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Making of Computer Masti : Content creation for an innovative Textbook


Title: An innovative content creation model Computer science in Schools. Author: Aditya Baru Last modified by: malati Created Date: 8/16/2009 6:31:24 AM – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Making of Computer Masti : Content creation for an innovative Textbook

Making of Computer Masti Content creation for
an innovative Textbook
  • IIT Bombay

Project chronology Jan-Mar 07
  • Literature survey of existing Computer curriculum
    for schools both in India and abroad
  • CBSE
  • ICSE
  • State boards
  • NCERT framework
  • US public schools
  • Stanford universitys recommended curriculum
  • Australia
  • ACM curriculum

Jan-Mar 07contd
  • Survey of textbooks available in India for
    teaching computers in schools
  • 10 publishers survey Navneet, Frank bros,
    Oxford, Rachnasagar, Orient Longman, ILFS .
  • Comparative study of topics covered from one to
    ten standards

Jan-Mar 07contd
  • Framing of CS curriculum
  • Release of Computer Science Curriculum for
    Schools March 2007
  • Team
  • Co-ordinator
  • Syllabus author
  • Syllabus reviewer Teachers and IITB faculty
  • Lesson material contributors
  • Lesson material reviewers

Snapshot of Lesson creation template
Snapshot of lesson review form
Summary of topics
Focus at different levels
  • Primary Section (1st to 4th) Get the children
    to be familiar with the computer and
  • that it has many interesting uses. Introduce the
    capabilities of a standalone computer
  • without doing any programming. Emphasis on just
    providing exposure to basic skills.
  • Some elementary social aspects and the concept of
    logical, step-wise, thinking.
  • Middle Section (5th to 7th) Get the children
    to learn how to control the computer.
  • Skilled use of a standalone computer, including
    configuration-level programming
  • (change settings and customize applications).
    Introduce the power of Internet
  • applications (email and search). Emphasis on
    social aspects keeping oneself safe
  • and ethical usage. Introduce an elementary
    programming language. Introduce
  • general concepts behind some of the skills
    learnt, such as algorithms etc.
  • Secondary Section (8th to 10th) Full fledged
    control of the standalone system and
  • skilled navigation of the networked world.
    Emphasis on learning concepts of broad
  • applicability. Other topics of the syllabus,
    including using a programming language,
  • as stipulated for the Board examination.
  • Higher Secondary Section (11th to 12th)
    Mostly follow the syllabus given for the
  • Board examination. Highlight the underlying
    concepts, without over-doing it.

Sample of What, Why, How
  • What At the end of 1st Std, a child should know
  • Concepts Regard the computer as a machine with
    various parts and associated
  • functions (that can be controlled/directed).
  • Usage Skills Identify all the parts of a
    computer use keyboard (arrow enter/return keys)
  • and mouse (single/double click) as input devices
    open applications, such as Music,
  • Paint, or Games and their rudimentary use.
  • Social Aspects Maintaining cleanliness
    dust-free area not spilling food etc
  • in handling peripherals and sharing resources.
  • Why At the end of 1st Std, it is enough for a
    child to be able to relate to a computer as an
  • interesting entity with various parts and
    functions (Existence Awareness). More topics are
  • not required because the goal is to simply
    introduce the computer as a tool for doing other
  • tasks. Since it can be a highly distracting toy,
    the content is deliberately low-key. However,
  • fewer topics are not desirable because the child
    should not get left behind in terms of his/her
  • peers or get overwhelmed at a later age.
  • How There should be one class per week, roughly
    as per the following schedule

Snapshot of week wise curriculum
Project chronology Mar 07-May07
  • Creation of handbooks and associated worksheets
  • Team of ten people allotted lessons content,
  • Content created ,uploaded on wiki

(No Transcript)
Project Chronology Jun07 Jun08
  • Handbook format extended to textbooks
  • Textbook content contextualised
  • Introduction of characters for the lessons
  • Lesson in the form of dialog between characters
    and a tutor character

Jun07 Jun08 .contd
  • Lesson aimed at both teachers and parents with
    many illustrations
  • Lesson starts with aim of lesson
  • Vocabulary restricted to age of child
  • Help provided to teacher as teachers corner
  • Worksheets integrated with lessons
  • Activities/group activities introduced for team
  • Projects introduced as the last lesson covering
    all the lessons of a grade

