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The monthly publication on ICT and Education

digitalLEARNING Volume III Issue 9

September 2007

ISSN 0973-4139

Rs 75

www.digitalLEARNING.in

Consolidating ICT and Education

Make a Difference

Co-Existence is the Key! PAGE 6

Technology in BRAC’s TeacherTraining Programme PAGE 31

A National Policy for ICT in Indian School Education! Interview: Ashish Garg, Programme Co-ordinator India, GeSCI PAGE 22 Leaders’ Speak

Pramod Khera, CEO, Aptech Ltd. PAGE 25

The Online Education Toolkit PAGE 43


Contents

Verbatim

Volume III Issue IX, September 2007

Education is... One of the few things a person is willing to pay for and not get. - William Lowe Bryan Man’s going forward from cocksure ignorance to thoughtful uncertainty. - Kenneth G. Johnson The inculcation of the incomprehensible into the ignorant by the incompetent. - Josiah Stamp Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes. - Norman Douglas

Commentary

6

ICT and Teacher: Co-Existence is the Key!

Corporate Diary

25

Leaders’ Speak Pramod Khera CEO, Aptech Ltd.

Dr M V Ananthakrishnan

Cover Story Agenda: ICT 10 AandReflective Education in India and Beyond

National Policy for ICT in 22 AIndian School Education

39

Strengthening Community Education Johnson Andrews Fernandez

Blog Book

30 Educatorslog.in Shuchi Grover

Digital Learning India 2007

Policy Matter

School Track

Research

31

Technology in BRAC’s Teacher Training Programme Faheem Hussain

The Foyer

43

The Online Education Toolkit for Policy Makers, Planners and Practitioners

Regulars

45

Mark Your Calendar

News

Interview: Ashish Garg, Programme Co-ordinator India, GeSCI

21 28 36 38 42

Teachers’ Corner Corporate India Asia World

All the articles are available online at www.digitalLEARNING.in


digital LEARNING Volume III, issue 9 | September 2007

Editorial

President M P Narayanan

It’s both about the message and the messenger

Editor-in-Chief Ravi Gupta

The important lobbying day for educators around the world is here again, with the Teachers Day celebrations catching up the time. The world while preparing for 5 October, the World Teachers Day, India is already into the mode of tributing its Teachers coinciding 5 September, and so comes our celebratory programme through this special issue. From mid-60s, 5th September has been the date of investiture. But, after so many years, we still begin by considering how actively to contribute to the building of this most powerful global knowledge community. Linking it with teachers’ constructs of good teaching and learning, we still try to demonstrate some links between thought patterns and positive use of ICT.

Programme Co-ordinator Jayalakshmi Chittoor Sub Editor Manjushree Reddy Research Associate Rachita Jha Marketing Siddharth Verma +91-9811561645 (India) email: siddharth@csdms.in Circulation Lipika Dutta (+91-9871481708) Manoj Kumar (+91-9210816901) Designed by Bishwajeet Kumar Singh Om Prakash Thakur Web Zia Salahuddin Editorial and Marketing Correspondence digital LEARNING G-4 Sector 39 NOIDA 201301, India Phone +91 120 2502181-85 Fax +91 120 2500060 Email info@digitalLEARNING.in Group Directors Maneesh Prasad, Sanjay Kumar Printed by Vinayak Print Media, Noida Gautam Budh Nagar (U.P.) India digital LEARNING does not neccesarily subscribe to the views expressed in this publication. All views expressed in the magazine are those of the contributors. digital LEARNING is not responsible or accountable for any loss incurred, directly or indirectly as a result of the information provided. digital LEARNING is published in technical collaboration with Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. (www.elets.in)

© Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies 2007 (www.csdms.in)

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It is through involvement that teachers can realise and develop the relevant ICT skills. Our teachers are underpaid, untrained and unmotivated and are in a sorry state. There has been little emphasis on supporting teachers in developing understanding of how ICT could impact on the ways they teach. The opportunity to take part in professional debate has frequently been subsumed within concerns surrounding acquisition of basic skills and ICT has been placed by some at the centre of this mechanistic view of learning. A transformational classroom practice has been low on the agenda for many teachers and ICT has been relegated to the role of workhorse. But of course, ICT can respond to this need as well, as it is the energiser and innovator. The development of a new conceptual framework for teaching using ICT can only be realised if educators have the opportunity to be active in shaping the professional debates surrounding the implementation of any artifact that affects the dynamics of teaching and learning. The articles in this issue also demonstrate more such conceptual frameworks on ICTs in education, as we all seek through our research to actively contribute to the building of the whole knowledge society, going beyond a knowledge community. We have presented the current situation of usage of ICT in secondary education in India, including national policies, strategies and programmes, hardware and software, teaching and learning, informatics curriculum and related projects and initiatives, SWOT analysis and there by the need and initiation of a National Policy for ICT in school education. Aggregating the thoughts from more dissemination avenues for educational technology content, like the recently concluded Digital Learning India 2007 conference, we have again tried to put forth some recommendations for policy and programme implementation, and some key research questions that are felt to facilitate the reduction or removal of the barriers in the context of ICT and education. Any attempt to provide a report on a conference as large as this is impossible and inevitably selective. But the attempt has been made and it seeks to support the community of researchers and practitioners involved in ICT4E and development. We welcome feedback and suggestions as to how such attempts can better serve this community.

Ravi Gupta Editor-in-Chief Ravi.Gupta@csdms.in September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


COMMENTARY

ICT and Teacher

Co-Existence is the Key! Dr M V Ananthakrishnan, [MANANTHA@IT.IITB.AC.IN], Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India The author, with his varied experience as designer, developer, seller and user of ICT-based education, shares his experiences working with teachers, preachers and marketers of ICT-based solutions. The typical issues that crop up time and again include: • Marketing Professional selling ICT-based solutions to schools/teachers/end-users • Text-book material getting converted to e-Books/page turners • Concepts being introduced in a very complicated manner, very often being beyond the understanding of the enduser • An “overkill” of simulation/animation, much beyond the pedagogical requirements of a specific audience • Selling ICT-based solutions as reducing “teacher” time and increasing the “independent learning” of student • Very highly qualitative and unreliable evaluations of the success/failure of ICT-based solutions • High “Globalisation” and very little “localisation” of content • Involvement of high profile teachers and urban high profile schools in the design and testing of ICT based solutions • Absolutely no involvement of the end-user (the student) in the design, development and prototyping phases • Recommendation of “Blended Learning” as a solution. But, what is “Blended learning? The article puts on record the typical experiences in each of the above critical issues and the author’s ways and means of handling them, based on a year-long interaction with administrators, teachers, students and parents of rural schools in Maharashtra.

Teachers drive the technology or technology drive the teachers! There has been a continuing debate on when, where, what and how technology should be integrated with education at various levels, primary to higher. But, should we be talking of “integration of technology” or “inclusion of technology” in education? “Let’s step aside from this issue for a moment and think back a few centuries when textbooks were first introduced into classrooms. At that 6

time the initiative was not known as ‘textbook integration.’ The people in those days understood that the textbooks were conduits. Today we do not seem to grasp the concept that technology is liken to textbooks of a few centuries ago. If technology were viewed as a conduit, then it would be crystal clear that we are talking about curriculum development and not about technology integration” (Reilly, 2002).

Anthea Millett (Millett, 1999) talks about the misinterpretations of pedagogy: “I am always struck by how difficult teachers find it to talk about teaching. They prefer to talk about learning. ” So, in summary, we are left with the million-dollar dilemma: Do teachers drive the technology? Or does technology drive the teachers? September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


What aids better teaching and learning? It is common knowledge that a child rarely learns in isolation. It is always in a group wherein the teacher and the group of students (varying between 20 and 40 in the same age-group) interact either as a monologue or in a dialogue. In most of the pre-primary classes in India, all children repeat in unison after the teacher. There is very little individual attention in the learning process. Herein come the critical factors that affect learning…for the good or worse! • Motivation by teacher • Peer-to-peer relationships • Communication between teacher and the student This leaves us again in the same dilemma! How can technology mitigate these issues?

Curriculum vis-à-vis Technology Early studies have indicated that in the realm of education, early technology adopters have been a mere 5%, primarily because the stress was on ‘technology’ and not on its applications to education. However, with the current thinking that technology is a mere ‘conduit’, the focus must return to curriculum development. Curriculum developers need to come upfront and take the lead as curriculum co-ordinators, and work closely with the technology co-ordinators/ directors, with a revised job description and mission statement. School authorities must look afresh at curriculum development in order to make technology inclusive and not as an add-on /extension to existing curricula. This may possibly bring the remaining 95% into the new genre.

courseware in Mumbai and Pune for a Ministry of IT-IITB Project on creating a multi-modal repository (Classes VIII-X) for rural schools in Maharashtra, based on the Maharashtra Board syllabus. The findings were: a page-turner, Verbatim copy of the text book, Very few animations, worth the effort, Events/ explanations, which could be done better using chalk-n-board or cardboard 2D models (say theorems in mathematics, solving algebraic expressions, etc.)

(b)Concepts complicated! “Circulation of Blood in the human body” is the chapter in question. What is needed is just a description of the heart, its four chambers, the main arteries and veins, flow of blood from one chamber to another, the non-return valves and the heart-lung connections. A simple twodimensional diagram with animation to show the pumping action is all that is needed. But, a multimedia package comparable to the movie, more suited to a student of medicine. Students of Classes VIII-X will be totally at a loss to comprehend this.

(c)The Advisors/Creators of Courseware/Curricula/ Localisation The author had the opportunity of being a member of a textbook review group looking into the draft version of a Physics book compiled for a board curriculum. Who were the other members of the group? They were

college teachers, administrators, retired school teachers and the like, with very little representation from active school teachers (from within and outside the system)! The story is no different for courseware vendors. They very often have luminaries on their advisory panel used to attract schools and teachers to their software. In the end, most of them, divorced from realty, come up with fastidious ideas and concepts and methodologies that are nearer to an urban locale and alien to a rural environment. There is a misconception, among Indian CBT developers that a teacher is the best judge on the effectiveness or otherwise of ICT-based programmes. “If s/he ‘finds’ it useful, then the students ‘will’ find it useful” is the foregone conclusion. The evaluation criteria invariably employed by the courseware vendors includes (i) number of computers installed; (ii) number of teachers trained and (iii) the schools/institutions who have purchased the courseware. The author is yet to find a vendor who has monitored the school/teachers/usage of courseware at regular intervals to assess the effectiveness and see marked improvements in the students’ performance. In addition, no vendor has produced documentation from a satisfied

The Indian e-Learning scenario: The Developers, Marketers and Users The author with his varied experience involving all the roles in e-Learning, viz., courseware design & Development, using courseware and evaluating courseware, has identified the issues that are crucial to the success of e-Learning.

(a)e-Books A series of demonstrations-cumdiscussions were carried out with the suppliers of the so-called e-Learning Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

The Phases of successful introduction of computer-based learning in schools

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“customer”. In short, therefore, success is seen in numbers and not effectiveness, something that will not hold water when the vendor tries to “prove” the effectiveness of his/her product.

Phase Phase 1

Contact Group Students

Purpose Gauging and understanding the problems in a) Understanding the principles/concepts b) Applying it to real-life situations c) Extending it to local environments

d) Blended Learning

Phase 2

Teachers

Posing the issues in Phase 1 to the concerned teachers to a) Find out reasons for the issues raised b) Come up with answers/methods to solve and satisfy the children c) Provide assistance in giving these a shape to help the developers d) Assure them that the courseware will complement their teaching

Phase 3

School Authorities

Consolidate Steps 1 and 2 and then a) Convince on the value-addition that CBTs would provide to instruction b) Make them accept that the teacher and the medium should go hand-in-hand c) Provide time for teachers to develop their own resources

Blended Learning is learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning, and founded on transparent communication amongst all parties involved with a course (Heinz et al, ). “At a recent conference, a practitioner was overheard saying, ‘I can see why blending makes sense. But what do I put with what? We have a hundred instructors & e-Learning modules. If we put them together, is that a blend?” (Rossett et al, 2003). The dilemma still remains - What is Blended Learning? It is not a direct outcome of a planned pedagogy, wherein the teacher decides as to when introduce examples, demonstrations, hands-on, self-learning, etc. “Blended” in its true sense would connote a homogeneous medium, where one would be unable to separate the constituents. So a better term would be integrated teaching/ learning, where the parts are combined to make an appropriate mix. The Indian Challenge: Making the courseware co-exist with the teacher experiences of using CBT courseware and observing students at work with such resources is disturbing. Since they are not a part of the need analysis process, they have to accept or reject the medium. The result- the courseware becomes electronic blackboards, with the student reading off the screen, akin to reading off the book or the traditional blackboard. a)The Phases of development It is, therefore, essential that the Requirements Gathering Phase should be done as shown in Table. Phase 1 is critical to the acceptance or rejection of the ‘medium’. b)Prototyping: An essential step The author has found the “prototyping” stage as the most critical to the acceptance of CBT/e-Learning as 8

Suggested Phases in Courseware Development

an instructional medium, because it clearly demonstrates the use of the client’s content in zeroing in on the pedagogy to be used and how. This eases the following steps and makes the development process more participative and fruitful. c)Experiences with the rural schools An experiment on easing adaptation of e-Learning/CBTs was done through a disciplined process. It involved the following stages: • One Multimedia PC supplied to each school with the School matching it with one PC from their side • Off-the-shelf CDs for Classes VIIIX purchased in Science, Maths and Social Studies and supplied to each school • General Purpose CDs (Dictionary, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Graphics Software) supplied to each school • A portal www.eshikshak.it.iitb.ac.in developed and populated with three types of information (using the Standard VIII text book )viz., • Section-wise reference to specific locations on the off-the-shelf CDs • Section-wise reference to freelyavailable software/open source

• •

material on the net/in-house development Web addresses to other useful resources Intensive Training Programmes conducted for the school teachers on two occasions (for teachers brought to Pabal and Pune) on Computers and using computers for Education Exclusive 3–day Workshop for the teachers of Gram Prabodhini Vidyalaya, Salumbre, Maharashtra, in April 2007. The workshop was successful in that the teachers understood what it meant by “integrating Media into the teaching methodology”. The teachers proved it for themselves by conducting mock classes during the workshop.

Acknowledgement The author wishes to acknowledge the support and constructive criticism provided by Prof. Krithi Ramamritham, Dean(R&D), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and the active participation of Yogesh Kulkarni, Executive Director, Vigyan Ashram (Pabal, Pune). Thanks are also due to the Media La Asia, Ministry of IT, Government of India for sponsoring the project. The Project Team at IIT Bombay deserves all the credit for the patience and creativity shown during the study. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


COVER STORY

A Reective Agenda ICT and Education

In India And Beyond

10

September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


reat progress has been made for use of ICT in Indian education in recent years. Large investment, improved infrastructure and bandwidth, more equipment and software, all have provided Indian education with great potential to enhance and enrich the learning and teaching processes.

