CAS Project Article: Technology Service group

by Geonhee DP 2

I have been teaching technology to students from outside of the school since MYP4. From my experience in MYP, I noticed that while the respective costs of computers and internet access have reduced drastically over the years, these costs still remain significantly expensive for some people. Also, the lack of technological know-how has been cited as further widening the ‘digital divide’ which means that even with access to technology, people might still be unable to make effective use of them. This led me to create a group that can help students from a local school who have a lack of technological know-how.

In my service group, we teach students from Equality for All about how to use different kinds of Google software which is free and one of the most used platforms. The aim of this activity is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for students by providing resources and training them every Tuesday. In order to do this, our members and I made a PPT for each software and presented to them with the demonstration by sharing the screen. We also provided students with tasks that allow them to use multiple Google software in order to enhance their critical thinking skills and use them in their daily life.

For the first 6 months, there were only 4 members but when I became DP2, the number of people doubled, therefore, the group was divided into two and I became a leader of group 2. As a leader, it was my responsibility to guide them on how to make a plan and create useful resources. I also had to lead the discussion and create tasks for each student during planning week. This was not easy, but it was a good opportunity to improve my leadership and communication skills.

One of the challenges I faced was the language barrier which could diminish communication as students are not fluent in English. Of course, there is one of our members who can translate into Marathi, but I tried to communicate directly to my students by using non-verbal language and learning their language. What I personally did was I learned some of the Marathi words that could be used to ask them whether they understood or not. If I had to use a word I did not know, I used Google Translator to listen to the pronunciation and tell the students. Of course, most of the time they did not understand so I showed them the translated sentences, but this allowed me to get closer to the students and they seem to be interested in my language as well to communicate with me.

What I learned the most is the importance of backup plans. Due to the pandemic and internet issues, some lessons were cancelled, and students were changed in the middle, so plans were changed frequently. To overcome this, we added one more column into our plan to put Plan B as well. Based on this experience, now I am confident about foreseeing potential challenges to the initial plan and considering valid alternatives and contingencies.

Overall, this project helped me to improve a variety of skills and reminded me of the importance of equitable quality education. The project is still ongoing, so I am looking forward to teaching more software to students and learning new things.

by Geonhee DP 2