K.P. Hewagamage, T. Ishaka

University of Colombo School of Computing (SRI LANKA)
To promote ICT enabled secondary education, a repository of teaching and learning repository plays a key role connecting all stakeholders in the community. At the same time, it facilitates much need teaching to learning paradigm shift in the secondary education and it could develop an open educational architecture that supports interactive navigation and collaborative sharing of interdisciplinary knowledge repository for the inquiry-based learning.

Repositories need to grow with the time and usage, if it is necessary to make an impact on the communities who use resources for teaching and learning. The path for this growth is interactive communication and sharing artifacts through the repository among stakeholders. In this study, our scope was limited to secondary education and teachers were the main stakeholders and they add the value to knowledge in the repository. In our categorization, we identified four types of teachers, namely teachers who have learning resources, knowledge, experience and willing to share those, teachers who need learning resources with rich content, teachers who can add value to existing resources and teachers who can provide joint contribution when creating resources.

The study presented in this paper was carried out considering school teachers in Sri Lanka and the national educational structure in the country. There are various initiatives to promote ICT skills of these teachers and promote them using digital resources in the teaching and learning activities of classroom. Our experiment was to see how collaborative repository could add value to these initiatives by linking them through a global network.

There are hundreds of technologies available to develop a collaborative repository in today’s context. After careful evaluation, we identified Curriki (Curriculum + Wiki) as the best match for the requirements for the secondary education and it also provides the opportunity to local teachers to link through a global network. Curriki has used web 2.0 based open technologies to facilitate communication, information sharing and interoperability.

The educators can find online an abundance of lesson plans, materials, textbooks and worksheets that are far better than what they were given to use in the classroom. They multi-modal interactive materials will help to communicate academic content more easily both visually and auditory. Teachers who follow the same path based on the national curriculum do not want to reinvent all these resources affecting their productivity. At the same time, teachers have to do the customizing based on the local context and examples to use them effectively in the classroom. This will especially be valuable in areas where education is not easily affordable. It will be a cost effective solution which supports the idea of "open source" in education for everyone, minimizing the education divide. Also it will bring together not only students, teachers, and parents, but the Ministries of Education, curriculum developers and other policy makers as well.

The great expectations are not easy to achieve as we presented in this paper. In our evaluation, of this initiative, we observed “3Ps” as main three challenges that must be addressed to launch teaching and learning repository for ICT enabled secondary education. They are namely Pedagogical (what makes sense), Practical (what is technically possible) and Political (social-cultural environment).