G

However, there remains much room for improvement in effective access to ICT for learning and no consistent pattern of use is emerging. The need is still for the confidence and competence to increase. Although fully effective, practice in the use of ICT is not yet the norm. Technology, although has succeeded in influencing the education outreach and quality in countries like India, supporting processes and frameworks that can sustain such efforts have not yet emerged; the basic issues of quality, equity and access to education still remain unresolved. The experience says, that best results with digital learning are often not achieved by quick and radical new approaches but by well conceived process with a clear eye for some measurable results. digitalLEARNING India 2007, the conference and exhibition is thus planned as such a consultative process, to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration, to engage the participants involved in ICT and education activities, in and outside the country. digitalLEARNING India 2007 (http://www.eINDIA.net. in/digitalLEARNING) was organised under the umbrella event eINDIA2007 (http://www. eINDIA.net.in), the third annual ICT4D forum in India convened by Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies(CSDMS) in collaboration with Department of Information Technology, Government of India and UNDP. The four days forum rendering active conferencing, networking Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

and showcasing happened in conjunction with eINDIA2007, from 31 July to 3 August 2007 at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi, along with six other seminal tracksegov India2007, Digital Learning India2007, Telecentre Forum India2007, eHealth India2007, mServe India2007, Community Radio2007. There was also the first ever film festival showcasing grassroots initiatives and innovations in ICT usage for those who need it the most.

Hotel Taj Palace, The Venue - eINDIA2007

The Objective The objective of this conference is to • Provide a collaborative forum to participants to share knowledge and ideas enabling them to develop multinational and cross-industry contacts and partnerships, as well as to enhance their knowledge, expertise, and abilities. • Establish a comprehensive picture of the evidence of the impact of ICT that is available from national and international experience sharing; • Give a reference framework for describing impact, looking at approaches and methods currently used in the sector and their suitability; • Synthesise the main results of the experience sharing and progress made in recent years to provide a baseline for discussion on the findings with policy makers, education professionals and community of practitioners; • Highlight barriers of ICT integration in different sectors of education in India and for other countries as well; • Identify gaps in current research; • Give policy recommendations on the basis of the evidence available in order to create favourable framework conditions for effective ICT integration as well as future fields of actions at national and international level.

Inauguration of eINDIA2007

Champak Chatterjee giving inaugural address

The August Audience

Ravi Gupta, the Convener, eINDIA2007

11


Digital Learning India 2007 PAB Meeting

Thiru A Raja Launching m-Connect Magazine

in government, at the centre, state and the district level who could take this forward. The conference is happening in the right time and will be even better than last year. More emphasis has to be on ICT-enabled teaching and learning and necessary change in the pedagogical systems. Lessons and inputs can be taken from the conference on key issues of ICT-enabled education which will add to the knowledge sharing for effective ICT-enabled education in India.’ The Programme Adivisory Board met on the day in New Delhi to discuss and deliberate on the digitalLEARNING India and eINDIA agenda to take appropriate shape. The Meeting saw participation from the Programme Advisory Board members representing from Government, Private sector and civil society organisations.

The Inauguration

Astrid Dufborg, Executive Director, GeSCI

Inauguration of Exhibition

The Prelude Subhash C Khuntia, the Joint Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, on 7 May 2007 said, ‘While the country is moving towards connecting all secondary schools with broadband, it is extremely important to keep the focus on making the teaching-learning process more effective. There is also a clear need to identify champions 12

31 July 2007, the inauguration of digitalLEARNING India in conjunction with eINDIA2007 saw a grand ceremonial time amongst the huge participation of around 1500 delegates. Dr M P Narayanan, the President, CSDMS, while welcoming the august gather, acknowledged the event as one of its kind ICT for development event for the country and even for the region, which has witnessed enormous growth from strength to strength in the last three years, expanding its horizon, terms, coverage, intellectual value addition, stakeholder engagement and last but not the least the overwhelming response of people from every nuke and corner of the ICT ecosystem, standing across the government, industry, international agencies, research and academic institutions, etc. This year, with more than 350 speakers across 7 thematic tracks, with delegates from more than 35 countries, comprising Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe, Latin America, North America, etc., eINDIA2007 has been able to garner enthusiasm from among both national and international communities. Dr. Maxine Olson, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in India,

delivered the introductory remark. She said, the real benefits of ICT, while not in the provision of development per se, but rather in its application, to create powerful social and economic networks, that dramatically improve communications, exchange of information, and cohesive participation of all stakeholders. She expressed her pleasure for eINDIA adding two strings this year- one on ‘Community Radio’ and the other on on ‘e-Agriculture’ that exemplifies the continuing challenge, both to provide access and to provide relative and relevant content. Champak Chatterjee, Secretary, Department of Secondary Education and Literacy, Ministry of HRD, Government of India, while discussing about the empowering role of education and ICT as tools for the society and its people, gave a broader picture of the educational achievements and the road ahead for the country. He said, investment in the elementary education sector has resulted in satisfactory outcomes. 94% of the country’s rural population have now schools within a distance of 1 km from their place of residence. The gross enrollment ratio has also gone beyond 100 and our dropout rates have significantly reduced across all levels of education. 2.2 million children with special needs have also been enrolled in elementary school processes. ICT in classroom transactions has gained impetus. Thiru A. Raja, the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, in this occasion launched the i4d film festival programme guide, and i4dtv, which will be the first step in having i4d case studies online in a video format, as a portal (www.i4dtv.org). He also launched the m-Connect magazine to focus on mobile for development, with which, CSDMS publications entered into one more sector of development. The minister also launched the eAgriculture portal, which is the first eAgriculture portal, not only in India but also in the Asia region. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Astrid Dufborg, Executive Director, Global e-Schools Initiatives (GeSCI), Dublin, Ireland discussed about GeSCI’s useful collaborations with a number of countries, civil society organisations, private sector partners, international organisations. Citing a recent study in Scotland, that shows no significant change and improvement resulted by the students, despite enormous investment on providing computers to the schools. ‘There is a need for setting priorities for revisiting the pedagogy, curriculum, content, training of teachers, setting up the structures for actually making full use in the education system of the opportunities that ICTs provide. I think that India has enormous potential of actually taking the lead world-wide when it comes to effectively showing what can be done by the ICTs in the area of education, and for the purpose of improving lives of the people, empowering communities and improving the employability of youth’, she said. Jainder Singh, Secretary, Department of IT, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, discussed about the immense potential of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP ) as well as the CSC scheme, formulated by the government of India, with the vision to make services available at the ‘door-step’ of the citizens at affordable costs. Isabel Guerrero, Country Director – India, World Bank, while giving her inaugural address said, in the huge transformation potential of ICT, the World Bank is an enthusiastic supporter of the government of India, in using ICT as a strategic tool for development. Expecting some deliberations to be made, she posed three very vital questions to the conference forum – (1)What needs to be done to ensure that ICT initiatives are scaled up and implemented in financially sustainable projects? (2)How can India build on the success of ICT to develop e-Government systems, which provide tangible day-to-day solutions to the urban and the rural poor? (3)What are the opportunities for private sectors and civil society, to work with the government to create and expand use of ICT and create a culture of e-Government? Michael Clarke, Director of IDRC’s Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) programme area remarked on how India plays a big role in contributing to the world’s intellectual resources, by demonstrating the advancements with its own ICT agenda. Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

Dato Dr. Halim Man, Secretary General, Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications, Malaysia, delivered the guest country lecture. Highlighting the transnational areas and scope for collaboration, Dr Man said, ‘The rural communities of India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, have similar issues and challenges and require similar assistance. Thus we could collaborate to provide the solutions that they require in a more efficient manner.’ In e-Education, Malaysia has connected all 10,000 primary and secondary schools, through broadband. Life-long education has emerged a new paradigm. It has a distance education system, called the network multi-media education system, questions in ICTs and engineering upto masters level are transmitted through satellites, to remote sites, in real time. This is another area, where Dr Man sees opportunities of collaboration and cooperation. The grand inauguration of eINDIA2007 was followed by the inauguration of the eIndia2007 exhibition.

Day I Sessions The show of Digital Learning began with Envisioning e-Learning by some eminent representatives from this sector both from India and outside, including Shantanu Prakash, CEO, Educomp Solutions, Dr. Subarna Shakya, Executive Director, National Information Technology Center, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Government of Nepal, Chris Thatcher, Director, SE Asia Educational Development, Cambridge Education, Thailand, and Dr R. Sreedher, Director, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, Commonwealth of Learning. In the visions of Shantanu Prakash, e-Learning is here to stay. ‘But while e-Learning maybe all around us, every person specially in the Indian context is not a participant in the e-Learning revolution. That is where we see one of the critical challenges’, he said, while presenting his keynote address in this session. Three key areas that Shantanu discussed from a pedagogical perspective, and these are Instructional design, the socio-constructivist ideology or paradigm and cognition. ‘We believe that e-Learning has the oppurtunity to transform each of these so called pillars on which the modern education system rests today.’ Educomp’s smart class have a million students in India today who are experiencing a different kind of classroom, where while the teacher is teaching,

'The challenge ahead is to provide universal access, equity and quality at the secondary stage. For this, a major programme to universalise secondary education is on the anvil, which will take the main thrust during the 11th plan period. While the emphasis has been on computer literacy programme, the advantage now is realised for development of e-content in computeraided learning activities. We are now looking towards creating an National ICT policy in school education. During the coming years we have the formidable task of providing literacy to more than 300 million people.’ Champak Chatterjee Secretary, Department of Secondary Education Ministyr of HRD, Government of India

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‘Change the role of the teacher, make them the facilitator of the classroom. Easier said than done but that is really the approach to take. Education is both an art and science. Its something about relationships between students and teachers and need not be formal. ICT in any shape or from can not change that relationship.’ Shantanu Prakash CEO Educomp Solutions

There are now over 1 million interactive whiteboards installed around the world projected to increase to around 5 million in the next 3-4 years. The use of this platform is showing better test results, as improvement in test scores from 10-15% better. One of the surprising results has been the teachers productivity. Nancy Knowlton CEO SMART Technologies

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the teacher has the ability to pull up in real time from a library of over 12,000 multi-media objects, 3-D animations to show the students.

those which are left out in the remote villages will have community centres available at their doorsteps by March 2008.

Dr Subarna Shakya shared his country experiences and said, e-Government Master Plan of Government of Nepal has identified as e-Education as the priority project. ‘I think that e-Learning is more learning process than teaching process. Simplifying the learning process provides foundation to interact with each other. Technologically-driven can change our customary education system and produce the desired output.’

Bringing in the experiences from US Education system, Hari Iyer, Director, Core Projects and Technologies Ltd, talked about how to close the achievement gap. ‘We need to have a disciplined organised approach in capturing student data, staff data, financial, data, funding facilities, testing, school nutrition. There is a need to introduce a common bond between states and districts. We need to introduce a common unique identifier that remains with student. This kind of software needs to be in every district, to be used by every block and cluster, to be used by school first.

Chris Thatcher’s vision is to predict the needs of the 2040s, predicting the technological advances. ‘Ensure ICT in the right place, put assessment in its rightful place, evaluating the individual, evaluate the impact of ICT to refine its use, and be practical, realistic and keep schools, teachers and students at the forefront’, he mentioned. The session confronted with some heated debates on some issues like how to deal with changing of classroom politics in schools, whether personal touch is still required for classroom teaching, to what extent can e-Design be constructivist in nature, etc. Dr R Sreedhar while articulating the vision statements as the moderator of the session, reiterated changing the attitude of the teacher and their role. Most importantly, bridge the digital divide and make it a digital dividend, he remarked. After the vision session, the session on ICT in Education Programme Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, discussed on some country experiments with ICT in education programmes, some case studies, their impact analysis, the factors of success of programmes, conceptualisation of effective ICT evaluation systems, the stakeholders in evaluation, indicators of ICT-based projects, the performance indicators, indicators for practices for ICTenabled classrooms, limitations and challenges, and on how to integrate programme management methods in ICT in education systems. R P Pal, Secretary, Department of IT, Goa projected some ambitious plans like a notepad system that can reduce the load of the students, and also the alternative sources and websites to be made available and accessible through home computers. Goa is one of the states which has made every student eligible after 10th standard for a computer system, and as of now 47,000 homes have got the cyber age computers. The target is 80,000 homes to have computers and

Dr Anjalee Prakash, CEO, Learning Links Foundation, in her presentation put forth the need for quality benchmarks for education that would help in clear guidelines and aid assessment for all stakeholders. Dr Prakash tried to brought forth the attention to such an effort already made through a foundation which was set-up earlier this year, called the educational quality foundation of India, by a group of educationist based in Delhi. While Ravi Sinha, Staff Scientist, C-DAC, Bangalore, discussed on the school management, monitoring and evaluation issues, Vikrant Mahajan, National Coordinator, Sphere India, shared on the M & E model for RedR e-Learning. Randeep Kaur, Learning Advisor, Plan International India, who was Chairing this session, summerised and suggested, ‘We do have achievement level surveys done by caste and income levels, done by NCERT, done by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. But one of the issues we constantly face is teachers don’t have access to good administrative solutions for them. So technology like touch screens or technology that can work for remote areas, any hardware and software if are configured, can be something of a solution. Some suggestions came out of this session. Observing the trend in US, the suggestions came for putting money in the teachers salaries so that there be an increase in the closing of the achievement gaps. To overcome the issue of teachers left with little time after the class to address the students, the ‘Early Intervention’ and ‘after schools programmes’ models of US were suggested. The parents are also encouraged to come and help and September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


not delegate responsibility to school teachers. The following session Effective Digital Learning Designs and Delivery Platforms, moderated by Sonjib Mukharjee, CEO, Metalearn, identified some of the existing ICT teaching and learning delivery systems, the technology options available, the technology options catered by the various delivery platforms, discussed on how to get knowledge on using new tools and learning content management system and how to Keep knowledge on developing multimedia coursewares, based on sound learning theories and instructional strategies. Nancy Knowlton, CEO, SMART Technologies, Canada, showed the overall improved results of the whiteboard when deployed across UK and other places. It increased the productivity of the teachers. Col K J Singh, Director, Designmate, shared about the standardisation of content and to have judicious blended approach on hardware and software. He suggested further to encourage local contents and to update the technology repeatedly. K M Taj-Biul Hasan, Producer (TV & Radio) Media Centre, Bangladesh Open University, discussed the power of radio. Two programmes of television in Bangladesh changed the social approach towards the endemic issues of development. Priya Khanna, Lecturer, Amity University, shared the theory of constructivism where the people create their own knowledge and learners are not blank slates. Multiple intelligence to be implemented in e-Learning as far as we can, Priya suggested further. Rishikesh Patankar, Senior Research Scientist, Media Lab Asia, discussed the importance of Learning Management System, to have an organisation-wide learning and to be able to registerdeliver content, track the learners and assess them and integrate them in low cost using technologies which are available to be integrated. After the intense deliberations and discussions during the three sessions, Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

the participants met with one more panel over the Gala Dinner, comprising Dr Lalzama, Minister of State, Higher and Technical Education, Mizoram, Rohit Kumar, Country Head- Public Sector, Microsoft India, and Michael Clarke, Director of IDRC’s ICT4D programme. Ganesh Kumar, Head of US operation, Edutech, the sponsor for the Dinner, while welcoming the delegates to the gala dinner, said for over 17 years Edutech has been engaged in the pursuit of providing complete learning and information solutions to academic institutions, research, government and various military and corporate bodies across the world. Some of the institutions Edutech is working with in India introducing the Blackboard learning system, include, Indian school of business, Kerala Education Grid, Manipal University, etc. Ganesh Kumar then invited Mike Erlin, VP, Asia Pacific, Black Bord to share his experiences during the dinner. Blackboard is one of the key partners of Edutech, the leading learning platform in the world today. Blackboward in last 10 years covered Higher Education, K12, and corporates in different countries. Mike talked about the shifting drivers amongst some of the key constituents playing in the education space, and also on how organisations in different regions have invested in infrastructural approach of learning models. In his view, in terms of forecast, the problem is no longer about human labour, its about human capital. He also discussed the Educational Technology Framework (ETF) that has emerged over the past 10 years. A small conversation among the rest panelists happened over the dinner moderated by Dr Ravi Gupta, the Executive Director, CSDMS. The panel discussed on ICT for development, and taking ICTs to the next level, while answering to a very basic question likewhat are the next big drivers, that are going to change the shape of ICT4D, as a concept, as a theory, and as a science.

