Prof M J Xavier
Indian Institute of Management (Ranchi)
I cannot imagine as to how we can teach without ICT. At the school level Geography can be taught by showing the places using Google maps. Even rural schools can benefit from the best teachers in good schools.
Blended learning will get adopted in schools and colleges around the world. Cost of education will come down drastically. We have to move to a guru-centric model where best teachers will be able to reach thousands of students.
Implementation at IIM Ranchi
At IIM Ranchi, we have a studio for recording of lectures. In our Executive MBA, the recorded lectures are made available in our LMS. Classes are used for case discussion and exercises only. We have facilities available to stream the classes live over broadband network. We have developed an LMS with Edusoft that is social media integrated. It has built in assessment tools for evaluating posts and the learning diary. The reporting tool uses a OLAP where students can drill down and see their performance vis-à-vis the rest of the class in terms of each of the components. We are having a separate academic module for class scheduling and students management.
We also use biometric attendance system. We are going to install security cameras to monitor students during exams. We are also going to implement ERP and CRM. We are evaluating tools like Webex and Blackboard Connect for the distance education planned during the next academic year.
Success of NKN
Success so far has been limited as the Institutions are still caught up in the industrial age mindset. For example, the 13 IIMs have more than 520 faculty members. Still there is a shortage. We need to migrate to information age models that use collaboration and networking. For a change, the so-called thinkers (academicians) are lagging behind the planners (politicians and bureaucrats). NKN will surely put India ahead of the developed world in the field of education if the IITs and IIMs start sharing resources with each other.