CLIx learning labs are the sites where the CLIx curriculum offerings are provided to students with teacher support, using blended pedagogies. CLIx will be involved with Teacher Professional Development (TPD) as well as offerings for students, to be carried out in these lab spaces. The curriculum is being designed by CLIx teams in partnership with MIT and are being pilot-tested for applicability to Indian contexts, including remote rural areas. The CLIx technology teams are involved with developing existing platforms to be able to work with asynchronous communication, and the CLIx development partners are creating sustainable designs that treat working at large scales not as an impediment, but as to design essential feature. The learning labs will be an integral and unique feature of the CLIx initiative. Once activated, these labs will have the potential to support student learning in multiple ways, providing them access to a platform with rich resources relevant to their curricula, to their lives, and to their aspirations.
CLIx TPD includes modules to enable teachers to maintain these labs, and to support and motivate them in this activity on an ongoing basis.
The learning labs are designed to help students and teachers to learn in a connected environment:
- output from a USB microscope, projected on a screen, may be viewed by everyone at the same time, allowing students to engage with and discuss the visual before them, as a way of understanding (for instance) biological concepts.
- a group of students could play a computer game that engages them to make and solve mathematical equations.
- students with digital cameras could produce short videos or sequences on issues and aspects of their own local context to share with other students in faraway contexts, thus engaging in authentic learning opportunities for language development.
- with a steady internet connection, students and teachers will be able to communicate across schools, to share their work and experiences.
- An optimum student-to-device ratio, so that students have opportunities to produce rather than only consume resources. (2 students per device has been found to be ideal, and a batch size of 40 students is assumed, while encouraging working in pairs).
- Connectivity — both local area networks for peer-to-peer collaboration within the classroom as well communication with peers and also experts outside the classroom, in different locations, through access to internet resources.
- Equipment for hands-on activity and for integrating data into computing devices such as USB microscopes or data loggers.
- Equipment for interaction and creation: headphones with microphones, along with recorders and digital cameras.
These features are being added to the basic infrastructure being provided through the ICT@School scheme, which has already been implemented for high schools across the four states where CLIx is being implemented.