Shantanu Prakash, Dr Subarna Shakya, Dr R Sreedhar and Chris Thatcher

Randeep Kaur while charing the session on ICT in Education Programme Management, M&E

Taj Hasan, Rishikesh Patanakar, Priya Khanna, Nancy Knowlton, and Col, Singh while listening to Sonjib Mukharjee

A still from the Session on e-Rediness of Higher Education

Mike Erlin,VP, Blackboard

Dr Lalzama, Minister of State, HE, Mizoram

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Madhu Ranjan,Vandita Sharma, Adrian Hall, Niranjan Meegammana, R L Saxena, and Anshul Sonak

Col Singh, Dr Jayant Sonwalkar, Soumya Kanti, G Narendra Kumar, and Anshul Sonal

Dr Lalzama, the Minister of State, Higher and Technical Education, Mizoram announced the state’s vision to make institutions of higher education technological-driven and quality-motivate institutions to impart world-class education by 2020 AD. The department of Higher & Technical Education, has drawn up an Action Plan during the XI Plan towards realising the visions, that includes establishment of Mizoram Engineering College, 6 Polytechnic in 6 District of Mizoram, Construction of College of Teacher Education building, and more. While Mizoram records second highest position in literacy percentage of the country, it is lagging far behind in the technical education from other states.

Day-II, 1 August 2007

Sourav Banerjee, Prof Marmar Mukhopadhya, Aakash Sethi, and Ashish Garg

Revati,Vivek Bharadwaj, M Sivakumar, Aseem Badshah, Dr Varalakshmi, and S Ramani

Ashish Dham speaking in the session 'Building Schools for Future'

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The second day morning of Digital Learning India started with a primal session e-Readiness of Higher Education: Challenges and the Way Forward, which while looking into the future perspectives of usages of ICT in the higher education sector, discussed and addressed some important issues. The presenters in the session discussed some of the aspects of the preparedness of universities and educational institutions towards ICT and Education, their strategies and outreach in this direction, whole-campus technology strategies, sustainable and replicable learning environment, teaching and learning community development, their exposure to ICT skills, education delivery scenarios trough ICTs, the different learning settings with changing demands, choices, flexibility, curriculum integration, information skills, content resources, available support, role of leadership, roles of the private sector and scope of partnership, and available policy and investment support and the need further. Shameema Parveen, Knowledge Officer, Edutech presented some of the interesting figures about India’s current status in higher education. Shameema emphasised on the sector’s need of actual e-Readiness, not just the technology-readiness, which should include all aspects of strategic palnning,

leadership support, training of faculty, new teaching practices, integration to curriculum, etc. Dr R. Karpaga Kumaravel, Dean, Professor and Head, Dept of Educational Technology, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, discussed on some of the issues and concerns of knowledge packaging in dogital form. He presented a case study of the reflections, experiences and recommendations of the authors who are involved in the UGC’s Special Assistance Programme on e-Content development in the state of Tamil Nadu. The problems identified as, there is a dearth of variety in the courseware, teachers’ difficulty in conceiving instructional content in visual form, lack of required infrastructure, lack of administrative support, lack of enthusiasm among teachers, lack of training in instructional designing. Some approaches and solutions made in this line are, the Government of India should develop a charter for e-Learning in the Indian context. There is a need for new focus of collaboration among institutions at the regional, state, national and international levels. And among some other suggestions, teachers should be empowered with easy access to wide range of instructional designs and technical support tools. Kuldeep Nagi, Asst Director-eLearning, Assumption University, Thailand discussed various challenges that Indian universities may face in the areas of courseware design and eLearning methodologies, discussed how the role of the Guru is being replaced by Google or the Internet, and commented on India’s capability of creating new tools and technologies with its lead in software engineering that can enable universities to respond to the challenges of creating quality e-Learning programmes and courseware for the changing higher education market of 30-40 million Internet users and 30 million users of mobile devices in India. K S Lasith Gunawardena, Lecturer, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Sri Lanka shared his experiences on delivery of blended learning for mastering application packages. The value of using ICT in the schools and educational institutes is best realised when appropriate content is developed and used to enhance and support learning, teaching, administration and management This involves the production and consumption of local, relevant and appropriate education content through multimedia application of ICT. The following session under the leadership of Anshul Sonak, K-12 Education Program Manger, Intel India, tried for a careful analysis of the current context of content that countries find themselves in and outlined some key issues that need to be addressed together in the area with proposed methods of doing it. Madhu Ranjan, Education Programme Specialist, USAID India and Vandita Sharma, Country Director, EDC India, shared their experiences with T4 project that has implemented a range of ICT based interventions in its four intervention states in India by concentrating on certain key factors such as partnerships with state governments, sound pedagogical strategies, alliances with local NGOs, intensive monitoring and evaluation, and contextualised programmes and products. They emphasised on the critical importance and need of two more things- the broad-basing partnerships and having a clearer ICT for Education policy framework.

capacity building and also deliberated on the best strategies for facilitating the Educator’ seamless progress from the traditional role of an instructor to the new role of a facilitator of e-Learning. Cho, Cheung Moon, Director, Global Cooperation and Planning Team, Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion (KADO) discussed about improving digital literacy among disadvantaged class – the elderly, people with disabilities and women. Apart from doscussing The 2nd National IT Plan, 2005 provided IT education to cultivate 5 million e-KOREAN. Buckley Dan, Principal Consultant, Cambridge Education, England, in his presentation, explored the frameworks that are emerging for truly personalised learning and how to safeguard the progress and life chances of children as their schools transform around them. He described the P-route (personalised route) and T-route (training route) models of personalisation and the implications of each on school design, curriculum design and the ICT tools required, including the PbyP (Personalisation by pieces) approach. Vasu Chikkatur Murthy, President, Tri State Counseling and Mediation, USA, talked about empowering parents as educators in e-Learning, by discussing the role of parents, the myths and fears posed by technology as well as provided guidelines on how to be prepared for the future, through some case study method analysis.

Niranjan Meegammana, the Project Director of E fusion pvt Ltd, Sri Lanka shared his experiences about the Shilpa (meaning sea of knowledge and skill) project, which is an effort to empower rural students with self learning approach of using ICT.

R N Prasad, Group Manager, Education and Research Dept, Infosys Technoligies, described a framework for effectively designing and conducting industry-relevant training programmes to the faculty in Engineering.

Adrian Hall, Director Mobile Learning, Steljes Ltd, United Kingdom on the backdrop of DfES ICT Policy in UK, mentioned about the commissioning for innovation, how teachers and children use ICT across a range of subjects. The teachers now use complete software packages, individual learning objects, user generated content, games, and mobile devices. He said, the aim of the innovation now is to make language learning fun for young children.

How to redesign an existing teacher education programme into which technology is to be woven for diverse user requirements? What are the key skill requirements for Educators? Introduce a technical assistance network for ICT teaching to act as an interface to deliver skills ? What should be the standards for teacher training delivery and assessment mechanisms? After the empowering of educators, the conference tried to seek answers on similar questions on professional development and teachers’ capacity building with ICT.

R L Saxena, VP, Educomp Solutions also commented about the contents and the process devised by Educomp solutions that keeps the classrooms engaged. Empowering Educators- this session attempted to answer some of the key questions of Educator’s Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

Anshul Sonak, K-12 Education Program Manger, Intel India, explained about the professional development with the Intel Teach Program, a preservice and in-service teacher training programme designed by teachers, for teachers, that reaches to over 4 million people in 36 countries. Intel

ICT in Education is not only learning, but a movement. As Educators, learning professionals, our role is to ensure that no individual is found wanting in a performant situation for the lack of knowledge, skills, tools or the requisite resources. At Edutech we help you make that happen. Ganesh Kumar, Head of US Operation Edutech

According to 2007 Economist Intelligence Unit’s, eReadiness report, India is ranked at 54 with a tie with the Philippines. According to 2006 Times Higher Education Supplement rating of world universities, Three Indian universities are listed in the top 200. IIT is at 57, IIM at 68, and Jawaharlal Nehru University is positioned at 183. 7% of age group 18-24 enters higher education - half of Asia’s average. Shameema Parveen Knowledge Officer, Edutech 17


Partners and Exhibitors

Teach – India Program spreads over 15 States, 720 000 teachers, approximately 32000 government schools, over 268388 government teachers in states, 507 ICT teachers under Central government, 35 universities, and 148695 private school teachers.

a CL

Projects

& Te c h n o l o g i e s

The Quality Education & Skills Training Alliance (QUEST) hosted a panel session to bring forth ideas and thoughts that will help formulate policies for utilising ICT in developing learning interventions using sound instructional design principles.

Ltd.

The New Interactive Online Academy

World Bank

The panelists in the session tried to explore lessons learned and inputs from the previous Instructional Design Workshop to steer the formulation of a policy framework that supports effective instructional design strategies to promote learning. Moderated by Ashish Garg, the Program Coordinator India, Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative, the panel constituted some eminent Quest partners, Sourav Banerjee, Education Specialist, USAID India, Aakash Sethi, Executive Director, QUEST Alliance, Dr Radha Ganesan, Training & Design Specialist, QUEST Alliance, Prof. Marmar Mukhopadhyay, Director, Educational Technology and Management Academy, Naimur Rahman, Director, One World South Asia, and Douglas Bell, Education Advisor, Education Development Centre. This attempt towards aggregating recommendations that are to be used to draft a framework, compiled some suggestions in this line, which include, establishing a process for integrating technology seamlessly in the learning context, developing a competency framework for teachers, revamping teacher training to include multi-technology modes, recognising of teachers for innovation, by sharing best practices, establishing a process for deployment of ICT interventions- not merely deployment of computers but development of content, training, delivery, and evaluation, establishing a process for sharing information, and hiring qualified ID individuals.

Day-III, 2 August 2007 Deliberations started on a new and exciting field, Virtual and Web-based Education : The Future, most of the discussions in 18

which revolved round best practices of virtual education, national and international policies and strategies on web-based education, projects on virtual universities and other web-based education, tools and web-lecturing technology, collaborative efforts to build online communities of educators and learners, etc. M Sivakumar, VP, ViTELS, Everonn Systems, discussed about the strengths and challanges of virtual learning and the role Everonn plays in it. Everonn’s virtual classrooms include 125 higher/ secondary high schools in Tamil Nadu, 195 Engineering, Arts, Science colleges in Southern India, 15 career development centres in major Indian cities, and classrooms in various corporates. Aseem Badshah, the 18 year old Seattle based Founder and President of Scriptovia, shared his experiences of creating Scriptovia.com, that allows students to publish the work that they are already doing in order to get feedback and recognition. Aseem claims Scriptovia as the only social network dedicated solely to academics. Students can discuss and ask questions about their schoolwork and class topics. Giving India a call of action in this direction, Aseem added, adoption of these school 2.0 practices will surely create the future business leaders that will make India the world’s largest economy by 2020. Revati Deulgaonkar-Namjoshi, Programme Coordinator & Business Analyst, e-Learning and e-Content Development, Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd (MKCL), discussed about MKCL’s Online Certification Test (OnCeT) for IT Literacy Trainers. There are 3002 authorised training centers from where the teachers appeared for OnCeT. Dr. S. Varalakshmi, Professor of Economics, Kanchi Mamunivar Centre for post graduate studies, Pondicherry, portrayed online teaching as a new modality to distance education, and as a promotion of collaborative learning, explained the role of a teacher and the emergent educational paradigm. Srinivasan Ramani, Director, Science and Technology, HP Labs India talked about how to promote peer review and peer to September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


YOUR TAKE peer learning, and suggested one of the method to have a rating on individual contribution by other students benefiting from it. The techniques available to do this will eliminate poor content. So a tutorial system by students themselves could be developed. Vivek Bhraradwaj, the special secretary, IT, Government of West Bengal, while chairing the session commented, dose of realism as we dream virtual: 3 years back a survey of school across the country found the lack of Internet connectivity. Only 9% of teachers in Gujarat and 8% teachers in Karnataka had access to Internet, whether at school or outside. 55% of the students in Gujarat stated that they had never surfed the Internet. For the schools that have largely remained unchanged for the last 200 years, collaborative learning has become essential. Pedagogy is key. We need to think linked to aim of education, rethink entire education landscape. With time aim of education would change. There is also a need for Indian Standards. We pay for Unicode in dollars for standards. We can take the initiative to set up our own standards. Different components of virtual education, one is infrastructure and other is content. A very important part of the package is the teacher, as it is not teacher-less but virtual education. The in trinsic value of ICTs lies in the integration of the technology to support and enhance learning and teaching in schools. The following session while giving particular emphasis on technology mediated education in schools, discussed about the maintenance, support, and some more vital issues and aspects of ICT integration, including conditions for ICT effectiveness met for schools, connectivity issues, software and hardware issues, networking of educational institutions and shared services, the deliverables by the IT industry, implementation possibilities in current scenario, etc. Ashlesha Thakur, Head, Education Empowerment, a business unit of Educomp Solutions, while looking at Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

future schools being able to connect to industry, to academicia, university, to the world around, mentioned its time to introspect, to look at an environment which is extremely continuous and which is adoptive to every child’s requirements, where we have reached, and whether we are on the track. Citing the example of Alumni connect programme in a Mumbai School called the School connects, she discussed the importance of having such vision that can lead to better future. Ashish Dham, Managing Director, Globus Infocom Ltd, presented the roadmap for the future school, with some simple but powerful tricks like maximum use of existing solutions available, quick decision making, organising more events to spread awareness, modernising teacher’s training, openness to Public Private Partnership, etc. Col. K J Singh, Director, Designmate, discussed about hardware issues in Indian schools, about the computer syllabus in schools- the computers and computer teachers. H N S Rao, Deputy Commissioner of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, put forth the future plans of e- Contents being prepared by each Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) for comprehensive classroom transaction, M.I.S. for all JNV activities, expanded EDUSAT connectivity/vSat connectivity, establishing portal and networking between head quarters, regional offices and all JNVs, 24 hours Internet in all JNVs, and video conference with regional offices and JNVs. Dr S P Kulshrestha, Technical Director, NIC, Uttarakhand, talked about the School Management System with ICTs. Dr Utpal Mallik, Joint Director of the Central Institute of Educational Technology, NCERT, while summerising the session discussions as the Chairperson, emphasised on the call for learner-centric pedagogy and yet there are not many sustainable models for learner-centre pedagogy. The main obstacle before the child centred pedagogy is our classrooms, every

