program was facilitated by OLE Nepal’s training team in partnership with Relief Nepal, partner organization of All Hands and Hearts (AHAH). Our main objective was to familiarize the teachers with Raspberry Pi devices and to develop their skills in integrating technology and digital learning resources in their classrooms. A total of 21 teachers (11 male and 10 female) participated in the training. Prior to the training, our technical team prepared a total of 72 Raspberry Pi computers for the deployment and training. Our team traveled to all three schools to install 24 Raspberry Pi devices at each of the three schools, along with the offline E-Pustakalaya server and school network. Computer labs in Manakamana Secondary School and Janakalyan Basic School were set up before the training by OLE Nepal’s technical team, while the lab in Thakureswor Basic School was set up after the teacher training was completed.

During the program, our trainers demonstrated E-Paath and discussed its relations between the curriculum and textbooks. The teachers were given hands-on experience in learning how to integrate E-Paath content in their lesson plans. Asides from directing the teachers on the functionalities of Raspberry Pi, E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya, they were also prepared on troubleshooting classroom issues that were technical, managerial and pedagogical. Our trainers instructed the teachers on the application of Raspberry Pi and helped them understand its parts and functions. Other important aspects of learning in the classroom, such as record keeping, motivation and reward system to encourage reading among students, were also discussed extensively.

Teacher Training at Manakamana Secondary School:

The five days training program at both events was observed by representatives from Relief Nepal, and AHAH. Chairperson and Education chief of Marin Rural Municipality also observed the training at Janakalyan Basic School, Barbise. Altogether we had 21 teachers (11 male and 10 female) participate in this training program. 

Students in these three schools now have access to quality digital learning materials in E-Pustakalaya, including our E-Paath content. The program was a success as our trainers saw that the teachers were engaged and committed. Following the training, the teachers agreed to integrate the digital content on a regular basis, and have shared an action plan to integrate digital learning in their daily classroom activities.

Teacher Training at Janakalyan Basic School:

Continue Reading

Creating new NSL content for STEAM-Ahead project

Lalitpur | December 2021:

OLE Nepal is developing digital learning contents for children with hearing impairments by creating interactive lessons with Nepali Sign Language (NSL) integration. The project focused on providing access to quality digital learning resources and capacity development of teachers and local bodies to promote quality learning. 

Currently the development of Nepali Sign Language (NSL) content collection is at different stages. A total of 30 chapters are being developed, out of which four chapters have been tested, ten chapters are being reviewed and updated, and the remaining chapters are in the process of being reviewed. These content include different topics ranging from Nepali alphabet to numbers to focusing on sign language. During the different phases of development, multiple rounds of meetings among team members including NSL experts, interpreters, and content designers were held to make these digital lessons and exercises in each content/topic more interactive and user-friendly.

In 2021, our team focused on the development of digital content for Nepali Sign Language content development. In the coming year we will be deploying these newly developed contents on fully-loaded computers and digital library servers with learning content ranging from national curriculum-based, grade-wise digital content: E-Paath; textbooks; educational videos; audiobooks, and interactive learning softwares. In addition, the STEAM Ahead content developed by Wi-STEAM will also be loaded on these servers. We will organise teacher training programs on the integration of digital learning resources to launch the program at 15 new schools in the project area of Dolpa in Karnali Province. 

User-testing NSL content

OLE Nepal is teaming up with Plan International Nepal to bring quality learning experiences to the children from marginalized communities in Dolpa district through the “STEAM-Ahead: Showing Talent, Equality & Ambition of Marginalised children in Karnali” project. Our goal is to address inadequate learning environments and resources, as well as harmful social and gender norms and practices that have continued to perpetuate inequality in access to quality education opportunities in the region.

The STEAM Ahead project is supported by the European Commission represented by the European Union in Nepal.

Continue Reading

Inclusive learning content development

Lalitpur | December 2021:

OLE Nepal is working together with UNICEF and KDDI Foundation, Japan on a project with the aim to reduce disparities that children with disabilities are facing with their learning, particularly in this COVID-19 context where their physical access to schools and learning environments is greatly reduced. Under this project, OLE Nepal is developing digital learning resources for children with visual and hearing impairments. 

