New Year is time for New Ideas in Education

This is one prediction we can safely make: ICTs will continue to lead to dynamic changes in education in 2013. The educational institutions will aptly deploy more innovative ICTs because they provide students and teachers with more opportunities in adapting learning and  teaching to individual needs.

Recently, the public sector telecom operator, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), came up with an innovative scheme, that can enable science graduates to learn about telecommunication from BSNL’s own experienced faculty. This online certificate course is a unique industry-oriented academic initiative. The theory part of the course can be learnt online. Practical sessions will be conducted using the live equipment worth crores at the BSNL training centre. It is not only the students who can benefit from BSNL’s initiative, employees and job-seekers too, can join the course to enhance their knowledge of the telecom sector.

In 2013, we can expect other innovative educational products, which make use of ICTs, to be launched by different public and private  organisations. The idea, that ICTs are a potentially powerful tool for extending educational benefits, both formal and non-formal to  previously underserved communities and groups, has now taken root. The advent of digital technologies is enabling many groups that have been traditionally excluded from education to have the lamp of knowledge shine on them. This is surely a cheerful note on which we can begin the New Year.

The current issue of the digitalLEARNING magazine carries an in depth analysis of various developments in online education and other digital educational technologies in the country. There is no doubt that online education is all set to become a major phenomenon in the country. Perhaps, it has already become one. But further progress of such avenues for education also depends on the availability of basic infrastructure. Connectivity and basic things like electricity continue to be an issue.

We had the State Education Summit 2012 (SES) at Indore, Madhya Pradesh, on 19th December 2012. The event was attended by an array of eminent speakers and delegates from all areas of education. We had ministers, senior government officials, academic luminaries, principals, VCs, Chairmen, and stalwarts of private industry gathering on the SES platform to exchange knowledge and ideas on the ways by which we can have better education outcomes in the country.

In February 2013, we are having the State Education Summit 2013 in Chandigarh, Punjab. I hope you see you there along with other speakers and delegates. Despite all the progress that we have made in the education space, a lot of work still needs to be done. The SES 2013 will, hopefully, lead us towards new ideas for revamping the state of education in our country.

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