Digital content has been one of the key elements for promoting and engaging students in the education sector. The massive opportunities are well being explored by educators all over the globe. Muti media content and technology has enabled educators to make their teaching learning process more engaging and exciting. The phenomenon is increasingly catching up in urban metros across India.
It is also encouraging to note that the decision makers are waking up to the need for enabling rural schools with ICT. The trend can be exemplified by the efforts of the Department of Information Technology which has announced a pilot project of setting up ICT centres in 247 out of 480 secondary and senior secondary schools in Ajmer. Several more initiatives by different State governments have shown that digitisation is going to make its presence felt in the rural hinterlands!
The recently launched Sakshat tablet demonstrates the continued attempt of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to bridge the digital divide in education. The tablet has been developed as a part of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology that aims to link 25,000 colleges and 400 universities on the subcontinent in an e-learning programme via the Sakshat portal.
Digital classrooms are now going to become a mandatory requirement in K12, with the Central Board of Secondary Education issuing a directive to all affiliated schools to digitally enable their classrooms
Not only in India, digital content has come to address several issues of national importance in other countries. The Bangladesh government has facilitated a National e-Content Repository which will be used to promote trouble free access to available information on different areas including education, health and citizens rights. Open content today serves as a key solution for addressing the affordability and accessibility issues in higher education.
Opportunities also mean challenges, including those of producing pedagogically sound and good quality digital content for education. Setting principles and guidelines for quality and efficiency would help practitioners and designers consider the fitness of the digital content and the purpose which it serves. Issues such as the lack of infrastructure, training requirements and resources are key challenges that need to be addressed in the process of digitising school curriculum. Educational institutes May be open to change but the impediments that come in the way need to be productively addressed to ensure that the benefits are reaped by all.