Manipal K12@ ICT and Future Perspectives
Srikanth B Iyer, Director & COO, Manipal K-12 Education, shares with Yukti Pahwa, his views on futuristic infusion of ICT with education for innovative academic processes and bridging of gaps in providing quality education and access
“I remember a time when students and teachers had to make many trips to the library and find the right books for their homework and lesson plans. Now, with various Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the classroom and the computer lab, relevant information is just a click away. Technology has radically modified the way teachers teach and students learn. There is excitement among teachers and students alike to learn computer skills and be techno savvy.
ICT, when used effectively, can provide a platform for innovation in the academic process and bridge the gap caused due to various reasons. Often, its scope gets limited to setting up computer labs and providing repositories of information to schools. At Edurite, we understand that a good ICT solution is based on established learning approaches; it incorporates the perspectives of end users and is organically integrated into the school environment. Our DigiClass solution is specifically designed to encourage teachers to be mentors and facilitators and empower them with tools to nurture the spirit of learning in their students.
Implementation of ICT requires significant financial and human resource investments, hence making it difficult to implement at schools in some of the impoverished regions of our country. A positive trend in the last decade is the emergence of many private and public initiatives that have attempted to disperse the benefits of ICT through numerous rural education initiatives. Edurite is also part of symbiotic partnerships with various state governments, multinational corporations and non-profit organisations, where we offer e-content expertise and teacher training programmes. Pan-India initiatives of this kind help build awareness and also enable rural schools to provide quality education.
The future of ICT in education is filled with endless possibilities. Comprehensive education and IT policies like CBSE's recent decision to make digital classrooms compulsory, greater focus on integrating ICT as a field of study into the curriculum, using it as a teaching aid, and entry of many private players in this sector will lead to overall improvement in the quality of education and development of the ICT industry.
Companies will need to focus on customising content, and by that I do not mean only digitising textbooks and adding multimedia objects for various syllabi. We will have to move beyond; professional content development teams with inputs from teachers and faculty will play a significant role in ensuring high quality instructional material that is learner centric, relevant, interactive and synergetic.
In addition to customised content, we need extensive training of personnel for effective usage. Teachers have to be taught how to integrate ICT into their day-to-day teaching approach and enhance classroom sessions.
With the entry of many private players in education, progressive government policies on education, support of the schools supervisors and administrators, and involvement of the final users in the design process, parents can rest easy as their child's education is in good hands.”