Published: 01st October 2018
This smart app will help social work students at a Trichy college learn effectively
These Social Work students from Holy Cross College, Tiruchi are digitising their research and field reports through their very own app
The Social Work department at a Tiruchi college has come up with an exclusive and dedicated app that integrates student syllabus, online fieldwork records, smart geo participatory rural appraisal (PRA), smart survey, smart research and their assignment work to enable students to evolve into smart social workers and to make academic activities paperless in the near future.
The Smart Social Worker app was launched by the Department of Social work, Holy Cross College on September 26. The app development was part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Center for Academy and Industry Interface (CAII) of Holy Cross College and Climate Smart Technologies, a government-recognised start-up based in Coimbatore. Jeevandandan Duraisamy, the CEO of Climate Smart Technologies, who oversaw the development of the app, stated that it is the first comprehensive app developed for Social Work students.
"With the development of the app, we can now file our reports out on the field itself without having to wait to get back to college and write them on paper, which is saving us a lot of time. The app is pretty easy to use. We have finished the initial part of our training sessions on how to use it and by the end of November, it will be fully operational," says Alwin Skariya, a PG student from the Social Work department.
Student-friendly app: This app is expected to disrupt the college education system in a major way contributing towards rapid digitisation across the various streams
M Antony Stephen, Assistant Professor and fieldwork coordinator shared that social workers need ICT competencies in order to effectively lead different types of social change initiatives or collaborate with professionals of other disciplines who use ICT as a part of existing strategies. It also provides efficient and effective ways to organise people and ideas and offer greater access to knowledge and education. "Using this app, Social Work students will be able to effectively learn using videos and texts, and other sources can also be shared. The students will be able to share photos and videos of their work to fellow students and faculty. The app also allows students to carry out research and surveys, and then, verifiable results can be computed with a click of a button. Furthermore, the research project reports can be digitally published," says Prof Antony.
This app is expected to disrupt the college education system in a major way contributing towards rapid digitisation across the various streams, says the developers of the app and the faculty at Holy Cross College. "We are encouraging our students to use paper as little as possible. This app will be extremely useful that way. The students shouldn't write everything on paper. They can click videos of their work and put that up on the app, thus making their work more visible. Smart surveys are already inbuilt in this app, which will decrease the use of paper. Social Work postgraduate students have to conduct research, read lengthy chapters, write reviews and then come up with an analysis, which is usually printed on paper and submitted, but now, with the app, it can be saved as a PDF and checked for plagiarism through the app itself. Both students and teachers can access the work through the app," explains Prof Antony.
Working smartly: The lecture notes automatically get typed onto the app which later enables the students to read directly from there and also allows teachers to edit it within the app itself
The app is completely free of cost for students of the Social Work department and it is supported by both iOS and Android devices so that it is easily accessible. Prof Antony added that the students have already started attending training sessions in the college. "A total of 40 hours of training will be provided, including both theory and practical. Our students have already finished 10 hours of training and they are liking it. Through this app integration in the curriculum, our main aim is to teach our younger generations to use technology in a responsible manner," says Prof Antony.
The app will also benefit the teachers as they can use it during their lectures. The lecture notes automatically get typed onto the app which later enables the students to read directly from there and also allows teachers to edit it within the app itself. "The app is a great way forward in enabling our students to access and work on any academic curriculum-related activities and we feel that this will slowly integrate into other departments as well," concludes Prof Antony.