LAHORE, MARCH 28, 2015: The Ghani Welfare Foundation (GWF) is all set to initiate its next project, “Computer Lab & Research Centre” in its charity school at Shahdara, Lahore. This lab & research centre will remain open for common public after the school hours. This project would be beneficial not only for the students of our charity school, but will also serve as a platform to promote research culture among the residents of that area. All the details regarding this project are as following:
- Create a facility to expose children and teachers to technology and make them familiar and skilled with the various uses of technology.
- Make available the latest teaching techniques, aids and resources which rely on interactive mediums i.e e-books, learning videos and software providing interactive activities/exercise, interactive white boards and research material, etc.
- Deliver training to staff through online courses and resources.
- Make the school more efficient in its administration by storing data electronically and having ability to analyse it for management purposes.
- Expose the residents of the area to latest technology and enhance research culture among them.
- All children in the school are aware of recent technologies and at the most basic have the skills to utilize the fundamental functions of word processing and browsing the internet for research.
- Children begin to perform self study and are proactive in using the facilities for research and during after school clubs.
- All our teachers integrate the use of technology into their teaching techniques and deliver more effective learning outcomes for students.
- Teachers utilize the facility to develop their professional skills.
- This lab would become the first research lab in Shahdara. The whole community around school benefits from the lab. After opening and running the lab successfully for few months, we want it to be opened for common public for specific hours in evening. Students who need computer for research and academic purpose, they can use our lab. We want elderly people to learn using the facilities available in the lab.
- People of that area have feeling of ownership of the resource and protect that lab, the way they would protect a local mosque.
- The school has detailed records on students, which helps identify and track student progress so we can identify and refine school policies and syllabus to be most effective for our children.
- The facility is used where appropriate across the school syllabus and integrated into the teachers lesson plans and time tables in a structured manner, with regular updates to teaching plans, materials and resources to ensure it is relevant and used most effectively.
- Should be available whenever required and not constrained by utilities such as availability of mains electricity supply.
- Should be easy for teachers to maintain and use without need for full time technology specialist being available on site.
- Teachers should receive the required training to be confident with and utilize the resources effectively.
- The facility is secured physically from intentional criminal damage/theft, as well as protected from unintentional inappropriate use which also damages it.
- Age appropriate content and access is given to children.
- Data stored is backed up and kept secure.
- A technology policy is established with clear guidance and rules, i.e usage in terms of content, who can access it, who has administrative rights, timings, etc.
- There is a monthly review of how much time children and staff are spending using the facility and what content is most used.
- Regular maintenance and updates of the facility to prolong its life.
- On going running and maintenance costs of the facility should be kept low [need to quantify by discussing with management team], and lifetime of facility should be 3 years plus without major re-investment/upgrades.
- Teacher at the front of the class room, showing the whole class a video or activity on a website or from a CD
- Each student independently or as a small group of students doing research/activity on a topic from a website or resource on a CD.
- Teachers after school doing independent research, preparing lesson material, personal training and updating children’s school records.
- After school children’s club or general public access time, providing opportunity for children to explore and use the technology, can be independently or in small groups.
- Administrator collating data and producing reports.
- Each class should have a device for the teacher to use, a peripheral to display the content to the entire class (maybe projector) and speakers to play any associated sound. (Currently we have 6 classes and each year we add one new class).
- A set 6 devices with screens, keyboards and mice for children to use individually or in small groups in a computer lab.
- Internet provided through WIFI to entire building, (i.e router with firewall).
- A network drive to store and share documents between staff.
- A network printer so teachers can print material, maybe network printer.
- Potentially a media server so content from CD/DVD’s can be streamed across multiple devices.
- Back up drive for overnight back up of data.
Ghani Welfare Foundation has been running a welfare school named Ghani Grammar School from February 2011. At the moment, nearly 150 students from poor backgrounds receive free education at this school.