September 12, 2018

Penn GSE and Aditya Birla Education Academy partner to train teachers in India in online and blended learning

Penn GSE and the Aditya Birla Education Academy are partnering to improve how teachers in India use technology in the classroom.

This month in Mumbai, a cohort of 30 teachers from ABEA will begin a version of Penn GSE’s Virtual Online Learning and Teaching Certificate Program specially tailored to help Indian teachers incorporate online and blended teaching methods in their practice.

Betty Chandy, VOLT Program Director, supports teachers in learning online strategies for the classroom.

The program will begin with a weeklong intensive training session with Penn GSE instructors. The ABEA cohort will then have 30 weeks of online modules, one-to-one virtual sessions with instructors, and online small group sessions with other students. In April, the cohort will gather in Mumbai for a final intensive week of sessions. 

A second cohort from ABEA — which supports teacher professional development in India — will begin in the spring. 

VOLT students learn online strategies for classroom management, student engagement, instructional design, differentiation, participatory learning, digital literacies, assessment and evaluation, and emerging technologies. Since they began working with ABEA, the VOLT team has crafted lessons specifically designed for teachers working in India.

“Technology is prevalent in Indian society, but not yet across education,” said VOLT Program Director Betty Chandy. “With a few modifications to our blended learning curriculum, we will help teachers develop their digital literacy so they can help their students cultivate 21st century skills.”

ABEA is an initiative of the Aditya Birla Education Trust, which is working on synchronizing India’s age-old traditions of academic excellence with the modern, thinking-oriented global processes of education.

“It is imperative that our educators evolve with changing times,” said ABET chair Neerja Birla. “They need to adapt to contemporary, avant-garde knowledge, and adopt innovative tools and resources of teaching. They must become out-of-the-box thinkers in order to impart the much-needed new-age education.”

The first cohort of teachers comes from a wide range of age and experience, Chandy said. As part of the program, these teachers will delve into questions like how they can help their students become responsible digital citizens.

“In today’s world, there is no single context for teaching and learning,” said Michael Golden, Executive Director for Catalyst @ Penn GSE, which supports VOLT. “With this partnership with ABEA, we are exploring how we can translate these lessons for teachers working in any context.”