Jun07 Jun08 .contd
  • External resources provided for further learning
  • Explore tasks given which are not covered in the
  • Concepts and skills formulated for each lesson
  • Lesson outcome summarised in the end

Sample lesson shots
June 2008
  • Computer Masti Book I released under creative
  • Available for download on the website
  • Statistics Worldwide downloads of 430 across
  • Book used in Mumbai SSRVM school and field study

Field insights
  • Elementary school students are avid learners and
  • the various computer applications with minimal
  • Computer-based activities interest the students
    and can be
  • used for developing skills in other subjects.
  • Collaborative learning enabled students to
  • explore various applications.
  • No gender differences are observed in computer
  • and usage, likely reason - controlled exposure in
    the school
  • setting ensures equal opportunity to use the
  • Confidence of teacher with the technology has a
  • impact on confidence of students.

Nov 2008
  • Release of Computer Mast Book II
  • Downloads 196
  • Field study extended in the Mumbai school with
    Book II

June 2009
  • Release of Computer Masti III
  • Downloads 40
  • Implementation in schools outsourced to Vendor
    Intux pvt Ltd.
  • Vendor has MOU with schools to conduct training,
    set up labs, teach CM

August 2009
  • Computer Masti IV Completed, will be released

  • End of Project Chronology slides

I - CM specific Model
  • Motivation
  • How was CM created?
  • Different roles of people involved
  • Child specific decisions while creating content
  • Why does the model work
  • Can it be replicated for other subjects?

One more textbook for teaching Computers in
  • Study of existing curriculum led to development
    of new curriculum to bridge the gap and move
    towards FOSS
  • Computer Masti CM textbook was a result of the
    content generated for the new curriculum

Some questions
  • Is it necessary to teach computer science in
    schools ?
  • If so, at what age do we start?
  • What do we teach them?
  • How do we teach them?
  • Will it be fun?
  • How will it help them in the future , if they
    become artists, fashion designers, and musicians
    and not scientists?

Some more questions
  • Can we also teach other subjects using computers?
  • Can we get the trained personnel for teaching?
  • Is it too distracting?
  • Is it safe?
  • Do you need specific skills to learn this
  • Is teaching computers at school a very expensive

The above questions led to..
  • Motivation for this project
  • Study of existing curriculum across
  • Our philosophy of concept/skill based learning
  • Curriculum and Content development
  • Implementation on the field
  • Extensions in the future

  • Students already have access to PCs
  • Self-learning in trial and error mode
  • There is no structured training at primary school
  • They may end up using PCs only for entertainment
  • It is very critical that they learn the right way
  • Children can have fun while learning
  • We have fun in designing the curriculum

Study existing curriculum/textbooks
  • Varied curriculum across boards
  • Different entry levels KG, III
  • No prescribed syllabus
  • Mostly tied to Microsoft proprietary software
  • Only skill based teaching
  • CS is not a board paper elective
  • Textbooks generally cover one application every
  • Not enough illustrations
  • Design a curriculum to overcome the above

Our Philosophy
  • What, why ,when, how?
  • OS platform Ubuntu
  • Generic concepts which are platform independent
    start up , shut down
  • CS concepts Step wise thinking, reasoning
  • Application Skills
  • Values interspersed with lessons
  • Child friendly language
  • Open source contents Creative Commons

Curriculum/content development
  • Curriculum designed based on insights of study
  • Expert feedback from CS faculty / teachers
  • Improvisation of curriculum
  • Team of contributors from diverse backgrounds
  • Collaborative work across geographic locations
  • Guidance about the scope of the topic to be

Curriculum/content development
  • Handbooks for teachers developed
  • Content adapted to textbook format
  • Textbook lesson components
  • Aim
  • Lesson content
  • Lesson outcome
  • Worksheets
  • Activities
  • Explore
  • Teachers corner
  • Further reading
  • Projects

Contributors for content
  • Underlying content created Author
  • Contextual conversation added to the content
    Creative writer
  • Worksheets and activities designed Social
    sciences expert along with subject expert
  • Teachers corner Tips for how to teach
    students Social sciences expert
  • Illustrations added Illustrator
  • Entire lesson design and layout Graphic
  • Content final editing Editor
  • Entire process coordination Managing Editor