OLE Nepal has a collection of freely accessible interactive digital learning materials activities, also known as E-Paath, that are based on the national curriculum. They are subject-specific and grade-specific content. For the Nepali Sign Language (NSL) accessibility features in the interactive digital lessons (E-Paath), we have completed embedding NSL videos right beside the main activity box on the activity page of the lesson for grades 1 to 6 Nepali, English, science, and math subjects. Our team of NSL interpreters completed producing the videos for sign language instruction, which were then edited into the required format with the correct markers for them to be individually added to the corresponding text and dialogues by software programmers. Our team has completed the NSL videos integration for the selected 288 digital lessons. 

These lessons are currently under-going functionality testing. Additionally, our team has conducted user-testing of the NSL-integrated digital content with the students at two different events. Testing was conducted with small groups of students from different grades from Helping Hands for the Deaf Hostel in Gairidhara, Kathmandu on December 3, 2021, and Adarsha Saula Yubak Secondary School in Bungmati, Lalitpur on December 8, 2021. These testing sessions provided our team with valuable insight into the effectiveness of the contents.

Our team has completed the conversion of 27 school textbooks that are published by the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) and these are being tested by the Accessibility advisor, content expert and the user of accessible books. We have hired two individuals for user-level testing of the accessible books created under this project, as accessibility-feature users reviewing  the accessible books allows our project team to get valuable feedback that they can incorporate to these books, as well as a broader perspective on the contents, their use and relevancy. Additionally, our digital library team is working on making changes to E-Pustakalaya to make it accessible to learners with visual impairments. They are addressing the issues on the digital library to meet the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. User-testing on a new accessible books section in E-Pustakalaya is ongoing at the moment. 

The next steps in this project include selecting pilot schools for pre-testing the contents developed under this project. The schools will be equipped with computers and digital library servers, followed by training of the teachers, so that they can integrate these newly developed digital lessons and accessible books in their classrooms.

Continue Reading

Installing EP servers at local level offices in Karnali and Sudurpaschim Provinces

Karnali and Sudurpaschim Provinces | December 2021:

Our team has completed the installation of E-Pustakalaya offline digital library servers in 22 Municipality and Rural Municipality offices of 4 districts in Sudurpaschim province. All local level offices in Achham (10), Dailekh (5), and Jajarkot (7), now have access to the offline version of our education-focused digital library’s collection of books, videos, audiobooks, and interactive teaching-learning materials. Officials including the Education unit, chief administrative officer, elected officials, and teachers attended the orientation sessions and showed interest in the possibility of expanding the digital library program to schools in their communities.

Each local level was provided with an E-Pustakalaya offline server manual that contains basic information on how to use digital resources available in servers, and basic troubleshooting techniques on servers and routers. The library server also has an android app for users to download books on their mobile phones so that they can read them later.  Users can access the digital content on their mobile devices through wireless network (offline) setup. A poster with information on how to access the server was also placed at each location for visitor/community members, and it also has contact information so that interested schools and libraries can reach out for offline digital library installation.

After the installation of digital library servers in Karnali Province, our team met with local on December 15, 2021, Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal’s team met with the Secretary – Krishna Prasad Kapri, Under Secretary – Bishnu Prasad Adhikari, and officials at the Ministry of Social Development at Birendranagar, Surkhet in Karnali Province. At the meeting, OLE Nepal’s Senior Manager, Mr. Tikaraj Karki shared updates about the installation of offline E-Pustakalaya digital library servers at 12 different local level offices (5 in Dailekh and 7 in Jajarkot district) in Karnali Province, completed by OLE’s team. Attendees were given an orientation on the features and contents of the educational offline library server, and there were further discussions on the possibility of expanding the digital library access in the province.

Meeting with officials at Ministry of Social Development at Birendranagar, Karnali Province

With the completion of installation of digital library servers at 22 municipality offices, our team has successfully equipped 59 municipalities in the region with offline E-Pustakalaya digital library servers, and provided hands-on training, orientation and dissemination of E-Pustakalaya content. We are proud to partner with the United Nations World Food Programme Nepal to provide free and open access to the digital library resources in Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces.

Continue Reading

Refresher Training in Jajarkot

Jajarkot | December 2021:

Our training team completed the refresher training program for the teachers from 12 laptop program schools in Jajarkot. The training program was held in two separate locations for teachers from six schools at each event. The training event for schools at Nalagad Municipality was held on December 3-5, 2021, and at Kuse Rural Municipality was held on December 9-11, 2021. Following covid safety precautions, only two teachers from each school were invited to participate in the training. 

