MAKING A SHIFT
Technology integration is an important core value at ASB. It’s hard to imagine ASB without its seamless
integration of technology, but it wasn’t always like that. What changed? Was it the technology itself?
Not really. Having access to technology in classrooms is easy; the important shift was in the mindset.
ASB parents, students and staff had to own the idea that technology as a tool had the potential to
transform learning. Technology enabled a shift in culture and mindset, a shift that benefits our
community and deeply impacts student learning. Could the use of technology and technology enabled
practices cause a shift in culture and mindset for local schools in Mumbai?
A Long Term Partnership
Last year we had formed a partnership with a local school in our neighborhood - the Gandhi Bal Mandir
High School (GBMH). The school serves elementary and secondary school students, and follows the
national curriculum of India. Just like technology had shifted the trajectory of ASB, we started to wonder
if providing 30 OLPCs (One Laptop Per Child) laptops to GBMH could shift theirs. But before we did any
of that, it was important to build a relationship with the leadership, teachers and students of GBMH. We
realized that through building a long-term relationship, we could better understand their needs and
work closely with the school to move forward.
Taking the First Step
Our first step was working with about 150 third and fourth grade students in small groups in spring
2014. The school has a science lab used primarily by secondary school students. Our goal was to expose
the elementary school students (grades 3 and 4) to different activities and tools available in ASB’s
science labs. We hoped that this would also expose the teachers to the different strategies we used in a
science lab. These included:
Tools to show how solar panels work
The MakeyMakey: a kit that hacks your computer keyboard and can be used when plugged into
anything conductive like water, bananas or plants.
Our main learning from this activity was that initially the students were generally hesitant to touch the
equipment. They were in a culture of learning that involved a lot of content. And we were asking them
to play around, push buttons on these new tools, and discover their learning. After the first half of the
session, most of the students started to get comfortable with this style of learning. They also realized