Content contributors academic background
  • The diverse academic background of the
    contributors has helped in creating and
    fine-tuning the content
  • Computer science Faculty
  • Engineers
  • Social scientists
  • Fine arts experts
  • Illustrators and animation experts
  • Language experts
  • Teachers
  • Graphic designers

Key challenges during content creation
  • For the Author
  • Decide the scope of the content for the
    particular age
  • Study existing content for the topic and have the
    clarity about what is the differentiator /value
    add for the content they are creating
  • Clearly come up with Concepts and skills that can
    be introduced in the content

  • For the creative writer
  • Most challenging role
  • Build contextual conversations around the topic
    to be covered
  • Conversation should not override the actual topic
  • Intersperse the lesson with real life examples
    which children can relate to
  • Enumerate the concepts and skills
  • Come up with content which comes to life with
  • Reiterate concepts learnt in earlier lessons
  • Be gender sensitive while creating content

  • Social science Expert
  • Create worksheets and activities which are age
  • Check that the concepts and skills in the lesson
    are covered in the worksheets
  • Ensure the language used is child friendly
  • List the questions that can be asked while
  • Envisage the possible responses of students and
    guide the teacher
  • Create group activities to foster team building
  • Think of tasks for children to explore which are
    not covered in the lesson

  • For the Illustrator
  • The illustration should be self explanatory
    ,should be used even if text is translated
  • Illustrations to be gender sensitive
  • Child should be able to relate to characters used
  • Incorporate cheerful expressions of characters
    used so as to appeal to the child
  • Come up with suggestions as to what illustration
    for a particular activity/question will make it
    interesting for the child
  • Choose the appropriate colurs for the

  • For the Designer
  • Create design templates for all the lesson
    components lesson ,worksheet, activity.
  • Design a layout that is attractive and motivates
    a child
  • Highlight technical words and keywords in subtle
  • Use a mix of text and illustrations interspersed
    such that the content page is not cluttered.

  • For the Editor
  • Check the flow of the entire lesson
  • Add/delete new concepts or skills
  • Change the scope of the content
  • If there are too many new concepts introduced ,
    move them to the next level

  • For the Managing Editor
  • Ensure seamless integration of all activities
    eg lesson -gt worksheets-gt Activities-gtillustrati
  • Collaborative project management
  • Ensure feedback and iteration after each activity
  • Set individual and group deadlines

Why did this model work for CM?
  • All the team members are passionate about
  • Team belonging to all age groups bringing in
    varied insights 50 yrs to 20 yrs
  • Entire activity was primarily voluntary and self
  • Ownership , accountability without possessiveness
  • Active group discussion and decision making
  • Main motivation from IIT faculty member
  • Eventually benefit the next generation of kids
    after large scale dissemination

II- Generic ,collaborative content generation
model for creation of textbooks
  • The three main phases are
  • Pre-processing phase
  • Processing phase
  • Post-processing phase

1. Pre-processing phase
  • Study the need for a textbook in the particular
  • Decide the target audience students/
  • Decide the age group of target audience
  • Literature survey of existing textbooks and
    curriculum followed for that subject
  • Comparative study and gap analysis

1. Pre-processing phase ..contd
  • Propose curriculum
  • Fine-grain level
  • Focus on concepts to be taught
  • List out skills to be taught
  • Enumerate what , why ,how a particular topic has
    to be taught

2. Processing phase
  • Look for people to fit into essential roles
    single person may perform multiple roles
  • Overall editor Content signoff
  • Managing Editor Tracking of processes and
  • Content author Scope of content to be covered
  • Contextual author- Create the context around the
  • Teaching author pedagogical aspects, conduct
  • Designer Layout of the book
  • Illustrator Illustrations for the textbook

2. Processing phasecontd
  • Apply iterative process for each step in content
    creation link to diagram
  • Closure , Final Editing
  • Print ready version created in pdf
  • Printed

3. Post processing Lab to school/outside world
  • Release in Creative commons- Increase visibility
  • Track analytics to check downloads
  • Set up a mechanism to get feedback from users
  • Find implementation partner
  • to actually take it to the target audience
  • Conduct training programs
  • Set up a collaboration and revenue sharing model
  • Translation and customization of content based on
  • Open up other channels like e-book, content on
    mobile , content based comic strips, etc

How can others take part?
  • All the tasks and activities are maintained in a
    collaborative work space
  • Individuals can sign up for any specific activity
    and contribute creation, review
  • This contribution is across geographic borders

  • Thank you