The changing delivery-mechanism of education in India makes us wonder how, with the advancements in ICT, education is taking a new shape. The increasing use of tablets in education, education through the cloud, content repositories and smart classes unanimously signify that the transformation in the education sector is immense.
The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) has been envisaged to leverage the potential of ICT to provide high-quality interactive education modules over the Internet/ Intranet in anytime and anywhere mode for every student of higher education institutions in the country. The thrust is on augmenting the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in the higher education sector. For over a decade, even the policy framework has been emphasising on the importance of ICT for improving the quality of education in the country. However, even well-framed policies and sophisticated technologies would fail if there is lack of adequate capacity building – be it training of teachers in using technology or content development. Although India has been witnessing tremendous growth in the IT sector, there still remain large chunks of population who are untouched by technology advancements.
In this issue of digitalLEARNING magazine, we are telling a new tale about – how virtual labs are all set to revolutionise the Indian education sector. We invited learned people from the academia, both schools and higher education institutions, to share their insight on how the use of virtual and robotics laboratories is empowering students and making overall learning experience fun for them, and also how this is helping address the core issues of lack of teachers and poor quality of teaching equipment.
We organised the State Education Summit 2013 Punjab, at Chandigarh, on February 7th-8th, 2013. The event highlighted the achievements made by Punjab in the field of education. It was attended by more than 1,500 delegates from all areas of the education sector, who exchanged knowledge and ideas on how to improve the education outcomes in Punjab and the rest of India. To actively share knowledge, showcase existing governance, education, health and IT initiatives in Odisha, we are also organising the eOdisha Summit at Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on March 6th, 2013, along with the Department of IT, Government of Odisha. The summit will see participation of eminent speakers and delegates from various government departments, central and state PSUs, International Development Cooperation Agencies, International Education Missions and Leaders of Professional Associations, and NGOs and other policymakers. We look forward to your participation at the eOdisha Summit!
Dr Ravi Gupta