This was the final of the three-stage training program for teachers from 12 laptop program schools in Jajarkot, which was launched in September 2019. The refresher training for laptop program schools is designed to help teachers deal with challenges and any issues encountered while integrating digital resources in their daily classroom. During the training sessions, teachers revisited the key concepts and skills learned in the initial and in-school training. Teachers were provided an open forum to share their best practices and revisit strategies for overcoming technological, pedagogical, and management challenges. 

To ensure efficient integration of digital lessons in classrooms, the trainers emphasized the necessity of thorough planning and preparation. Teachers also discussed the status of the laptops, library servers, network and power equipment at their schools, and how they could increase and utilize the maintenance fund for the up-keep of the devices with support from local authorities.

Some photos from the training program:

Teacher training and technical support for the laptop program in Jajarkot were launched in partnership with World Food Programme (WFP), under their School Meals Programme, which is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition grant. Laptops for the schools were made possible through the contributions of our supporters. The WFP district coordinator for Jajarkot observed both training events.

Special thanks to Ram KC & Karen James, and the communities in Goshen and Middlebury, Indiana who come together each year at annual OLE Nepal benefit events to support access to quality education for children in remote parts of Nepal.

Continue Reading

New ICT-integrated classrooms in Lalitpur

Lalitpur | November – December 2021:

OLE Nepal launched ICT integrated teaching-learning program at three new schools in Lalitpur. Shree Mahalaxmi Secondary School in Nakhipot, Shree Shanti Vidhyashram Secondary School in Patan, and Shree Shramjeet Kishor Secondary School in Lakhusi are now equipped with an offline digital library network set up with Raspberry Pi computers, which sufficient devices for each student in the largest class size. 

Our team completed a three-day teacher training program for the teachers of all three schools to launch the program. The training was designed to help the teachers develop skills in integrating technology and digital learning resources in the classroom. 

Participants were trained on the integrated approach to teaching learning in the classrooms with the use of OLE Nepal’s E-Pustakalaya and E-Paath, as well as technical aspects of the program. The presentations, hands-on activities, practice teaching, and planning exercises are all geared toward assisting teachers in seamlessly integrating digital learning materials into their everyday classroom instruction.

The hands-on training program for teachers was held at their respective schools after our technical team completed the full setup of computer labs. At Shree Shramjeet Kishor Secondary School, 10 teachers attended the training that took place on October 24 – 26, 2021. 19 teachers from Shree Shanti Vidhyashram Secondary School attended the training program on October 27 – 29, 2021. At Shree Mahalaxmi Secondary School the training was conducted on  November 29 – December 1, 2021, where 17 teachers participated in the three-day event.

A total of 115 Raspberry Pi computers have been installed in the three program schools. OLE Nepal helped set up the new computer labs in partnership with KDDI Foundation, Japan and in close coordination with Lalitpur Metropolitan City Office.

Continue Reading

Raspberry Pi computer lab with digital library set up in Kavre

September 2021 | Kavre

OLE Nepal has successfully completed offline E-Pustakalaya (digital library) installation and setting up Raspberry Pi computer lab at Gulmeshwori Primary School, Kavre. Our technical team and trainer visited the school in Kavre, on September 14, 2021, to set up the Raspberry Pi (RPi) computer labs and conduct orientation on the offline digital library. 

The visiting team setup 18 units of RPi computer sets along with all the accessories in the computer lab of the newly constructed school. They installed the  E-Pustakalaya offline server and connected the wireless Router to it, so that students and teachers can access the library on their mobile devices. After the installation was complete, the technical team conducted an orientation on the contents of E-Pustakalaya and the RPi computers. The teachers were introduced to the features, functions and tips on proper handling of the installed devices. Our team demonstrated how to connect the RPi, laptops and mobile devices to the digital library server using the router to access the educational content of the library. 

This orientation session was followed by a hands-on session on the functions and handling of the equipment by the teachers. At the end of the session, the teachers were able to find useful learning materials in the digital library and were confident about the use of the digital library equipment. The Raspberry Pi computer lab and digital library in Gulmeshwori Primary School, Kavre was launched in partnership with Kids of Kathmandu.

Continue Reading