Frugal Edtech | A speaker named Mike

Earlier this month I blogged about a teacher training project I’m currently contributing to. Last week, I returned to Aurangabad, a city in the middle of the western Indian state of Maharashtra to train government officials whose role in the project is to offer administrative and logistical support to the Teacher Activity Groups.  This time round, a colleague and I were training at an old teacher development institute. As is often the case with government colleges, they have very elaborate but dated microphone systems for their lecterns but no way of connecting the existing speakers to a laptop if you want to show a video.

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As we pondered over this conundrum, help was at hand. One of the staff at the institute simply stuck the mike under my colleague’s laptop and voila – we had the audio projected through the speakers.

I’m really amazed at this little example of frugal or juggad innovation or making the most of what you have. What would I have done if I hadn’t had help? I would have probably whinged & whined and cursed my karma. I would have wondered if it would be possible to pop out during the lunch break and buy a pair of speakers. I might have come up with ineffective alternatives like having 25 people crowd around a tiny laptop or perhaps had them view the video in batches.

I really value the time I spend on government education projects because of what it teaches me about scarcity and resourcefulness. I hope one day I’ll be able to develop a mindset of making the most of what I have.


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