e-Teaching and e-Learning through Classroom Windows
August 2010

e-Teaching and e-Learning through Classroom Windows

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The neologism 'eLearning' is the technique of Learning through the use of electronic devices where live teaching is facilitated through electronic media extending beyond the reach of the classroom, popularly termed as Class Room Window (CRW). The unique aspect of CRW is the ability to transcend space anywhere

The neologism 'eLearning' is the technique of Learning through the use of electronic devices where live teaching is facilitated through electronic media extending beyond the reach of the classroom, popularly termed as Class Room Window (CRW). The unique aspect of CRW is the ability to transcend space anywhere, whereby the system enables expert lectures of renowned professors of leading colleges and universities to get connected to the rural area students. A CRW is typically a teacher-centred technology that can be created by streaming a live classroom activity from one place to another using the broadband Internet and innovation in ICT.

The CRW facility if extended to universities or colleges, the campus of global Universities, maximises reach of the classroom of renowned colleges, university and resource person globally, by optimising the use of ICT facilities. This provides a gateway to active and live learning facilities effectively than distance learning, learning through podcasts or conventional eLearning. This CRW facility can be extended to provide effective tutorial tables' room for the students after university working hours for additional guidance. The CRW facility can also be applied to form effective university clusters, which will result in resource, cost and time-sharing. These facilities, if extended to the rural colleges, where resources are not easily available, would bridge the digital divide. Instead of podcasting a lecture, another time in a different environment and classroom, the live lecture can be streamed through digital equipments at another classroom. This helps the rural engineering college classroom to log on to another live classroom. A research study conducted on remote classroom concept through tele-lecturing system during the year 1970 reveals that the student's attitudes improved considerably. Further, substantial research on media assisted teaching at the University of North Carolina, showed that such classes were as effective as those taught in traditional environment (Figure 1). 


CRW Tutorial Tables Room provides effective tutorial tables room for the students after university working hours. A CRW tutorial tables' room, is a room with tables that will hold 4 to 5 students through CRW technology, whereby students needing additional coaching meets the Professor at the CRW tutorial room on invitation which can be either a free entry or an entry through payment gateway. After entering the Tutorial tables' room, a student searches for his professor and clicks to sit in one of the chairs of the table where the professor is seated following which the students are then taken into a separate room where the tutorial begins as in the Figure 2.


University Clusters

CRW develops a healthy interaction between the higher education technical institutes, where India would soon be witnessing University Clusters (UC), which means a group of Universities come together to promote resource, time and cost sharing, while optimising the available time and resources, using CRW concepts.
 
Creating a True Cloud

True Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like a public utility. The University clusters in this context can build together one educational cloud exclusively for the CRW implementation. Fostering the state-of-the-art technology at the academic level, to build a healthy interface between the university clusters and the rural colleges is to provide all the information communication technology relevant to an active classroom and the classroom window, through a True cloud using Remote Infrastructure Management technique (Figure 3). 

Benefits and Scalability
  • Enable effective interaction with the peer urban group
  • Brings about new ideas and innovation due to the mix between rural and urban
  • Extend the reach of the classroom of renowned colleges, university and resource person globally, by optimising the use ICT facilities
  • Facilitate podcasts and replay of the lectures at leisure for the students
  • Better evaluation through a regular assessment via software, like, moodle software
Impact and Challenges

The integration of Information and Communication Technologies with broadband Internet has led to an explosion in the use of digital media in higher education both locally and globally. However, frequent emergence of cutting edge technologies in the communication and computer-engineering field and the global e-learning raises hurdles in communication, culture, and technology that must be addressed before successful implementation and effective outcome.

 But in spite of this, CRW has marked the beginning of a new era in today's world of ICT enabling many educationalist, policy makers, industrialists, higher education department, department of science and technology and others to come forward to foster CRW technology.

Some Highlights
  • Transcends space anywhere
  • Provides live classroom atmosphere at remote locations
  • Opportunity to undertake innovative projects and research initiatives by the rural and urban students combined via interactive sessions with the professors from abroad
  • Enable selection of international supervisors on account of its participative interaction ability
  • Planning of frequent meeting between the supervisors and the research scholars
  • Promote active collaboration between universities after signing the memorandum of understanding

iTunes U becomes more popular for students and lifelong learners

iTunes U, the educational side of iTunes by Apple, is going strong. The Open University has hit a milestone, reaching 20 million downloads. iTunes is a proprietary digital media player application, used for playing and organising digital music and video files. Additionally, iTunes can connect to the iTunes Store via the Internet to purchase and download music, music videos, audiobooks, podcasts etc. Apple delivers university lectures through a format called iTunes U. iTunes U brings the power of the iTunes Store to education, making it simple to distribute information to your students and faculty

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