I am extremely happy to attend the great conference organised by you and your team. It was wonderful in all aspects. I showed my students the materials and the CD s that I got from you. Dr. S. Varalakshmi, Pondicherry The conference was very well organised. The themes were comprehensive. Some more successful national and international experiments and innovations of ICT in learning may be included. Overall, the conference was successful in helping the participants gain insight into various implications of ICT. Priya Khanna, Delhi e-INDIA2007 is one of the few event of this size which in 3 years of its organisation has reached this level of participation and management which is comparable to any international standards. The service and hospitality provided to exhibitors and presence of your team on the spot was unique to this event. Amit Gupta, S. Chand & Company Ltd. The conference was very well organised. The sessions pertaining to Digital Learning were very informative and enriching. Soumya Kanti, Educomp Solutions It was indeed a great event and well organised by you guys. I like the ordeal we faced.When we went for a summit in Mumbai, the organising company could not even give the programme chart to the delegates, while you guys had plenty of the docs in different places to take. Well done and wish you greater success in the future events. Reghu Pillai, Brainvisa I would suggest that you target more foreign delegates to attend this conference.Targeting more American, Japanese and Singapore universities and organisations will add a little more glamour to eINDIA conference. Kuldeep Nagi, Bangkok,Thailand The success of the event was in large part due to all the efficient arrangements that organiser had made in addition to the quality of speakers and sessions organised by CSDMS. Aparna N, Edutech India Pvt. Ltd This time eINDIA2007 was handled extremely well and I found it quite valuable. All the partners and all the participants had excellent opportunities to exchange ideas, thoughts, hopes and dreams. I look forward to eINDIA 2008. Sonjib Mukharjee, Metalearn Services Pvt. Ltd. Thank you for letting NDTV Convergence being a visitor to the eINDIA exhibition. It was a very informative & elaborate meet and clearly depicted the e-Learning revolution that is underway. Will definitely look forward to being a part of eINDIA 2008 meet. Sharvani Mehrish, NDTV Congratulations on your successful conference! Our President, attended and was so impressed with it that he rearranged his schedule to attend several more sessions than he had originally planned. Well Done organiser!!! Kachina Chawla, ebackpack

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D Srinivas, Minister, Higher Education, Govt of Andhra Pradesh 'We firmly believe that outlays in education is an investment not an expenditure'

the conference. The session synthesised track summaries across all topics and areas, summaries on the main themes discussed at the conference, as well as an overall summary of key policy recommendations. The outcome is to assist all the stakeholders in understanding the ICT and Education status fully in the country, so that the interventions can be made effectively and can be taken forward to achieve a desired goal. The session took shape through an open discussion from the floor moderated by Randeep Kaur, the Learning Advisor, Plan International.

The Minister from Andhra Pradesh said, all education policy makers face S C Khuntia presenting Power School Award to Springdales three major challenges- 1. Acquiring School, Pusa Road, New Delhi ICTs relevant to local level, like language, culture, etc. 2. Integrating tech effectively to education system animate and inanimate object has a 3. Dissemination of knowledge and defined role and anything that is defined information to make them accessible. has a limited scope. May be the easier part is integrating them to education system and the The concluding session of Digital difficult is to disseminate to increase Learning was designed in such a way, in its reach. In the backdrop of the State’s which the conference track discussions progress with ICTs in the education were summarised for the main sector, like the Jawahar Knowledge recommendations and research gaps Centres, Gurukulums, etc., he said, identification in each of the sessions of making ICTs available at a reasonable cost is the Recommendations biggest challenge. There • There is need for repeated demonstration of ICT are about 800 districts in programmes, projects or any of the ICT attempts, the country. If the country even if in small scale, to generate adequate confronts with the industry, awareness. corporate sector in various • Teachers are not equipped in ICT training, so fields, more particular than teachers’ training should be more directed towards the IT sector, entrust their teachers’ skill improvement with ICTs. A portal for teachers is recommended in this direction, providing members to adopt one district each would go the models, framework for teacher development. along way. • Active database of practices is needed that take place in schools, which can also influence the policy process. The Valediction • A call for a learner-centric pedagogy using ICT The Digital Learning India based tools. Need to have computer assisted 2007 along with eINDIA learning in classroom transaction with a clear focus 2007 came to an end in the of at least 8 hours of embedded ICT instruction a evening with the Valedictory week across different subjects in the curriculum. addresses from Subhash C • 25,000 to 30,000 schools actively use ICT solutions. Khuntia, Jt Secy, Ministry Documentation of their case studies and evolving of HRD, Dr William Dhar, success stories from them is recommended. DG, ICRISAT, Partho • Having some regional seminars at state level like Bhattacharya, Chairman, eINDIA will help in bringing more awareness, COAL India Ltd, Johra which is lacking at the moment, as this is more sort Chatterjee, Jt Secy, Ministry of national and international. of I&B. It also witnessed the 20

Award giving to the winners as Power School and i4d innovators.

The Awards Dr Ravi Gupta, the Convener of the eINDIA2007 conference and exhibition, hosted the Award giving function, in which Springdales School, Pusa Road, New Delhi was declared the Power School of this year, for demonstrating a strong commitment to innovative teaching and learning practices. The seven i4d Awards conferred on the ICT based projects from various parts of India and South Asia in the areas of digital literacy, e-Governance, empowering livelihoods etc. also recognised the innovators in the education sector. The award winners are NIC, Bihar (SCORE), All India Society for Electronics and Computer Technology (AISECT), Madhya Pradesh, Kerala State IT Mission (Akshaya), Central Informatics Organization (CIO), Govt. of Behrain, efusion Pvt Ltd, Sri-Lanka, Gedaref digital city organisation (GDCO), Sudan, and Core Projects and Technologies Ltd of Jharkhand. While the conference was approaching to the closing time, Subhash Khuntia, the Joint Secretary, Ministry of HRD, mentioned, ‘In a country like India where we have more than 200mn children in schools, and which is 1/5th of our population, it is very important to concentrate on the aspect to develop IT skills. He discussed about some issues of connectivity, and the need of more Public Private Partnerships, about which he expected that this kind of a conference will contribute to the cause. Dr Ravi Gupta, the Executive Director and Dr M P Narayanan, the President of CSDMS extended profuse thanks to all delegates for making the conference successful. The Valedictory of the conference, however, marked the beginning of i4d Film Festival the following day, that captured some of the short films which talked about the use of ICT tools in poverty alleviation, gender issues, health, human rights, education, governance, and more. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


News TEACHERS’ CORNER 17,000 teachers trained under NCERT An orientation programme for school teachers was organised by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). A total of 17,000 teachers from Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas and independent schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) were trained by 250 experts through teleconferencing. The programme was based on the use of new textbooks published for Classes II, IV, VII, X and XII under the National Curriculum Framework2005. Teachers were detailed on the prominent features of the newly developed textbooks, the content, style, exercises and other aspects of the books and were also told about the evaluation strategies to be followed in assessing students and nature of student’s activities, model question papers.

This teacher hasn’t taken leave for 34 years A Government school teacher in Himachal Pradesh has been doing his job so seriously that he has taken no leave in the past 34 years. As a reward, the State Government has decided to give Todar Ram, 57, a two-year extension in service after he retires later this year from the Government Secondary School Gurkhota in Mandi district. It has been also decided to approach the Guinness Book of World Records to verify the records and consider his achievement. Ram, who won a national teacher award a few years ago, has taken no leave other than the 21

Sunday weekly offs, school vacations and Government holidays. Himachal Pradesh has one of the highest literacy rates in the country at around 80 percent.

Entrepreneurship Educators Course for Indian faculty The National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) has launched the Entrepreneurship Educators Course (EEC) in the capital to enhance the efficiency of Indian entrepreneurs. The EEC programme will be offered to the Indian faculty to help them become global entrepreneurship educators. The NEN has tied up with the Stanford Technology Ventures Programme of Stanford University and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore’s Nadathur S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial learning (NSRCEL). The EEC course would help a large number of educators, even teachers, who have never taught a management subject, in becoming an entrepreneurship educator. The course will help participants effectively

learn the concepts and skills of entrepreneurship and provide guidance on how to design, launch and build a comprehensive and innovative set of entrepreneurship programmes on campus.

HC denies certificate to B.Ed holders through distance mode Candidates who have completed their Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) through the distance education mode will not be eligible for the Basic Training Certificate (BTC), which is mandatory for serving as assistant teachers in primary schools of Uttar Pradesh. The Allahabad High Court gave the judgment, dismissing writ petitions filed by hundreds of B.Ed degree holders, challenging the Uttar Pradesh Government for denying eligibility in the BTC exams to those, who pursued B.Ed through correspondence. The Government claims that since the BTC holders teach children in primary classes, it requires a certain expertise, which can only be acquired by candidates who have pursued regular B.Ed courses.

25% teachers don’t teach: UN report A recently released study on corruption in education, by UNESCO’s International Institute of Educational Planning, says that teacher absenteeism in India is among the highest in the world. While the global average of teacher absenteeism is about 20 %, in India it is 25%. Only Uganda it is higher than India. While in Bihar, two of every five teachers were reported absent, the figure in UP was reported to be one in every three. Teacher absenteeism results in the wastage of 22.5% of education funds in India, the report says. In Indian universities, cheating is also well established, the report says. The fee for manipulating entrance tests ranges from INR 3000 to INR 8 lakh for popular programmes like computer science, engineering, etc. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


POLICY MATTER

A National Policy for ICT in Indian Education!

I

ndia today aspires to emerge as front-runner among the knowledgebased societies. Thus, the benefits of ICT revolution in providing education and training of desirable quality can hardly be over emphasised. Focus has been to provide universal access, equity and ensure provision of quality elementary education. Universalisation of access has nearly been achieved. Investment in the sector has resulted in satisfactory outcomes. 94% of our rural populations have a school within one sq. kilometer. The gross enrollment ratio has improved to 108.56 in 2004-05 from 96.30 in 2001-02 at primary level, and to 70.51 from 52.09 at upper primary level during same period. The dropout

Champak Chatterjee, Secretary of School Education, Ministry of HRD Government of India, during the eINDIA2007 inaugural speech made a mention of creating a national ICT policy in education soon rate at the primary level has reduced by 10.50% i.e. 28.49 in 2004-05 from 39.03 in 2001-02. Use of technology in the classroom transactions has gained impetus in the form of computer aided learning in many States. The challenge ahead is to provide universal access, equity and quality at the Secondary stage. As educational indicators are not very encouraging at the moment, the responsibility is now to ensure substantial investment to improve the current scenario at the earliest. Use of technology by students at the Secondary stage pre-supposes their strength in terms of knowledge and skill development. As Internet has become more and more accessible, the world of information and innovations have become more accessible today. 22

Recognising the importance of ICT in education as early as 1984-85 Computer Literacy And Studies in Schools (CLASS) Project was launched. Today, exclusive Educational Television channel ‘Gyan Darshan’ has been launched to provide satellite based education across the country besides the interactive radio programme. In December, 2004, the ICT in Schools Scheme was launched to open a window of opportunity for secondary stage school students across the country in partnership with states/Union Territories. While the emphasis has been on the computer literacy programme, the advantage is now realised in use of IT tools for development of e-Content in the computer aided learning activities and self learning by students.

Need for a National ICT in Education Policy While many States have developed their own policy on ICT in School education but at the national level there is a need for putting in place a coherent and enabling policy for use by all stakeholders. It has thus been felt to develop a set of policy objectives, guidelines, practices and knowledge tools to enhance the role of ICT in school education, particularly, by following a consultative and a participatory process with States, academia, NGOs, civil society organisations, practitioners and stakeholders. In this regard, Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative, (GeSCI) has offered its expertise and assistance to the Department of School Education & Literacy (D/SE&L), Ministry of HRD, Government of India in the formulation of the national policy.

GeSCI Initiative GeSCI was founded by the United Nations ICT Task Force, and is a global organisation that catalyses, supports and September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


A well coordinated and structured policy can lead India to achieve MDGs Ashish Garg, Programme Co-ordinator India, GeSCI in conversation with Digital Learning www.gesci.org GeSCI works in Bolivia, Namibia, Ghana and Rwanda and we realise that India is unique not only in its challenges, but also in its approach on managing these challenges. What is the need to integrate ICT in education policy and how will it work for the Indian education system? How is India unique in its issues and concerns for integrating ICTs in education? Integrating ICTs in Education is a relatively new turf and Ministries of Education across the world are trying to find the right balance to optimise educational outcomes. There is also a need to understand the key issues underlying the problems and to formulate sensible strategies. Without a purposeful “End to End” policy driven by political will and authority, ICTs may remain a peripheral subject and an enormous opportunity for enhancing learning and subsequently creating an equipped work force and improved living conditions may be lost. In the Indian context, a purposeful policy assumes greater significance in view of the complex challenges we face as a large nation with divergent requirements. Besides the size and spread of the school education system in the country, which is second only to China, we also have major issues of access, opportunity and gender discrimination. The deployment, and usage of ICT in Indian schools is also an aberration in many ways. India has the distinction of being the country with the largest number of ICT in education initiatives, but these are primarily concentrated in six or seven states, where as others have little or no awareness about this new tool in education. Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

In emerging trends of e-Learning, where do you place GeSCI? What are the innovative e-Learning best practices or policies specific to the organisation, that can impact the education community? Many developing countries seem to be simply “copying” the developed country approaches. Many Ministries of Education in developing countries are faced with systematic weaknesses and ICTs have not traditionally been their core competence. If developing countries are to realise the potential and benefits of ICTs in Education in improving access, quality and efficiency in a cost and educational effective manner, then they urgently need to develop a clear understanding of the benefits and potential roles ICTs can play in education; develop, build and enhance the capacity within Ministries of Education to strategically plan for, set priorities and targets and effectively deploy ICTs for Education; assume clear leadership of and drive the ICT in Education agenda while cooperating with and coordinating the NGO and private sector stakeholders; move beyond “pilot programs” to well thought out and planned, scalable, cost effective and sustainable national initiatives. GeSCI was created specifically to respond to these urgent needs of the Ministries of Education in developing countries. GeSCI’s role to help Ministries coordinate the entire process according to its educational objectives is

unique and has proven beneficial to its developing country partners. What are the focus areas identified by GeSCI on the use and integration of ICT in education in India? GeSCI’s mission, services and activities are defined in direct response to the needs of several developing countries • Designing and implementing policies and plans • Building capacities within Ministries of Education; • Utilising ICTs cost-effectively to achieve educational objectives. A well coordinated and structured policy leading to a practical and dynamic implementation plan will enable the country to achieve the Millenium Development Goals faster. What is your vision of the ‘future classroom’ in Indian schools in the digital age? How do you think the success of ICT use be measured in the school education system? The Future classroom would be a place where all students have the opportunity to attend school and participate in a meaningful educational process. As demonstrated by the Indian IT business, effectively using ICTs in Education can reduce the trauma on the socio-economic fabric of India. Education today must be linked to opportunities of economic improvement through better learning, understanding and exposure to a global environment. Success would be measured not simply by achievement scores, but by the level of learning, number of students opting for higher education, research and by the number of students taking up jobs in the knowledge economy, as opposed to an overall increase in the economic conditions of the people of India. 23


convenes national and regional ICT in Education initiatives and provides strategic advice to Ministries of Education on the effective use of ICTs for education. In the recent past, it has facilitated development of ICT policy in education for a few countries, namely, Namibia, and Bolivia with on going work in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda. The International event of e-INDIA 2007, provided the right context to start a first level of discussion with the stakeholders and solicit recommendations from them. The GOI has several National as well as State specific schemes that run concurrent to a large number of privately led ICT initiatives across India. In addition there are several ICT in education initiatives across the country and these account for a large degree of understanding and awareness about the role that ICTs can play in enhancing the teaching learning process. However, the lack of a concerted, dynamic education policy has continued to hound the ministries of education, increasingly, this new tool – called ICTs and their incorporation has added to the challenge.

