The OECS CXC-NotesMaster program is aimed at supporting Ministries of Education across the OECS, in building on their existing ICT capacities and generating new digital resources to better serve their stakeholders. A collaborative approach has been developed to build a community of practice involving local Ministries of Education throughout the OECS and wider Caribbean. This saw each member state choosing a set of subjects with the aim of increasing the repository of Open Educational Resources (OER) and giving teachers a greater appreciation of the many features available on the platform.
Turks and Caicos Island Ministry of Education was the latest to benefit from this initiative. On May 21st to 23rd at the Long Bay High School over 20 Mathematics, Information Technology, Social Studies and Food and Nutrition secondary school teachers were introduced to the platform. These teachers were trained to utilize the platform fully to accomplish the following:
- Access the toolkits (Virtual Subject Associations) for all CPEA, CCSLC, CVQ, CSEC® & CAPE® subjects.
- Creating and managing Virtual Classes complete with assignments, a full set of lesson plans and grading and reporting tools.
- Creating and disseminate resources according to the syllabus objectives.
- Creating high-quality OERs containing text, video, animations, images, tables and sound clips.
- Using screen readers for visually impaired students.
Track students performances using the Virtual Classes feature.
- Engaging parents; showing them how to track their child’s performances and conduct in class.
- Creating and posting assignments for students and sharing handouts and other important information with students.
- Utilizing the cloud storage to eliminate printing, photocopying and having an organized file manager.
- Sharing OERs with virtual classes for students to learn while on their mobile devices.
- Networking and sharing best practices with other teachers in the territory.
Dr. Didacus Jules Director General of the OECS, Mrs. Sisera Simon Head of the Education Development Management Unit of the OECS, Mr. Edgar Howell Chief Education Officer/Director of Education, Dr. Perle Brewster Education Planner, Mr. Mark Garland Deputy Director of Education, Mrs. Talia Dara Thomas Education Officer for Public Schools all contributed to the effective execution of this initiative. Mr. Mark Garland outline that NotesMaster represents the perfect blueprint of the Ministry’s ICT Policy and further urged teachers to utilize this new technology. Mr. Howell expressed that the NotesMaster platform can drive greater productivity and achievement of their students in all levels of the education system. He is very confident NotesMaster will be effective in preparing Turks and Caicos Islands’ children, for life in the 21st century and beyond.
A total of 25 students were specially selected by principals and teachers of each high school. NotesMaster can be accessed free across all platform, whilst all children, regardless of their needs, will be given an equal opportunity to do well. They were introduced to their toolkits and the variety of learning resources catering to their learning styles, SBA information as well as exam related information for each subject. But most importantly they were introduced to the many ways in which they can take charge of their own learning experiences.
To ensure that all teachers and students are properly equipped to utilize all features of the platform. A teach the teacher approach was adopted as well as a support network was formed for all schools to facilitate the full training of all members of staff. This will be done virtually through email, WhatsApp and Skype. Thus facilitating the timely communication of the curriculum changes by CXC and the many upgrades to be released later this year on the Platform.
Article provided by Damon Clarke
For further information on the Notesmaster project, email firstname.lastname@example.org