Fostering Collaboration and Learning The 'iKen' Way : Saurabh Saxena, Axiom Education
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Fostering Collaboration and Learning The ‘iKen’ Way : Saurabh Saxena, Axiom Education

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“The moment you keep the student, teacher, parent communities in isolation, it would limit their role in the education system. Every individual is a learner. Learning is a lifelong process and each individual can be a teacher and facilitator”

What makes India’s education sector a deserving case for implementation of ICT?

Over 26 million children join India’s primary education system each year which is even greater than the population of many countries. The challenge is to get adequate number of professionals to mentor these millions of new students.

If education remains people-centric, then we will have to find an army of professionals with skills for delivering this. Taking the sheer number into account, we need to ask, is this physically possible? And how long can we keep pace with this? This is where technology comes in as an enabler, in the form of components like computer, printer, projector, etc.

Please tell us about the idea of a collaborative platform like iken.in?

Today, we say technology has made the world a smaller place, that’s the real power of IT. It dissolves all boundaries because of Internet, telecom and other forms. Our intent was to create this platform within education to provide infrastructure to support people coming together and sharing their thoughts. A school with 1,000 students has a base of 2,000 parents, who may not physically be present in the school to contribute and hence technology can provide a platform here to support.

The moment you keep the student, teacher, parent communities in isolation, it would limit their role in the education system. Every individual is a learner. Learning is a lifelong process and each individual can be a teacher and facilitator.

Please tell us more about iken and how it fosters a collaborative approach?

We have built a complete collaborative platform portal, www.iken.in. ‘I’ means my and ‘ken’ stands for knowledge horizon. So, ‘I can’ do, this is what we wanted to imbibe. We have launched the beta version where users can share the experiences and publish their content online. Axiom’s own content is also available and we are open to collaborate with everyone, so that it becomes the biggest knowledge resource.

Collaborative learning through web seminars – students in India sit with students from other countries and solve academic problems – is a possibility at www.iken.in. You also have the best teacher training programmes available online. 

There are two sections on the website. One is for the students and the other is for professionals, we have included graduate students also as professionals. There is a segment called ‘create’ where you can draw up your own content and publish it as a learning resource. The section ‘Learn’ has all the ratified content from various recognised content providers across the world. The ‘connect’ segment provides the convergence model to connect to community of mentors, project advisors, peer groups, study groups, etc.

What is your vision for the website five years from now?

Five years from now, www.iken.in is going to be the preferred mode of education delivery across all levels. Education will be more customised, which is the need of the hour, and more individualist catering to their talents and learning curves. People will identify and work upon their strengths and weaknesses.

What are challenges that were seen in bringing this mode of education delivery in formal education system?

Benchmarking ourselves has been difficult as ours is a unique solution. So we found it difficult to improve and upgrade as we had nothing on the same lines to benchmark against. A major bottleneck is going to be the infrastructure.

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