This project works with innovative university faculty in Lviv, Ukraine, to modernize their science classrooms using digital technology. We develop and run training programs to teach faculty how to use digital classroom tools, develop active-learning curricula, and evaluate the effectiveness of the modernization project on student learning. Successful approaches and tools are distributed globally to partner communities working to transform their science teaching and learning.
Teaching technology in the First World is experiencing a golden age, providing students with individualized tutoring, virtual reality, and project-based learning at massive scales. But the technology has yet to make its way to places where they would do the most benefit, such as in post-Soviet states. And even when it does arrive, institutional cultures can be barriers to widespread adoption. Without a modern educational system, students are less prepared to participate in modern economies.
This project takes a grassroots approach to effecting institutional change. By working with innovative faculty who are hungering for approaches that allow them to become more effective teachers, we plant the seeds for future institutional transformations. We are developing a smartphone-based digital teaching tool, Agavi, to help teachers construct their own experiential science activities for use in lab and field settings. We also train them in building effective interactive classrooms.
Institutional change needs to start small and local. By providing trend-setting faculty with the right tools and skills, we'll be able to empower them to do what they do best ... teach and inspire their students. Improved classrooms and student outcomes lead to increased prestige for the university and demands for higher quality teaching from all faculty. Successful tools and approaches trialed in Ukraine will be shared through Science Voices to other overlooked communities.