Nation Other News 22 Aug 2016 Teacher in Salem dis ...

Teacher in Salem district uses WhatsApp to connect 3,300 educators

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | A RAGU RAMAN
Published Aug 22, 2016, 6:45 am IST
Updated Aug 22, 2016, 6:46 am IST
The groups are clearly divided as class 1 to 5 and class 6 to 8 and class 9 to 12 to have focused group members.
 The groups are clearly divided as class 1 to 5 and class 6 to 8 and class 9 to 12 to have focused group members.

Chennai: A teacher in Salem district has drawn a protractor under the classroom door so the students will know about the angles each time they open the door. Her innovative method has reached thousands of maths teachers across the state through the WhatsApp groups created by a graduate teacher from Villupuram district.

R.K.Muralidharan, a graduate teacher in Panchayat Union Middle School in Udhayamampattu, Thiyagadurgam block in Villupuram district has created 60 WhatsApp groups dealing with maths teaching to mutual transfers. More than 3,300 active and innovative teachers are members of his WhatsApp groups.

“I created a maths group for teachers in our district in August 2015. We uploaded some videos on innovative teaching methods for difficult maths problems in the group. It attracted many teachers and was widely shared among the WhatsApp groups. Soon, requests flooded in from many parts of the state and I was forced to create five groups for maths subject alone,” said Muralidharan.

The success of these WhatsApp groups caught the attention of other subject teachers also and he was asked to start groups for all the subjects.  The groups are clearly divided as class 1 to 5 and class 6 to 8 and class 9 to 12 to have focused group members. “These teachers have common problems and their suggestions will generally help all the members,” he said.

Whenever a WhatsApp group is started, all the group admins face one common problem — members will post general messages and  attention will be diverted. “I strictly follow one rule. Any member who posts general messages will be shifted to general groups. If he continues, then he would be removed from my WhatsApp groups,” he said.

The members of the groups also asked not to post any message between 9 am and 4 pm as it would affect their class timings. For other subjects, he also add other teachers as admins. They will monitor the group activities.

Teachers also share their class videos in the group. Ruby Catherine Teresa, a maths teacher from Namakkal district, became very popular among teachers as she regularly captures her classes in video and uploads on youtube.  Her videos are also posted in WhatsApp groups and a blog for teachers created by Muralidharan.

“She has many unique ways to teach maths and her methods on how to teach slow learners are a big hit among the teachers,” he said. He also created specialised groups for teachers who are interested in ICT applications. “They will share information like how to shrink their video and picture size through apps. Large files take more time to upload and it will help them,” he added.

The teachers in moral stories group share three to five stories each day. Many of them use these stories in their classes and prayers next day. He also started groups other messenger apps like ‘Hike’ and Telegram. “I want to download the videos from NCERT’s ePathshala website and share it with the teachers. The teachers would be interested to know on how other state teachers are teaching. We also plan to use Skype for bringing the best teachers into our classrooms,” he added.

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