For us living in the cities, Alexa might be just a gadget’ another product which aids our laziness. But for the some of the schools in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, Alexa is a teacher. What started out an experiment in one classroom has now spread to some 40 schools.
Known as the “smart class” Alexa has encouraged children to ask all the questions running in their heads with no fear or being scolded or mocked. Right from asking the way electricity is made, to the number of teeth an anaconda has, children have made Alexa into a fantastic teacher.
It all started when Chandrashekhar Yadav, the Block Education Officer in the Adivasi tribal belt of Lohandigudi in Bastar, installed the digital voice assistance device at a local exhibition, and allowed the people present there to use it. He then took this idea to Abinash Mishra, the Assistant Collector of Bastar district, who immediately hopped on board and decided to use it in schools. Today Alexa is present in 40 schools as part of the Smart Classes project.
The administration is now working on a plan as part of which they can take this model across all 400 schools in this region. The only problem they have is of network issues and availability of trained teachers to impart this new style of education, but brimming with optimism, they are confident that they will be able to overcome that too very soon.
Now that’s the spirit which we all need! We shall overcome…..