Olcott Memorial High School- Project Bridge Status March 2007 

Contact Lakshmi Suryanarayanan
Email1: surlak@vsnl.net 
Email 2: lsuryanarayanan@gmail.com
Mobile No: 09841091424
Phone No: 044 65187138

Bridging the Digital Divide

Infrastructure – Improvement:
Construction of a separate big computer room - Work is in progress since February 16th 2007. Expecting to inaugurate this space in June- July 2007. Funded by Mrs. Radha Parthasarathy and India education Trust Chennai estimated cost Rs 9 lakhs.
Another room might come up for a new library. We might be able to build this as well by July 2007.
Furniture and fixtures for the room –
We have about 50% of the requirements. We would need funds for improving this area.

Hardware availability / requirements-
Most of the computers are old and need improvement and up-gradation. Due to constant use of these old machines we do need to improve them. We are also looking to getting all our existing machines compatible with XP so that we work with ease across all machines.
We are also looking for another 10 good PCs to add to our existing 10 functional machines
We have back up though individual UPS. Once the room is ready it will be great to have a common big UPS for the machines. We are also still looking for the Projection equipment an LCD projector. 
Required three-phase electrical connections are in place.
We have received a gift of a digital camera through Yahoo for good in Oct. 2006.
We would also need a good printer and scanner for the room. (We do have a printer now, which is not giving us good service.)

Software requirements-
Microsoft XP and MS office for all our machines with continued support for up-gradation.
Internet Connectivity in the computer room.
We do have an Internet connection in the headmistress room where the training into Internet usage is happening for teachers on an ongoing basis.

Teachers and technical persons available / required-
We do have adequate staff and technical assistance for the present set up. We would certainly require one more teacher and also Annual Maintenance contracts or a full time technician to keep this new set up always in good shape.

All important - student learning;
The school’s strength is in the ability to provide adequate and equal exposure to all of its students.
Classes 7 to 10 we provide an hour of hands on exposure for every student alternate weeks. With improved infrastructure we will be able to increase the exposure to one hour every week from July 2007 at the beginning of the next academic year.
We may also be able to include Class 5 and 6 into the classes.
Classes 1 to 4 will continue have computer time through projection as of now which is 1 hour per week main focus being Environmental Science and Geography. Right now we project through a television monitor. Projection equipment will enhance the quality of the projection and get better attention.
Classes 6 to 10 will also continue their exposure to technology-aided learning. Of 2 hour a week for science and social sciences.
More exposure to computers for the interested children is happening in the lunch hour and after school, Saturdays and vacation time in the kiosk model.


Bridging the English Language Divide

Lot of learning is happening right now. 
Classes 1 and 2 – Our prime focus is also in improving the use of Tamil well.
Class 1 to 6- Focus is on Activity Based Oral English. The aim is to help increase the use of the spoken language increase vocabulary and familiarize children with the structures in English. This is happening through a variety of exposure- the use of language and grammar games, short 15-minute story films and discussion, listening closely to story cassettes through headphones while reading the written word, exposure to English speaking volunteers on Saturday.
Classes 6 to 10 also are improving through similar exposure. With increased digital time availability we feel older children can use the computer as a lab to experiment and explore learn English. We have made a list of websites that can provide hours of English learning.
Reading material- a large number child friendly, age appropriate books and cards are already available and the library and the English language Lab (set up with 1 lakh grant from the Intel national award 2002) is fully functional. We get enough support for increasing and replacing books.

The school’s Vision is Social Change through the education of the Underpriviledged.
Our goal now is that by 2012 children who complete their school final should be able to leave the school with equal facility in the use of their mother tongue and English. Most children should be able to enter the English medium sections for higher education.