e-Learning Future of K-12

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e-learningTablets, e-content, e-learning are all contributing to the dream of Digital India and with schools laying emphasis on digital education, students are becoming techno-holic today. Richa Vashishth, Principal, Delhi Public School, Bharatpur Road, Mathura talks about importance of digital learning and the effective use of these tools in shaping the students’ career

How important do you think is a tablet for the curriculum in your school?

I think technology will give students confidence to experiment, think outside the traditional box and come up with solutions which may, in the long term, increase culture of entrepreneurship and innovation. Using tablet in the classroom with a curriculum will integrate IT and traditional subjects that help students a lot. The main benefits to the students are:

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• Motivation
• Publishing, sharing and searching for information
• Collaboration
• Developing IT skills
• Creating a more individual approach to learning
• Flexibility in terms of space and time
• Creativity

Teachers, on the other hand, can also
benefit from the technology:

• Better classroom management and organization
• Changing the role of the teacher
• Student evaluation
• IT skills
• Visual quality of teaching material
• Finding a unique teaching approach

Is a tablet the only way for the schools to help their students understand the concepts better?

If I compare it with traditional mode of teaching, it is a totally new way of delivering ideas to the students. It aims to enhance students’ learning capabilities, while providing them with greater access to unlimited information. Tablets can help students with tough concepts like space and time. Students can learn lot on the tablets. It provides new things that they may have never seen before, and students’ brain will work wonders. Through traditional methods it is impossible to deliver every concept within short time period in an effective way. Through tablet students can develop:

• Better Simulations and Models
• Global Learning
• More Efficient Assessment

What can a tablet, e-book and e-content not do?

Tablets are an all-rounder that means you can navigate, play games, even read books on it. In short it is versatile. ebooks and e-content devices are mainly for reading. It is light and portable which is carrying thousands of books.

How do you evaluate, assess a tablet before selecting it for the curriculum in your school?

The following point must be considered before selecting it for the curriculum in school.

• Size of device
• Storage/Memory
• Battery life
• File sharing
• Keyboard
• Accessories/spares
• Applications
• Cameras
• Screen Resolution
• Wireless display technology
• Wireless Printing

Introduction of digital tools into the classrooms has brought the narratives alive. The traditional tools of teaching are slowly losing their relevance. Do you see any inherent contradiction between the two?

With digital tools, students can access restricted videos and files that can affect their mind.

Although the private schools are far ahead of the public schools, the new government appears committed to bridging the digital deficit. How do you think should the government move?

Government is continuously implementing and planning to enhance the digital tools in government schools. For that it is mandatory for government to release some funds for every school. Government should provide workshop and training programs to the teachers, principals so that they understand the value and needs of digital tools and teach and manage students in more effective ways. Government should run foreign coloration programs to motivate digital tools for every state’s schools.

E-content is good and must be regulated. One of the main reasons is the replacement of books in digital form and visualizing old contents in an effective manner. Through e-content important information is seen online

The digital roads to smart education have their own shares of potholes. Infrastructure continues to be the main bottleneck. How do you think can it be overcome?

Through digital tools we can connect schools with number of reputed universities like IITs and DU. Through video conferencing it is very easy to deliver the lecture from expert resource person in the classroom. Moreover through digital tools we can run advance course in our school that can give direct benefits to the students.

Must the e-content be regulated? There are equally good reasons for both in favour and against. What is your take?

E-content is good and must be regulated. One of the main reasons is the replacement of books in digital form and visualizing old contents in an effective manner. Through e-content important information is seen online and easily available.

Do you think that e-learning runs the risk of over exposure and doing more harm than good in the end?

At extreme it will spoil creativity of students because through e-learning assignments and projects can be easily made without putting much effort.

The massive open online courses (MOOCS) have brought closer the dream of digital equality in our country. However, the shallow internet density in our country is making a crisis out of an opportunity. How do you think can the Government come to seize upon the opportunity?

It is true that after more than 60 years we are still far from e-Education in rural areas. There must be proper planning and a budget from government to make complete Digital India. Government must connect rural areas and urban areas with free Wi-Fi facilities so that every citizen of India must take benefits of e-Education.

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