The broad areas on which the participants furnished their suggestions • • • • •

What would be the objective of the policy and why ICT should be used in education? How to build the capacity for ICT implementation in schools for students and teachers? What is a good policy of procurement – hardware, software, infrastructure? What are the connectivity options? In which other fields can ICT be included viz; vocational education or open and distance learning? How can it be replicated across the schools?

and deliberations with key partners and others. The Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (CSDMS), an NGO, will assist GeSCI in fostering the objectives. To begin with, it was decided to hold a workshop on 31.7.2007 in the backdrop of e-INDIA Conference 2007, organised by CSDMS. The main objectives of the workshop were to to understand key issues, concerns and strategies to integrate ICTs in the Education policy and to establish a multi-stakeholder framework for the National ICT policy in school education, amongst others.

and the private sector. In his opening remark, the Joint Secretary emphasised the need for consultations in evolving a robust and dynamic policy which would make ICT integration at schools easier. He highlighted India’s dynamic software potential and a good enabling environment with an expanding IT landscape. He emphasised that India is a federal country and though the Centre would provide a broad framework or a set of guiding principles for ICT integration and usage, most of the action will be taken at the state government level.

The workshop was chaired by S.C. Khuntia, Joint Secretary to Govt. of India, D/SE&L.

He said that as States would be expecting guidance from the Central Govt., the Ministry should be ready to take a leadership role in the matter. An important aspect of the process would be a set of sustainable public-private partnerships. There is an urgent need is to collate good practices and use them as scalable and replicable models.

The Workshop The partnership with Department of School Education & Literacy to evolve a national policy is proposed through a process of series of consultations

A number of participants who attended the workshop represented the Government, NGOs and International Developmental Agencies, Academia,

The Recommendations •

• • •

24

It is important to define priority areas – we cannot hope to resolve everything at once. The policy must identify National priorities as linked to the National Education Goals, the EFA goals and provide direction on the phased structure of implementation The policy can neither exist nor be implemented in isolation. Coordination and alignment of plans is a must. This coordination would exist at various levels : (a) Coordination amongst states for knowledge sharing, and sharing of best practices, sharing of vendor information and infrastructure specifications etc. (b)Coordination would also be required between the various depts. to ensure provision of electricity, connectivity, school buildings and other infrastructure etc. Standardisation of outcomes to ensure a consistence in the quality of education imparted through the use of ICTs Define a timeline within which the policy would be ready for sharing The policy should be an overarching umbrella statement of intent. The policy could be supplemented by specific mechanisms such as a tool kits and guidelines for appropriating the costs or the time frame for usage etc.

The workshop was able to provide the participants an open forum to discuss their vision for a Policy, suggest broad objectives and provide inputs on the basic components that the policy must address. Discussions also reflected upon the kind of processes that should be used.

The Way Forward Further to the workshop, GeSCI and CSDMS had another round of discussion with the Joint Secretary of D/SE&L on next steps. The work may begin in two phases: development of the framework for an overarching policy followed by development of an Implementation Strategy to support the policy. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


CORPORATE DIARY | LEADERS’ SPEAK

e-Learning to Supplement the Huge Shortfall of Trained Teachers www.aptech-education.com Aptech is one of Asia’s largest education and training companies having strong presence in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. It has wholly owned subsidiaries in USA, Dubai and Bangladesh. Aptech has developed over 1000 courses exceeding 20,000 hours of instruction in several international languages benefiting over 4.5 million students. The company had system-wide global revenues of INR 922 crores in the year 2006, which comprised of 67% retail and 33% institutional. Promod Khera, the Chief Executive Officer, Aptech Ltd. shares more about the company, how has it perfected its core competencies with over 20 years of experience in this sector, and how has it established a brand name in education.

Promod Khera CEO, Aptech Ltd.

Would you give a brief overview of Aptech business model? Aptech is in the business of Education and training and has two sets of businesses – retail education businesses and corporate businesses. The retail businesses include IT and animation education and training (Aptech Computer Education and Arena Animation), and aviation training (Avalon Aviation Academy). The corporate businesses comprise of Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

offshore learning content development (Aptech Learning Services); e-Learning (Onlinevarsity.com); training and assessments solution for corporates and institutions (Aptech Training Solutions and ATTEST) and developer training and consultancy (Synergetics). Aptech commenced its IT education and training business in 1986 and has trained over 4.5 million students – globally. Aptech is an ISO 9001:2000 organisation and the first IT training and

Education Support Services in 1993. What are the core products and and services of Aptech in the domain of e-Education? What specific issues within this sector that you think your product can address? We are into content creation, with subject matter experts and instructional designers creating content from scratch for synchronous and asynchronous instructional programmes that are 25


CORPORATE DIARY | LEADERS’ SPEAK ‘Aptech has over 18 calendar years of instructional design experience in delivering learner-centric content and instructional kits across diverse demographic and psychographic audience profiles. Aptech’s costeffective, innovative, and business-aligned learning solutions focus on productivity and learning enhancements, besides minimising recurring costs of courseware maintenance. Our time tested quality practices are aligned toward client benefit, and that gives us the edge over others.’ delivered in electronic and face to face modes. Developers tranform the client’s legacy content to e-Learning courseware, such as CBT, WBT, or ePublications. As the content converstion service, the programmers convert the client’s legacy courseware typically print to electronic media. Under the content localisation service, translators convert legacy courseware, usually english, to the required languages. Wherever required, multimedia objects are modified to suit the local cultural preferences. We also have e-Publishing service for which the writers and artists convert conventionally published content into electronic books, printon-demand, electronic link, e-mail publishing, wireless publishing, and web publishing. How far the Aptech education products have been able to position 26

this leading training provider uniquely in the market? What do your think you have an edge over others? Do you face the force of competition in any means? If yes, please describe it. Aptech has over 18 calendar years of instructional design experience in delivering learner-centric content and instructional kits across diverse demographic and psychographic audience profiles. Aptech’s costeffective, innovative, and businessaligned learning solutions focus on productivity and learning enhancements, besides minimising recurring costs of courseware maintenance. Our time tested quality practices are aligned toward client benefit, and that gives us the edge over others. Aptech project management practices are guided by a partnership approach. Client-driven capacity

and process scale-up is enabled by continuous flow of skilled resources through Aptech’s education and training arm. As an education and IT training provider, do you ever try to learn whether e-Learners understand and apply what they have learned? Have you ever carried out any kind of study in this line? Will e-Learning replace instructor-led learning in future? For all our client engagements, we have a post-implementation feedback phase wherein we try to assess the efficiency of learning of the participants and take corrective action wherever necessary. No study has been conducted on this, but our experience has been that when the participants are self-motivated, the learning efficiency of e-Learning is very high. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


CORPORATE DIARY | LEADERS’ SPEAK e-Learning cannot entirely replace instructor-led learning. As mentioned students need to be constantly motivated to learn and a class-room environment goes a long way in ensuring this. Especially in the case of young learners, where self-motivation to learn is lacking, a class-room environment is most effective. With the Aptech University, the company ventured into the mainstream academia. What prompted for this venture, when Aptech is more known as a strong training provider in the non formal sector? What are the other expansion areas? Aptech offers career courses to its students and prepares them for jobs. While Aptech ACCP and AAASP certificates are well-recognised in the industry for jobs, it does not give the student a degree and a qualification after which they can pursue further academic studies. Hence, Aptech decided to get into formal education by setting up a university. Other areas where Aptech is currently building new businesses are on-line testing (under the brand name of Attest) and Aviation Training (Branded as Avalon). Today, every move you make, every investment you make, is tracked; there are people who jump into the bandwagon, whether you like it or not. Does that pressurise you? Does the performance anxiety pressurise you? In today’s competitive environment,

this is true for all businesses – more so for education sector as this is increasingly being viewed as a very lucrative industry. With over 20 years of experience in the education sector, Aptech has an edge over competitors as it has a well-established brand name in education and has perfected its core competencies in content development and network management. We welcome competition as it keeps us on our toes and motivates us to continuously look at raising the bar for the quality of our services. What in your opinion is driving the e-Learning market in India? How do you see this market growing in next few years? e-Learning is ideally suited for offering training/education in a distributed environment and for the corporate sector. With organisations scaling up and expanding into multiple geographies, e-Learning is increasingly being perceived as the ideal tool for training. Also, there is a huge shortfall of trained teachers and with the increasing demand for education and training, e-Learning is being used as a de-skilling tool for faculty. With teaching being supplemented by e-Leaning the face-toface instructors are becoming more of facilitators than teachers. Apart from selling of content and license fees what other options are there for Aptech revenue generation? What is the purpose of forming an education society under Aptech brand?

Aptech has an e-Learning site called onlinevarsity.com where we have students coming in and enrolling for an e-Learning course. In addition, we are increasingly adopting e-Learning to teach our students in over 1000 centres in 35 countries in a hybrid model of education. The education society was set up to venture into formal sector of education. Have you ever tried to read the e-Learning market in India in terms of potentials, chances for deep penetration, proving the winning status to your company, etc.? Where do you find your company in this evaluation, if actually did? We have looked at the e-Learning market more as a hybrid market for the delivery of education. We are increasingly using e-Learning as part of our overall delivery process for all our courses. Going forward, we see more and more of technology enablement happening in the delivery of education. Where do you see e-Learning in India after five years? What is your gameplan to set the ball rolling with a matching speed with the market? Increasingly e-Learning is becoming important in the Indian context. It is very difficult to predict what percentage of teaching is going to happen through e-Learning, but being one of the pioneers in e-Learning and also one of the largest private sector education companies, we definitely see e-Learning as an integral component of our growth strategy and have planned accordingly.

You Build a Better Workforce? Want to post an eMPLOYMENT AD? Contact: 27 Siddharth Verma (siddharth@csdms.in) Call +91-9811561645

Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007


CORPORATE DIARY | NEWS PROGRAMMES Blackboard unveils plagiarism prevention service Blackboard Inc., a leading provider of educational enterprise software and services, announced a new plagiarism prevention service, SafeAssign(tm). This new service helps prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers and delivering reports within the Blackboard Learning System(tm). SafeAssign empowers academics and students to protect the originality of work, as well as creating an opportunity to educate students on the importance of proper attribution and citation. It is currently available at no additional cost to all enterprise licensees of the Blackboard Learning System.

performance improvement, has participated in an online symposium on ‘Creativity in Second Life’ organised by the New Media Consortium. Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)’s Software Solutions practice is collaborating with the Federation of American Scientists, a non-profit organisation on a project in SL.

PARTNERSHIPS NIIT District Learning Centre

These graduates will be equipped with IT skills, Communication skills (verbal and written), Professional Life skills and Business Etiquette skills that will enable them to accomplish gainful employment and secure future. The unique initiative has already garnered support from leading global organisations such as IBM, Wipro Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services and NIIT Technologies to utilise the talent pool created by this District Learning Centre.

Tata Interactive Systems in Second Life Online Symposium Tata Interactive Systems, a world leader in custom e-Learning design, development and organisational NIIT Education Society has set up the first-of-its kind District Learning Center (DLC) in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh in India to harness talent and skilled manpower for global readiness. The district of Chhindwara alone witnesses over 4,000 students graduating every year. To begin with, the DLC will provide intensive

13 Indian IT cos among top 100 Thirteen Indian technology firms have been named among the top 100 in the AsiaPacific region by global media company Red Herring, even as China dominates with 37 names. The ‘2007 Red Herring 100 Asia’ awards recognise private companies with cutting edge technologies in the Asia-Pacific region. The winners have been selected from 200 finalists, including 43 Indian companies, on the basis of criteria varying from vision and technological achievements to market leadership and financial health. This year, the number of Indian winners has come down to 13 from 24 in the last year while the 37 Chinese firms have have been named this year against 33 in the previous year. Among the other Indian firms include, SatNav Technologies (www.satnavtechnologies.com) which offers products and 28

training programmes to over 200 students a year and will work towards increasing the capacity by another 200 students in the next 2 years. Once the model is tested it will be rolled out in other districts in the country.

Edutech to launch Arabic-enabled version of Blackboard Academic Suite Edutech Middle East, a leading international learning solutions provider, in collaboration with Blackboard Inc., will launch the Arabic-enabled version of Blackboard Academic Suite across Middle East, which integrates Blackboard’s widely-accepted applications for higher education institutions. With an Arabic user interface, students and teachers from the Middle East region can easily adopt the technology and utilise it effectively to produce better results. The new Arabic version allows users to view all features and tools in the Learning, Community and Content systems from right to left according to the orientation of the Arabic written language. The Arabic Language Pack can be selected at the system, course and user level, providing flexibility to all users to choose their preferred language. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


CORPORATE DIARY | NEWS InfoPro Learning named among World’s Top 19 Specialised Learning Process Providers New Jersey based InfoPro Learning having a growing front-end presence in the US, Europe, and now India, has been named among the world’s top 19 specialised learning process providers by TrainingOutsourcing.com. TrainingOutsourcing. com is the world’s first, and leading, Internet knowledge community that focuses on the training outsourcing industry worldwide. InfoPro Learning has been selected to the prestigious Top Specialised Learning Process Providers list in the category: e-Learning Development & Delivery. InfoPro’s assessment was based on its corporate competency in 22 business processes, and 13 business capabilities in areas including financial stability, geographic reach, talent of leadership, and use of best practices, especially relating to the strategic alignment of training with clients’ business goals.

