Against the backdrop of disruptions in general classroom teaching due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur has developed an innovative virtual classroom aid called ‘Mobile Masterji’.
The classroom-to-home teaching setup is designed by teachers to record lectures / instructions while using a smartphone. ‘Mobile Masterji’ can capture video in horizontal (table) and vertical (blackboard) positions.
Developed by IIT Kanpur’s Imagination Lab, it aims to help rural schools overcome the challenges of learning and learning posed by the epidemic. It is light and compact, and has adjustments to fit a sheet / book to instruct students.
According to the institute, Covid-19 has brought the education system, especially classroom teaching, to a standstill, while students in rural India were the most hit.
“During this epidemic season, teaching has become a major challenge, especially in rural India,” said J Ramkumar, IIT Kanpur Imaginary Lab Pro in-charge, adding students were a difficult task with teachers.
He said that the younger generation was India of the future, so imparting knowledge and educating them properly has become a difficult task, which the institute has sought to address with Mobile Masterji.
The product team includes Professor J. Ramkumar, Drs. Amandeep Singh, Anil Jha, Virender Singh and Jitendra Sharma.
The mobile masters have a fixed graduation align the sheet at the desired angle, followed by rotational adjustment of the mobile holder. Thus, a teacher is able to record lectures in a home environment.
Professor Ramkumar said that the gadget is allowed to fix the smartphone at various places and heights, and to record the lecture to communicate to the students. This blackboard also allows writing on a sheet of paper in addition to providing the option of recording the teaching.
The team had taken input from rural schools, based on which the gadget had been modified, he informed. “We are sure, it will make a great success for classroom teaching,” Professor Ramkumar said.
Earlier, IIT Kanpur had developed an artificial intelligence (AI) driven solution for instant fact-checking between the holocaust of fake news and unverified messages floating on various social media platforms. Titled ‘Satyavanshi’ (Searcher of Truth in Sanskrit), the AI chatbot has been programmed to find and check true information about Covid-19.
A chatbot is a software application intended to conduct on-line chat conversations through text or text-to-speech rather than direct contact / interaction with a live human agent.
“After the Covid-19 pandemic, a huge amount of information is floating on social media, including WhatsApp. A large proportion of such information is unverified, misleading or fake. However, people often rely on those unverified messages, ”said Swap Nath, a professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) of IIT Kanpur.