Digital Study Hall: Beyond the Classroom

The Digital Study Hall is a project that aims to develop the rural educational system in India through the use of video. Students watch recorded instructional videos of some of the best teachers in the country. Here is a short example:

Teachers then supplement the videos with engaging activities and discussions. The majority of the students really enjoy the DSH videos, but issues with sustainability and theft have prevented the project from scaling up. DSH researchers constantly monitor the schools and without their oversight, the projects would would lose momentum and fail.

Although there are many flaws with DSH in the classroom, the implementation of DSH has created a network of teachers and parents. With the technology in place, teachers are being taught about gender rights and other social issues. Through videos, teachers are learning how to make parent-teacher meetings more interesting and productive by discussing social issues.

The Study Hall Educational Foundation launched a campaign called “India’s Daughters”. With all the teachers, parents, and students engaged in DSH,  over 22,000 people were mobilized for a rally against child marriage.

Even if the initial goal of the project has not been successful, the project has provided the technology and connections to give rise to other social change.


2 responses to “Digital Study Hall: Beyond the Classroom

  • jgallag2

    I am happy to see that the teachers supplement the videos with activities and discussion, but I still worry about technology replacing real people and real life interactions. I realized the value in the lesson coming from someone who perhaps is more qualified since the videos are of the best teachers in the country however there is something to be said about the pressure of the presence of a teacher. In general I am scared of the way technology erases actions that people have always done themselves. Not only does it eliminate some jobs but it also has an effect on our character development.

    • briannasteinmetz

      While I agree that supplementing the video with real hands-on activities is important to student development, I think these teaching videos, such as DSH can be more beneficial than we realize. For instance, DSH reminds me a lot of Khan Academy, which I use regularly. While I understand these educational videos are being used in two different environments I have found that I almost always learn more with Khan Academy in a shorter amount of time than I do in the classroom. I find that the videos are clearer, more direct and more concise than a lecture in a classroom setting. Instead of dismissing this idea of educational videos, due to some concerns, I think we should invest time and money into finding ways to create a more interactive environment using DSH or other similar programs- that way the students still feel the pressure to learn. I believe that educational videos will become a major part of development in the future.

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