PRODUCTS QAI launches Edista Suite of Education Ventures QAI, the world’s leading process consulting organisation addressing Operational Excellence for the IT, BPO and knowledge intensive services sectors announced a series of education, testing and certification initiatives under the Edista brand. QAI has announced an online curriculum, EdistaLearning, an initiative in the Software Testing sphere, Edista Testing Institute, and a skills assessments and measurements initiative, EdistaCertifications, targeted at both the corporate and the retail sectors. EdistaLearning is an exclusive coming together of expert content from subject matter “gurus” and practical insights from QAI’s training and consulting experience. Edista in Finnish language means “to enhance, to facilitate”. QAI has also announced another venture called EdistaTesting Institute, an independent industry - academia collaborative venture, with the focus on training, certifications, and assessments in the field of Software Testing.

Philippines firm develops software for kids Philippines based firm TechFactors Inc has developed edutainment software to make technology education interactive and fun for children. Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

Around 90,000 Filipino kids from 170 to 180 private schools nationwide are using company’s courseware. The software combines ideo games, laboratory simulation and other interactive exercises to make ICT education fun and engaging. The company has developed courseware modules for pre-schoolers, elementary, and high school students. The company is providing two books and a CD to every students and also providing training to teachers to use the courseware.

SumTotal launches new version of Talent Management Software

capabilities for evaluating employee goals and reviewing succession plans, new workflows for assigning training based upon a company’s unique organisational structure, a learning content management system that supports the latest edition of SCORM 2004, a collection of standards and specifications for web-based e-Learning, and enhanced language capabilities to meet the needs of customers across Asia and Europe.

Dimensions E Services launches new LMS tool Dimensions E Services announces the launch of a new LMS tool, branded as uLearn. Some of the key features of uLearn are ability to customise itself to customer needs, ability to run multiple sessions through the same set of training titles. uLearn’s off the shelf features include an ability to run multiple sessions through the same set of training titles. There are multiple level access points for administrators, trainers and users. The technology allows SCROM compliant courseware to be plugged in. The key to uLearn’s unique value proposition is the strong core which allows customisation around itself. Customers can name their needs and they would not even realsze the tailoring on the tool.

KESDEE launches e-Learning course library

SumTotal Systems, a global provider of talent and learning management solutions, has released SumTotal Enterprise Suite 7.6. The newest version of SumTotal’s award-winning software helps executives find talent, identify and fill gaps in a workforce’s skill set and recognize and reward employee performance. Highlights of SumTotal 7.6 include: a variety of performance-management

KESDEE Inc., a leading provider of e-Learning courses in Finance, has launched its e-Learning course library on “Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC)”. These courses give important insights into the intricate working of Corporate Governance, Risk Management and Regulatory Compliance in corporate environment. The course library is interspersed with audio clips containing voice over by the author giving additional insights and information about important concepts. KESDEE is headquartered in San Diego, California, with a state-ofthe-art development center in Bangalore, India. 29


BLOG BOOK

Blogs for Teachers

Fostering Communities of Reflective Practitioners

http://educatorslog.in

With this column, Digital Learning is happy to introduce the Blog Book, for discussing about the blogs, the new wave of online applications in education. As teachers have become the focal point all along this issue, we are happy again to dedicate this introductory column of Blog Book for our esteemed teachers, by introducing them to the blog, Educatorslog.in. Shuchi Grover, the founder of the blog discusses more.

T

he last 4 years or so have seen a sea change in the interaction paradigms on the Internet. The “new web”, or Web 2.0, (the ‘2.0’ indicating the second generation of web applications) focuses on collaboration and networking, and provides a whole host of easy-to-use tools that allow anyone to become a creator of content on the web just as easily as they consume (read) information. This “Read-Write Web,” is purportedly closer to Tim Berners-Lee’s original vision of the Internet. Blogs, Wikis, Social Bookmarking, RSS and podcasting are some of the new tools that make it easier than ever before to share one’s work and collaborate with others globally on the Internet. Stephen Downes (who coined the phrase “e-Learning 2.0”) notes that “the emergence of the Web 2.0 is not a technological revolution, it is a social revolution. Blogs have made creating learning communities easier than ever before. At its most basic level, a blog offers a way to publish online content without knowing programming languages and without having to invest in any software or hardware. Starting a blog takes a few seconds and “posting” to a blog is no more difficult than typing a document on Microsoft Word. In keeping with my firm belief in first making teachers aware and fluent in the technology that they could/should use with their students in their classrooms, I 30

do think that one cannot expect teachers to design curriculum around blogs unless they’ve experienced blogging first-hand. As part of my teacher education workshops and initiatives, I have, over the last 3 years or so, helped teachers start personal blogs where they reflect on their practice or on readings or their teaching experiences. More important, and potent, however, have been the “group blogs” that I set up for collaborative reflection and sharing. A “group blog” gives several people (who are “invited” by the creator of the blog) the privilege to post on the blog (not just comment). This means anyone can start a discussion thread that others can add to. Such blogs work very well for teacher professional development workshops and courses, as they provide a space for teachers to continue their reflections and conversations long after the face-to-face sessions are over. These work well for a group of teachers in a programme or in a school where someone takes the responsibility of setting up the blog, inviting other teachers and maintaining the blog.

It was this rationale of communitybuilding and collaborative reflection that led to the creation of educatorslog. in (http://educatorslog.in) – India’s first and only “community blogging” platform for educators. This unique forum that is free and open to anyone with an interest in education, provides open blogging spaces to “connect” educators through an open sharing of ideas and thoughts on education in India, “share” teaching resources that are contextually relevant to teaching in India, and “learn” from inspiring stories of good teaching and learning in our country. Teachers who wish to “grow” in their profession can also learn about new teacher education programmes and workshops that cater to teaching in the 21st century. Networking with other educators in this manner helps create a “community of practitioners” where members have a space to vent, discuss, share, celebrate, ask, answer, learn, and above all, experience the support that belonging to a community affords.

Shuchi Grover (shuchi_grover@post.harvard.edu) is an Educational Technologist from Bangalore. An alumna of Harvard University (and BITS Pilani and Case Western Reserve University), she has worked with educational institutions such as Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Business School and several K-12 schools in India and the US. Her current professional pursuits include creating a Web 2.0 platform for networking educators in India (educatorslog.in), coaching on Harvard University’s WIDE World online courses, Designing curriculum for teacher education programmes, and assisting school management and teachers with technology planning and effective integration. Know more about her at http://shuchi-edblog.blogspot.com

September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


RESEARCH

Technology in BRAC’s TeacherTraining Programme

www.brac.net

Faheem Hussain, [FAHEEM@CMU.EDU], Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, USA Ensuring universal primary education is one of the most urgent needs in developing countries, including Bangladesh. According to a study completed by the Government of Bangladesh in 2003, the literacy rate was 62.66%. In significant part, even this is due to the efforts of an NGO - BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, http:// www.brac.net/), which is dedicated to providing Non Formal Primary Education (NFPE) to children who are among the poorest of the poor, including drop outs from government schools.The instructional workforce in this effort is made up of para-professionals, who receive rigorous pre-service and in-service training programmes.This research article explores the possibilities of integrating different technologies to enhance the quality of these in-service initiatives. We begin with an overview of the BRAC system before examining technology options for training. All the information and calculations here are mainly based on data acquired in 2005/2006 period.

BRAC’s Primary Education Programme The BRAC Education Programme (BEP) runs the largest non formal education system in Bangladesh and arguably in the world. It has mainly two different types of schools for its non formal primary education programme: BPS (BRAC Primary School) for children who are between 8-10 years of age and BAPS (BRAC Adolescent Primary School) for children who are between 11-14 years of age. There is also an initiative for impoverished indigenous children.

BEP’s management structure BEP operates its countrywide education programme through 44 administrative Regional Offices (RO), under which there are 570 Area Offices (AO). Each AO averages 50 to 60 BPS and BAPS. The top management is based in Dhaka’s Head Office. Pre-service training is overseen by the Capacity Development Unit and the BRAC Training Division. Regarding any kind of in-service teacher training, BRAC usually depends on different field level trainers, like Quality Assurance Specialists (QAS), Programme Organisers (PO), Master Trainers (MT), Batch Trainers (BT) and Core MTs. All the BEP teachers are locally selected and 98% of this workforce comprises of village women.

BEP’s Teacher and Staff Training System BRAC offers both pre-service and in-service training for its entire staff in the education programme. Pre-Service Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

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Advantages of the present ISTT Regular participation in ISTT programmes enables the trainees with little formal academic knowledge to become effective teacher. All of these programmes operate using face-to-face instruction supported by printed materials but without any technology or enhancements. Most materials are developed by the existing staff so that BRAC does not have to provide any significant additional investment for their development. Disadvantages of “Print” based ISTT Despite its success, the present ISTT programme has shortcomings. The author observed these programmes and interviewed participants and managers, and noted the following issues: • Lack of standardisation: This is evident in both staff and teacher refresher trainings. It causes qualitative differences in AO and RO based refreshers. • Poor interactivity: Sometimes, due to time and other constraints, MTs, POs and AMs do not adequately prepare training modules for the refreshers and were unable to fully interact with the trainees. Experienced trainer scarcity: The limited number of subject specialist MTs forces relatively inexperienced POs to conduct ISTT. At times, MTs remain absent during the refreshers, which forces the use of makeshift trainers. These trainers often lack formal knowledge and necessary pedagogical skill and at times results in diminished in-service training.

trainings are all residential and given in BRAC’s “Training and Resource Centers” (TARC). BRAC has 14 TARCs all over Bangladesh and each of these facilities is equipped with globalstandard training, communication and residential facilities. The location for any in-service training depends on the workforce being trained and usually takes place in ROs and AOs.

Pre-service teacher training (PSTT) Pre-service training for teachers consists of 12-day residential training in any of the TARCs. The trainer-teacher ratio is on average 1: 25. Topics like pedagogy, use of books and teaching aids, methods for developing lesson plans, etc. are covered during this PSTT. In-service teachers training (ISTT) During the 5 academic years of a school, the teachers receive regular monthly trainings and year-opening orientations.

Monthly refreshers During the refreshers, MTs, POs and BTs usually go through monthly syllabus of all the subjects being taught by the teachers in that particular grade, point out the strategy of teaching new chapters, practice and solve the problems, give solutions to the problems from previous chapters, etc.

Year-opening orientations At the start of each academic year, a four or five day long year-opening orientation takes place in every AO. 32

Selection of technologies for teacher training A variety of technologies have seen use in educational delivery for Primary/ Secondary or Tertiary Education, Teacher Training, Health Care, Community Awareness around the developing world. Selecting technologies which might augment and strengthen BRAC’s in-service training requires a consideration of the specific needs of the BEP system, the regulatory environment, cost related constraints and available infrastructure in Bangladesh.

Infrastructure assessment The infrastructure of communication technologies in Bangladesh does not provide an encouraging picture. The teledensity is 12% (among which PSTN connections have a stake of only 1% and the rest is covered by mobile phone companies). Only about 1 million people out of the 143 million population use

PCs (as per Sayeed Rahman in Internet in Bangladesh, 2004) and among them, only around 243,000 (according to CIA 2005) are Internet users. There are 26 radio broadcast stations (Rahman, 2004) in the country with 6.15 million radios (CIA 2005). The number of TV broadcast stations is 15 and there are 770,000 TVs nationwide. There are several Satellite TV channels, one terrestrial TV channel and two FM radio channels in the private sector. The rest are controlled by the government. Due to the need for flexibility, lack of access infrastructure, the difficulties of maintenance in rural locations including both personnel and cost, two-way options like audio-conferencing, live interactive TV, video-conferencing or real time Internet based options were deemed appropriate for longer-term implementation. The four short-term options chosen for further analysis

Only about 1 million people out of the 143 million population use PCs (as per Sayeed Rahman in Internet in Bangladesh, 2004) and among them, only around 243,000 (according to CIA 2005) are Internet users. There are 26 radio broadcast stations (Rahman, 2004) in the country with 6.15 million radios (CIA 2005). The number of TV broadcast stations is 15 and there are 770,000 TVs nationwide. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


are: Interactive Radio, Interactive Audio Cassettes, Satellite TV and Video Cassettes. As the main goal is to enhance the quality of the present print based ISTT, not to replace it with other options, any kind of technology based option is assumed to operate alongside the traditional print media.

Assumptions for technology-based curriculum While planning a technology enhanced ISTT programme, the focus was mainly upon some specific ISTT needs that call for immediate attention. The main driver is to aid trainers and trainees in Mathematics and English based problems as these are the subjects that need more attention, according to the policy makers and field officials of BEP. The author here proposes to supplement traditional BRAC in-service training with an hour of pre-recorded session (30 minute English + 30 minute Mathematics) broadcast (either by radio or by satellite TV) or cassettes (Audio/ Video) during each session of any ISTT cycle. These media interventions are meant to assist instead of replacing the present print based training system, to improve their efficiency. In addition to the assumptions made for the cost estimations of present ISTT, it is also

assumed that the transmission time for 1 ISTT Year will be 20 hours (2 transmission per month for Math and English each over 1 ISTT academic year, 30 minutes each). Cost comparison of different options For the cost calculation, the following assumptions were made: The total cost has been calculated for one academic year of ISTT. Total number of ISTT working days over 5 academic years = 122 Annual working days (rounded) = 25 The total number of contact hours per daily ISTT= 7 hours= 420 minutes Total academic hours for 1 ISTT year = 175 Hours 1 USD= Tk. 65 (Tk is the Bangladeshi Currency) For variable cost calculation, the cost of equipments, related materials and O&M costs have been included, notable cost data for four different hypothetical training programmes with 10,000 trainees or BRAC School teachers has been provided. For Radio and Satellite TV based options, both single and dual transmission (the number of times any particular lesson being broadcasted daily) costs have been initially considered. The variable cost of Print based ISTT in a single cycle remains the same, irrespective of the number of paraprofessionals receiving it. But

the variable cost of reproduction and material distribution of the options with technological interventions are different and vary with the number of trainees each program includes. The variable cost of present ISTT does not change with number of trainees. But for Radio based option, the author calculates a variable cost range of USD 55 – USD 30 for 1,000 to 15,000 trainers per one ISTT Year. The variable cost ranges of Audio Cassette, Satellite TV and Video Cassette based ISTTs are USD 62 – USD 31, USD 132 – USD 35 and USD 154 – USD 37, respectively, per trainer, for the same range of trainees over the same period of time. In the case of single radio transmission, the audio cassette option’s distribution cost becomes more costly than broadcast only if we use 750 or more AOs for conducting ISTT. Here it should be noted that, irrespective of the AOs being covered, the cost of single and dual radio transmission (of two 30 minute long audio lessons) for ISTT will remain USD 892 and USD 1785 for a single ISTT cycle. That amount will range from USD 308 to USD 1230 for 250 to 1000 AOs in the case of audio cassettes. But if we take into account other AO based media related variable costs, eventually the radio option becomes cheaper.

