It was amidst a host of leaders from over 70 countries and delegates of governments, businesses and NGOs in World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) phase II in Tunis (Tunisia) where digitalLEARNING was born in 2005.
With the surge of ICT enhanced lesson plans and process making technology increasingly useful for the pedagogy, it was unavoidable that education and ICTs were a fundamental basis for preparing for a knowledge society. With the aim of being a catalyst to spread this message in India, where at that time, there was little discourse about the need of ICT, the magazine was launched. ICT had already made remarkable differences in the banking, aviation and transport sectors at that time and role of ICT in changing the paradigms of education sector was well expected. We wanted to document this very change and walk the change with the pioneers, and early achievers in the technological segment. We also created platforms through mega international events like eAsia and national events like the eINDIA to encourage and highlight the key achievements of these game-changers to the wider education stakeholders; to set their achievements as a starting point for the rest.
While we continued to create an awareness about innovations in the field of education, we were invited by the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative, a UN ICT Task Force founded organisation, to partner in coordinating, facilitating, and implementing the formulation of the ‘National Policy on ICT in School Education’. Through this policy, the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India aimed to address the needs and challenges of teaching and learning in schools using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools.
It has been an amazing journey to witness the country beat all odds of adapting to technology and it feels indeed great to see how the government has started encouraging use of ICT in education. Concurrently, there has been an incredible boom of non-government players in the education sector. Each of these players has been playing a tremendously important role in percolating the fruits of education to different segments of society, be it in the rural, urban middle class and urban sectors. Some of these organisations have also taken interest in doing policy advocacy. The 10th anniversary issue of digitalLEARNING magazine is a tribute to those who are transforming the education of the country in commendable ways through diverse initiatives. The issue highlights the government bodies that are investing massively in the sector to educate and upskill children, recognises innovative models of public-private partnerships in the sector, celebrates the achievements of non-government organisations and edupreneurs.
The issue also recognises Ashish Dhawan, the man who pioneered the idea of venture capital financing to non-profits in the sector as the ‘digitalLEARNING Person of the Year’ to laud his efforts in creating a new philanthropic culture in the education sector.
As we enter into a new year, we pledge to serve the education of the country by covering more stakeholders of the segment in the magazine through quality reporting and our specialised events.
Wishing all readers a Happy New Year 2014.
Dr Ravi Gupta