At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers were forced to adapt to an online mode of teaching. While some were well-versed with technology and how to present their notes to students, many others struggled.
Ganji Amarender (40), a mathematics teacher at the Zilla Parishad High School (ZHPS) in Nalgonda district, Telangana says he was part of the latter group.
Ganji conducts live classes regularly between 7 and 8 am. Initially, he tried to verbally explain the processes of solving problems to his students. However, most of them did not understand and struggled to cope with lessons.
“I did not have enough money to purchase a blackboard or a tripod to conduct classes for my students over Zoom. I also did not know how to make presentations or explain notes to the students. However, for mathematics, it is important to explain the step-by-step process of how to work out the sums,” Ganji tells The Better India.
Low-cost projection device
So Ganji decided to innovate a low-cost tripod that would hold his phone and focus on a sheet of paper where he could work out math problems in real-time.
“Since carpenters and other skilled workers were not available, I used two spare wooden planks I found at home and removed the glass from a photo frame. The glass was cleaned thoroughly and stuck onto the wooden planks using heavy-duty glue. It was then placed at a height of six inches so that I could move my hands freely under it, and students could see the words as well,” says Ganji.
This device was in use for live online classes by the first week of June 2020.
“I placed the phone on the glass and used the back camera to focus on the paper for better quality. I would wear my headphones and explain the theorems or formulae by writing them on the paper, which was placed under the glass frame,” says Ganji, adding that he even recorded his YouTube videos using the device.
With over 2,000 subscribers to his channel, the word of this innovation spread to other teachers in the district. Those who were also struggling with presenting online classes reached out to Ganji for help and requested him to make a device.
“So with help from a carpenter, I started making more devices and priced them at Rs 350. Instead of glueing the glass to wooden planks, the device was now made by creating slits and sliding the glass between them. The slits were made at different heights so that teachers could adjust the glass frame to their convenience. Till today, I have delivered 20 orders, and received positive feedback for the same,” says Ganji.
Further, the innovation also received praise from the Telangana State Innovation Cell (TSIC), which recognised Ganji under the ‘Intinta Innovator’ programme. This programme aims to identify innovations that solve day-to-day challenges and helps the innovator commercialise their ideas.
If you wish to know more or purchase a device from Ganji, reach out to him at 9912287504.
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