The policy of Government in not giving away terrestrial TV licenses to any private entity, the absence of policy to provide satellite TV spectrum to education providers at a lower rate and above all, the smaller number of satellite TV connections in the rural areas in comparison with that of radio penetration are instrumental in putting radio ahead of any audiovisual broadcasting options. Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

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As the main goal is to enhance the quality of the present print based ISTT, not to replace it completely with other options, any kind of technology based option is assumed to operate alongside the traditional print media.

data in order to evaluate the total costeffectiveness of each option.

However, the distribution cost of the Video Cassette option does not show the same cost efficient scale in comparison with Satellite TV.

Strategies for future

Cost -effectiveness of technological interventions The goal of this article is to suggest some suitable technological options for BRAC’s ISTT. A combined costeffectiveness analysis can certainly assist us to put these things into that perspective. In order to get some sense of what the different technologies might accomplish in terms of education effectiveness, the author contacted Dr. Stephen Provasnik of American Institute of Research (AIR), an educational think-tank and consulting firm. He in turn conferred with a number of colleagues who collectively have decades of experience in different educational system evaluations in developing country contexts (i.e. Honduras, Haiti, Pakistan etc.). They provided their expert judgments about the effectiveness of the different teacher training programmes which use a range of selected technologies together with quasi-professional trainers of the sort BRAC now uses. As a point of comparison, high-quality face-to-face training by well qualified professional instructors was assigned an educational effectiveness score of 100. The AIR experts then assessed the relative effectiveness of different interventions in a 0 to 100 scale (providing both a best estimate and a range of performance). Finally, those values were incorporated alongside the variable and total cost Faheem Hussain is presently pursuing Ph.D. in the Department of Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

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The reasons behind the justification of AIR experts’ opinions mostly concurred with the author’s pros-cons evaluations of each technological intervention, e.g., the ability to pause and repeat content in asynchronous modes of delivery.

The use of radio or audio based options will be the most suitable choice for BEP, considering all the advantages and disadvantages these two may have. First of all, it will take minimum effort to produce audio based interactive class lectures or programmes using the present technical infrastructure of BRAC’s Media Center. Moreover, mainly radio and then audio cassette player are the two technologies which are very common even in the remotest part of Bangladesh and most people are comfortable using these as communication, news, educational and entertainment media. The overall cost difference between these two audio based options are minimal, but overall effectiveness of radio outweighs audio cassettes, as judged by the AIR experts and confirmed in literature. Most importantly, the educational effectiveness of a radio based system was judged by the AIR experts to be comparable to that of video or satellite TV based options and its cost effectiveness is much higher. The policy of Government in not giving away terrestrial TV licenses to any private entity, the absence of policy to provide satellite TV spectrum to education providers at a lower rate and above all, the smaller number of satellite TV connections in the rural areas in comparison with that of radio penetration are instrumental in putting radio ahead of any audio-visual broadcasting options. Video cassettes are significantly more expensive than radio, perhaps no more effective, and the problems of keeping cassette players operating and in schools are considerable. Over time, more advanced technologies can be adopted to increase the quality and scope of training.

2007 Access to Learning Award goes to the Northern Territory Library in Australia The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries initiative presented its 2007 Access to Learning Award of USD1 million to the Northern Territory Library (NTL), a regional public library system based in Darwin, Australia. The award honors NTL’s innovative approach to bringing computer and Internet technology to remote indigenous communities, which opens up a world of information and knowledge that can help improve people’s lives. Microsoft, a Global Libraries initiative partner, will donate US USD224,000 in software and technology training curriculum to upgrade the organisation’s 300 library computers. Through its Libraries and Knowledge Centers program, NTL’s community libraries are providing information and opportunities through free access to computers connected to the Internet. NTL also provides computer and Internet training, so people can learn to use technology to pursue education and employment. NTL’s groundbreaking Our Story database is central to helping indigenous communities increase their technology and literacy skills. Our Story allows local people to preserve and share their cultural heritage by archiving digital recordings and photographs on library computers. With training on how to store current and historical photographs, oral histories, songs in their native language, indigenous art, and videos, NTL’s community libraries are teaching people the skills needed to use information technology. NTL also provides jobs to indigenous people that run the libraries. In turn, these local library staff members then train the community to use Our Story. The Our Story database has become a source of pride for many communities and attracts an increasing number of people to the community libraries. Once at the library, community members can benefit from other services offered - computers connected to the Internet, technology skills training, books for readers of all ages, educational toys for toddlers, newspapers, and other learning materials. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


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News INDIA SC, ST school dropout rate increasing - CAG report A recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) says that the gap between general category students and Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students in schools is increasing despite various Government schemes and projects. The CAG report had analysed seven schemes of the Social Justice Ministry for SCs, eight schemes of the tribal affairs ministry for Sts. According to the report - “The gap in the gross dropout rate (GDR) between generalcategory candidates and SC/ST candidates, which was 6.7 per cent and 15.1 per cent in 2001-02, deteriorated to 10.4 per cent and 16.6 per cent in 2003-04 respectively.

e-Learning portal for Indian diaspora

A Chennai-based e-Learning portal on cross-cultural skills has been retrofitted for a global launch during the Salaam India expo, held in Singapore between August 15 and 19. The portal, www.globalindian.com, is targeting members of the Indian diaspora who are keen on cross-cultural nuances, ranging from soft skills to international etiquette. Infosys founder N. R. Narayana Murthy launched the portal. 36

According to Ranjini Manian, founderCEO of Global Adjustments, who conceptualised the portal, the course content has been structured to enable expatriates get jobs in software companies and help those already in corporate slots to enhance soft skills for career advancement. The programme provides subscribers an interactive multimedia-based, self-paced learning experience — 12 hours of audio-video lessons on international etiquette, cross-cultural tools and effective communication with world cultures.

500 students receive EU scholarship More than 500 Indian students and scholars have secured admission to a number of European universities under the Erasmus Mundus (EM) scholarship funded by the European Union (EU).

America’s Internet-II network to help Indian researchers in the fields of information technology, life-sciences, biotechnology, material science and environmental science. Its linking with America’s Internet-II would not only help the Indian researchers but also help the likes of Harvard, Massachusetts and Boston to set up their independent on-line centres in India. The tieup would help Indian universities and institutions to access online resources from 209 institutions in the US. Internet-II is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium with a high-speed network which provides a minimum of 100 MB bandwidth between member institutions.

e-Learning plan for Inter education

Students from different parts of the country will go to universities in 27 EU member countries to pursue their respective masters level courses. The European Commission allocated a sum of 33 million euro in 2005 for the India Window, within the EM programme. For the academic year 2005-06, 133 scholarships were approved. In 200607, this number rose to 288 and in 2007-08, 403 students were granted scholarship. In addition to this, 81 Indian students and 27 scholars received scholarships under the general EM programme in 2007-08. The 80 Erasmus Mundus consortia selected a total of 1,825 students and 273 scholars from all over the world.

IT Ministry to link ERNET with Internet-II In a significant move, the Government of India has decided to link its Education and Research Network (ERNET) with

The Minister for Higher Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh, D. Srinivas asked the Intermediate Education Department to prepare a comprehensive e-Learning programme so that the vital gaps of institutional instruction could be filled up. Reviewing the performance of Intermediate Education, he said the gaps could be plugged by providing computers, DVD players, television sets and compact discs related to various subjects. He also emphasised the need to formulate suitable proposals for Government Junior colleges on the lines of Jawahar Knowledge Centres of degree colleges. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


North-East Open varsity set to offer courses from 2008 K. K. Handique Open University (KKHOU), the first and only state-run open university of the north-eastern states, will start functioning from January next year. The varsity which was established in September 2005 at Dispur, Assam, received grants worth INR25 lakh and INR1 crore from the Government of Assam and the Distance Education Council (DEC), respectively. The DEC will also grant another INR3 crore to KKHOU over the coming years. Academicians, industrialists and experts on distance education attended a workshop organised in Guwahati earlier this month to develop a roadmap for the institution under the 11th five-year plan and discussed how ICT can be used to make KKHOU more accessible across the region.

Recommendation for Workers Technical University The Committee constituted by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has recommended establishment of a Workers Technical University for inter-alia training of students from workers family and those belonging to economically poor sections of the society particularly form rural areas to make them more relevant to the needs of today’s technology intensive and knowledge driven industrial society. The Committee has recommended the industry to contribute a small percentage of their gross profit (ranging from 0.5% to 2%) as the education cess for the proposed university. The Committee recommended that the jurisdiction of the proposed National Workers Technical University shall be the whole of the country, having the main campus at Hyderabad with regional centres at different major cities in the country.

NTPC, DU to set up IT centre for disabled students The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Delhi University (DU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

(MoU) to set up an Information and Communication Technology Training Centre for physically-challenged students. The centre will be the first of its kind in providing the latest IT skills to economically backward and physically challenged students. As per the agreement, the NTPC foundation will provide equipment and software and DU will provide teaching and support staff for the centre, to take care of the day to day functioning of the centre. Students with visual, hearing, mobility and cognitive impairment will benefit from the newly setup IT centre.

The programme, BiG Tech, is a partnership between NF and TechSoup, a San Francisco-based non-profit technology capacity building organisation. The programme will be run in partnership with IT companies, which will act as donors by providing software and other applications to the civil society organisations. Explaining the basic concept of Big Tech, NF chief executive Rufina Fernandes said: ‘This is basically an online resource service. NGOs can log onto our website and apply for aid. We will do a due diligence of the applicant and then help them. The whole process will take around two weeks.’ In 2006, TechSoup distributed 799,000 technology products worth $207 million. Its donor partners include IT majors like Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Symentec, Adobe and Intuit.

INR60 bn for primary education in Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu will spend INR60 billion for the development of primary and basic education in 2008-09, the state’s Minister for School Education Thangam Thennarasu said. Fifty percent of the amount will come from the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan programme, a central scheme aimed to provide education to all. The infrastructure and facilities of all primary and middle schools of the state will also be upgraded.

New Nasscom programme to aid NGOs Taking corporate social responsibility forward, Nasscom Foundation (NF), the social development arm of India’s premier software industry body Nasscom, launched a technology assistance programme for non-profit and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Edusat Network in Bangalore Karnataka Chief Minister inaugurated the Edusat Network in Bangalore, aimed at imarting higher education and training programme in the state. The network, which has been set up with the assistance of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), marking the first such venture, would help in conducting classes at first grade government colleges, using trained lectures. Receiving centres would be installed in 102 first grade government colleges by ISRO, out of which 72 had already been installed. The network in a phased manner would cover 349 colleges in all. 37


News ASIA School teachers set for ‘techy’ lessons To keep pace with the ever-changing ‘teen technology’ and introduction of ipods, funky mobile phones and playstations in classrooms, school teachers will soon be put through ‘techy’ lessons. Beginning this month, Global Education Management Systems (GEMS) teachers will get ‘techy’ lessons from professional trainers on the use of latest technology and gadgetry in teaching. Through several workshops, the teachers will get hands-on training in employing modern gizmos effectively in different subjects. Cameras in mobile phones could be used to take pictures of students’ projects and projected later to the entire class for assessment. Similarly, educational videos and documentaries could be downloaded from the Internet and could be ‘podcast’ to make education more exciting. As part of the group’s ICT workshops, 30 professional trainers will impart pedagogical knowledge to the teachers. In fact, they will also be taught to use social networking sites like Wikipedia. They would also be tutored on blogging. In an effort to make teachers more friendly and approachable to students and parents, GEMS is organising more than 100 workshops through the year for its teachers. ICT, being only a part of it, teachers will also develop skills to make students more independent and responsible thinkers.

SpeakJapaneseFast.com launches speed learning SpeakJapaneseFast.com has launched “Speak Japanese Fast”, a downloadable e-Book specifically designed to teach Japanese vocabulary at a rate of 100 words per hour, by tapping unused memory. SpeakJapaneseFast.com publishes an e-Book that enables students of Japanese to learn vocabulary by 38

discarding the traditional approach to language learning. Key features of the new product include specialised memory tasks, regular drills and categorised vocabulary learning.

Pun also established a “tele-teaching” network, through which good teachers in one school instruct students in others. The students of the region now surf the Net and are learning globe-savvy skills.

Nepalese teacher wins award for connecting his village to the Internet

Cambodia signs agreement to train the next generation of teachers in ICT skills

The 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership has been awarded to a teacher, Mahabir Pun, from Nepal, for his achievement in establishing Internet connectivity in his remote village and bringing the benefits of the Internet to his region. Mahabir Pun was born in Nangi village, high in the Himalayan foothills of Western Nepal. Nangi is seven hours’ climb from the nearest road and has no telephone lines, so is seemingly cut off from the world. Pun attended school and university away from his village but returned to Nangi in 1992. His quest to bring Internet connectivity to his village began in 1997, when four used computers were donated by a school in Australia. Pun began teaching his students to use computers and wanted his students to learn to utilise the Internet, but connectivity seemed impossible without telephone lines or satellite phones. Pun searched for solutions and contacted the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the UK. With publicity from the BBC, Pun was able to get volunteers from Europe and United States to help him rig a wireless connection between Nangi and the neighbouring village of Ramche, using TV dish antennas mounted in trees. Small grants led to the construction of improvised mountaintop relay stations and a link to Pokhara. By 2003, Nangi was online. With the help of more volunteers, Pun expanded the wireless network to embrace twelve villages. He distributed used computers to local schools and communication centres, connected them to the Internet, taught teachers how to use them, and then helped to troubleshoot until everything worked.

On 20 August, the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and Cisco Systems signed an agreement to train up to 25 teachers in five teacher education institutes (TEIs) in the skills needed to utilide information and communications technology (ICT) to improve teaching and learning. The agreement was made in the context of the UNESCO Next Generation of Teachers (Next Gen) project, for which Cisco Systems has pledged financial and resource contributions through the Cisco Networking Academy. The Next Gen project aims to build the capacity of TEIs in the AsiaPacific region to prepare the next generation of teachers to utilize ICT in the classroom. Ten countries in the region are participating in the project: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam. In each of these countries, three TEIs are participating in project activities, making a total of 30 participating TEIs. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Strengthening Community Education

School Track

www.alleppeyschools.org Every society is thriving to become knowledge society, which is aspiring for the creation of knowledge. The schooling today is no more with rude discipline. And the entire society is in a process of creating knowledge. No more class rooms are within four walls, it would be a virtual window to see the whole world, even galaxy, planetscapes, etc. No more schools are just learning centres. It should be an essential part of community by helping the society in updating knowledge, says Johnson Andrews Fernandez (Johnson.fernandez@gmail.com), of Corporate Management of Schools Alappuzha, Kearala. Multimedia Interactive Classrooms, Virtual Class Rooms, Publishing and Maintenance of Digital Library, Intelligent Network of Teachers, Internet Applications and Communication, Archives of Local Knowledge, Village Knowledge Centres, Helpline for students and parents and Ham Radio are some of the features with the schools and the Digital Learning programme, that brought the recognition of a Power School for the Diocese of Alleppey. It was one of the finalists in the Digital Learning Power School Award process that culminated in August along the forum of Digital Learning India 2007 conference. Johnson Andrews Fernandez shares the power of the Corporate Management of Schools.

