Mosaic Network develops innovative tools that are used in educational institutions, government organizations and social agencies. Saurabh Sethi, Vice President, Mosaic Network (India) Pvt. Ltd. shares his views on transforming education…
IT has made it possible for us to bring quality education to India’s remote areas. The rural areas and the smaller towns can enjoy the same quality of education as the developed cities.
Last two decades have seen major turnaround in the way technology is used in education – we have systems like digital boards, eLearning, and mobile learning. IT is helping educational bodies by enabling micro management, any time access to information, quick and proper assessments and evaluation of education. IT has transformed education into a process that is learner-centric, engaging, attention grabbing, cost effective and reachable. The guru is now the IT empowered guide. Having said all that, it must also be accepted that IT has its limitations, which the innovators must address.
Gujarat to Leapfrog
Digital education has seen tremendous growth in the past 4-5 years. I strongly feel that this will continue to grow at higher rates in coming years. Only 10 percent of over 100,000 educational institutions are technology enabled and out of these only 12-15 percent have technological penetration in their classrooms. A market this big cannot be affected by competition and I can’t see any factor that might slow the growth. Right now, I am not even considering the government sector, which has the potential of making the opportunity even bigger.
Valuable lessons can be learned from the best practices being implemented around the world, but there is no formula for determining the optimal level of ICT integration in the educational system. Significant challenges that policymakers and planners, educators, education administrators, and other stakeholders need to consider include educational policy and planning, infrastructure, language and content, capacity building, employment and financing.
Reaching the Last Mile
We must accept the fact that technology alone cannot help us bridge the knowledge and opportunity divide. There are issues related to limited infrastructure, and it is also a fact that many teachers are hesitant when it comes to adopting new technologies. A comprehensive approach to tackle multi-level challenges in implementation as well as delivery has to be followed.
- The digital content access shall be made available through a very easy to use tool, with minimal features.
- Teaching processes must be standardized to take into account the low skilled teacher/trainer, who needs to follow simple instructions. They must be provided incentives for taking this additional burden.
- Periodic inputs should be provided for improving the system if the learning level drops.
- Authorities and teachers should have timely access to reports and all kinds of feedback, so that the overall progress being made can be monitored.
“Drop-outs” are one of the biggest challenges for any education system. We should keep in mind while developing the learning content that the idea is to supplement the learning. The digital content should not become an additional burden on the students. The delivery must be engaging and the content should be contextual and theme based. It should adapt to the learners requirements. Motivational exercises and out-of-class activities should be conducted periodically to break the monotony.
On eINDIA 2011
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