Power School The Corporate Management of Schools is a charitable and educational society, now incorporates 25 schools lining the coastal belt of Alappuzha district in Kerala and caters to the educational needs of 17313 students, mostly hailing from socially, economically and educationally backward families. The schools have the facilities to bring out the best in these students with a workforce of 615 teachers.

What is Digital Learning programme? DLP is a network of corporate management schools by Optical Fibre Cable. We call this network as information super highway with 1 A School in Kattoor under the Diocese

Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

and developmental differences; enhance communication and collaboration to build partnerships beyond the classroom, expanding the community of learners and enhancing the quality of learning; create new education communities by increasing the modes of teaching and learning and the range of people who can be involved.

G.B. Bandwidth, that makes any multimedia file transfer possible within seconds. The entire school activities are monitored by the management. And a live class can be given by a teacher with multimedia presentation from the office of the management of schools while interacting with the students.

How helpful for students? Digital Learning programme enables teachers to: • create new learning environments based on a blended learning approach, which allows students to explore and experiment, think critically and work creatively, reflect and plan, use feedback and selfassessment, and create new knowledge; • make teaching and learning more effective and efficient by using customised tools that aid preparation, programming, assessment, and reporting; • customise learning experiences to recognise individual, cultural,

For the effective implementation of this project on D L P we have classified the 24 schools into three clusters on the basis of their geographic location. The office of the Corporate Management will be the centre for monitoring and scaffolding these clusters. The service of the expert teachers has already been ensured for the success of the project. Educationalists and other experts who can make constructive contribution will also be brought in. There will be team of experts who will analyse and suggest progressive measures for updating the activities. Utmost care will be

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Digital Learning helps to personalise the syllabus, which is helpful in transforming education for a knowledge society. There are 17,395 students studying in all the above said schools. The entire student community of these schools are from the coastal area and majority of them are from fishermen community. The major group of beneficiaries will be the backward and minority communities, including the families of the students. An estimated five Lakhs people irrespective of their caste and creed will ultimately be benefited. taken in networking the schools especially with the technical support of well established firms in the field. Some such firms have already been contacted and they have responded positively. A technical cell will be formed in this connection. Since each school included in this project is a replica of the local community and will act as a knowledge centre, it will be easy to get the public support. This can be made more fruitful by the active involvement of the Parent Teacher Associations in almost all the activities of the school. The local and other administrative establishments are also accessible for our schools.

Digital Learning helps to personalise the syllabus, which is helpful in transforming education for a knowledge society. There are 17,395 students studying in all the above said schools. The entire student community of these schools are from the coastal area and majority of them are from fishermen community. The major group of beneficiaries will be the backward and minority communities, including the families of the students. An estimated five Lakhs people irrespective of their caste and creed will ultimately be benefited.

DLP for knowledge economy

The ultimate goal is the qualitative and quantitative improvement in the life of the local community that will result in bringing them to the mainstream.

Kochi is emerging as the third hub of software industry in India. and more than that, within 5 yrs it would be an international trade zone. Our area where this project is supposed to be implemented is just a few kilometers away from Kochi. With the help of private and other public sector ventures, we are able to train students from a younger age through this network, who ultimately would cater to the demand for skilled labours with minimum cost. Thus the project can act as a supplementary education centre for the industry around Kochi.

Besides, there is a team of dedicated teachers numbering 850, most of whom are graduates and post graduates. Some even have M. Phil and Ph D degrees. These teachers are trained well in ICT, so that they can become the backbone of the Digital Learning Programme. Besides these teachers and dedicated management, there are educationists, social scientists, psychologists, doctors and medical practitioners, scientists, NGOs, local colleges, government officials, and PTAs supporting DLP.

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Alleppeyschools.org The school was registered for the first time in cyber space in January 2006. In 2007, as a first step towards Digital Learning Programme, it got another website as a modified version. We can call this as our web server to interact each school with rest of the world. Each school can publish their activities and create knowledge and inferences about the society. Students can view their marks and comments made by the teacher on each subject. Each teacher is being provided with a user name and password to ‘sign in’ the site and edit student’s works from any where. As a part of collaborative content development, teachers in our schools are able to upload article, presentations, audios, etc. to this site. A knowledge base for the development of the community living along the coastal areas of Alleppey, with special emphasis on curbing the educational and social backwardness of the students, the Corporate Management of Schools, Diocese of Alleppey in collaboration with Government and other non governmental agency has taken the leadership by a planned activity like the Digital Learning programme. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Learning Curves Springdales School, Pusa Road wins Digital Learning Power School Award 2007 Springdales School, Pusa Road, New Delhi was declared the Power School of this year, for demonstrating a strong commitment to innovative teaching and learning practices. The Digital Learning Power School Award, organised by Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, went through a six month process to acknowledge and support excellence in technology enabled learning and teaching, to recognise and reward dedicated and progressive schools. The Award process received an overwhelming response from the schools, from different parts of the country, and the entries were evaluated by an eminent jury panel to zero in on Springdales School, Pusa Road, as the winner. Apart from the ICT projects for the ‘adjacent to school’ community like Swashakti, Mobile Computer Education, Twinning programme, Student Exchange programme, etc., the school has been reflecting the power of innovation, technology, and brilliance in other areas of teacher training, and curriculum integration, that take the teachers, students, parents, administrators and others in the community to the level of excellence. The award function was organised in conjunction with the eINDIA2007 conference and exhibition. The school was honoured by Subhash C Khuntia, the Joint Secretary, Ministry of HRD, Government of India. There are also four other finalists in the process who were invited to participate in the conference, who have developed measurable best practices and innovative educational programs with technology that resulted in competitive advantage, and built educational responsibility to a win-win situation. They are Corporate Management of Schools Alappuzha - Kearala, Appeejey School - Noida, Rukmini Devi Public School - Delhi and DAV Public School - Shreshtha Vihar.

NCERT asks state boards to reform examination process The National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) in consultation with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and several other state boards, has suggested some key reformations in the examination patterns and evaluation process at school level. The council conducted a region-wise consultation on examination reforms in July and August to draw consensus on the reforms. There were 11 state boards which participated in the workshops conducted by the NCERT and three of them agreed to implement the reforms. These three states are Haryana, Kerala and Goa who will implement it from the forthcoming academic year. As per the NCERT suggestions, the question papers require short answers and well-designed multiple choice questions. The NCERT has asked the boards to adopt a grading system instead of marks in class XII board examinations. The Council also suggested that other examinations conducted by certain boards for classes V, VIII and XI should be eliminated. The NCERT has further asked the state boards to reform the evaluation process.

Delhi Education Dept. introduces ‘CALtoonZ’ in schools In a bid to make learning stress-free and joyful, the Education Department of Delhi Government has introduced CALtoonZ, a specialised Computer Aided Learning programme, in all the schools run by it. The ‘CALtoonZ’ is part of the YUVA programme launched by the Department of Education to bring about a radical change in the system of education in government-run schools. The programme, first of its kind in the country was introduced in 200 schools of the Capital last year for an experiment basis. The success was overwhelming with huge response from the students. Now all government run schools in Delhi will implement this programme to increase enrolments and performance levels. After the introduction of the program, the drop rate in Delhi schools fell from 19.7 per cent in 2004 to a mere 5.9 per cent this year. The enrollment in these schools has also shown an increase of 12.62 per cent.

Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

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News WORLD e-Learning initiatives in South African school The Abel T Motshoane School in Mabopane, North of Pretoria in South Africa has implemented mobile eLearning infrastructure to enhance the learning and teaching skills in the school. Abel T Motshoane School is the first in the country to have a wireless network technology. Each student of standard VIII is equipped with laptop, which is connected to microphones and earphones. In the school, teachers are able to give them instructions through their earphones. The technology uses the WiMax wireless broadband, while the features of the classmate PC includes full networking capabilities, Microsoft Windows XP operating system and access to rich educational content. The pilot project is a result of a Public Private Partnership (PPP), which is successfully working. The state government has partnered with several ICT companies like IBM, Intel South Africa, Microsoft South Africa, Pinnacle Micro Systems and Telkom Foundations.

IT policy for education sector coming soon in Nigeria The Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria, (CPN) has said that it would soon issue a policy statement on IT education curriculum in Nigeria. The policy guidelines would address the critical problem of basic and immediate skills in Information Technology, (IT) education in Nigeria. The IT education draft which will soon be submitted to the Presidency, Ministry of Education and other relevant bodies, according to him, will go a long way in raising the level of IT literacy at all levels right from kindergarten. As a sustainable intervention for the eventual collapse of the nation’s education system, the CPN Registrar 42

noted that the only way the Nigerian child who can compete favourably with their counterparts in the developed economies is embracing IT education as an intervention tool for learning.

Worldwide e-Learning to draw USD53 bn by 2010 e-Learning has emerged as the second most popular method for organisational teaching, in terms of hours spent, and is quickly increasing in use. The world market for e-Learning is expected to exceed USD52.6 billion by 2010, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts. e-Learning has emerged as the second most popular method for organisational teaching, in terms of hours spent, and is quickly increasing in use among primary, secondary and higher education centers. The United States is the largest e-Learning market globally and revenues here are expected to surpass USD17.5 billion in 2007, according to the report. Europe and Japan offer prospects for growth, but they lag behind because of smaller markets. Globalisation could drive faster adoption in Asian market, which experts predict will register an average annual growth rate ranging between 25% and 30% through 2010. The overall e-Learning market at the global and regional levels is expected to grow at rates ranging between 15% and 30%. The US retains its dominance in the corporate eLearning market with a share of over 60%. Europe is the second largest market with a share of less than 15%.

Infodev releases draft report on evaluation of ICT in education projects “Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT in Education Projects: A Handbook

for Developing Countries” is a quick introduction and guide to help busy policymakers and practitioners understand and assess the ICT-related investments underway in the education sector. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are widely believed to be important potential levers to introduce and sustain education reform efforts. Despite evidence of increasingly widespread use of ICTs in education initiatives around the world, however, there is little guidance available for policy makers and donor staff specifically targeted at countries contemplating the use of ICTs to help countries meet the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Best Teacher Award 2007 in Ghana now includes ICT category

The 13th edition of 2007 Best Teacher Award in Ghana with the ultimate prize being a house now includes a new award category of ICT. The number of award winning categories had been increased to 12 with this. The day had been planned to coincide with World Teachers Day, which falls on October 5. The day is under the theme: “Quality Teachers for Quality Education: Teacher Participation in the New Education Reform.” In addition to the prizes the award winners would each be presented with a computer and accessories. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


THE FOYER

The Online Education Toolkit for Policy Makers, Planners and Practitioners National Capacity Building Workshop, 6 - 9 August 2007, New Delhi, India

T

he world is experiencing a third revolution in the dissemination of knowledge through advancement of Information and Communication Technology. One of UNESCO’S overriding aims is to ensure that all countries have access to the best educational facilities necessary to prepare young people to play full roles in modern society and to contribute to knowledge nation. The process of integrating ICTs into educational systems and activities can be arbitrary. A comprehensive set of analytical, diagnostics and planning tools can face a certain discipline on the process. It will enlighten, enrich, and systematise the entire process of policy making and planning. Therefore, Policymakers were in need of a set of tools that could guide them gradually. The UNESCO “ICT in Education policy makers toolkit was developed in response to the need identified by Policymakers in the Asia Pacific region. UNESCO, Bangkok in collaboration

S C Khuntia, Joint Secretary, Ministry of HRD, GoI giving inaugural speech Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 9 September 2007

with Intel India Pvt Ltd had planned to introduce this toolkit, which brought together key experts and stakeholders with diverse experiences and perspectives from different states of India. The workshop was held from 6 August to 9 August’07 at New Delhi. Eminent people from Ministry of Human Resource and Development, officials from Ministry of Education from different States of India were nominated to participate in the workshop.

The four-day workshop has got off to a vibrant start with the Inaugural Ceremony. S.C. Kuntia, Joint Secretary, School Education, MHRD inaugurated the workshop formally. In his inaugural address, the Joint Secretary stated that, “ICT is not an end but the beginning. The toolkit varies from country to country and UNESCO must keep the picture of India in the mind.”

Frank Jones, president, Intel India Pvt. Ltd.

www.ictinedtoolkit.org

Ramamurthy Sivakumar, Managing Director, Intel India Pvt Ltd addressed the gathering by sharing his thoughts about the Education system of India since Stone Age and spoke about Intel’s role in developing it. “Intel is in the process of integrating technology. Toolkit workshop is the first step towards it, which is valuable to all of you,” he said. Benjamin Vergel de Dios, APEID –ICT in Education Unit gave a detailed presentation on ICT and toolkit. He drew the attention of everyone present in the hall by explaining about necessities of ICT and the toolkit map. Dr.Tinsiri Siribodhi, APEID – ICT in Education Unit, introduced the workshop with a few interesting activities by breaking the groups into 3 sub-groups. At the end of the exercises, it was clear that India focused more on access whereas other countries focused more on content.

Champak Chatterjee, Minja Yang, and Frank Jones while distributing certificate to participants

43


Representative from Intel made a brief presentation on CMPC as a tool that would take India’s classroom to a level of 1:1 computing. A presentation on Skoool was given in which examples of lesson plans across various subjects were shared. The session was a clear enhancement to the sessions on online content that Tinsiri shared with the group earlier in the day. The participants proceeded with the Tool box 5 and 6 on the fourth day. Tool box 5 assists policy makers in financial and managerial implications of the plans. Toolbox 6 offers a framework of designing mechanism to evaluate the degree of implementation and about subsequent actions to be taken in light of the results of evaluation. The workshop ended with a great finale of group presentations by facilitators of each of the 3 groups. Each team presented their learning experiences in nutshell.

All the participants were exposed to the online toolkit. Each one of them was given a login id and password. Benjamin explained that the Toolkit contains a reference handbook that summarises worldwide knowledge, research, and experiences on the effective use of ICTs for education. The second day began with the continuation of Tool box-1, followed by toolbox-2. Information gathered in tool box 1is a major input for the process of identifying potential areas for ICT interventions in Education. This tool focuses on i) National vision ii) Goals and Plans iii) Gender and Educational Profiles. Toolbox 2 guides the planners through a methodological process of identifying educational priority areas 44

and for the formulation of ICT Policy interventions.

Benjamin and Dr. Tinsiri summed up the session by discussing the role ahead for each of the groups and the state representatives in order to use the toolkit for effective policymaking and implementation. The four-day workshop was completed successfully with the Valedictory ceremony, which began with a note from Minja Yang who addressed the gathering and mentioned that this workshop was just a beginning of this activity.

All the participants were taken through toolboxes 3 & 4 on third day of the workshop. Toolbox 3 contains three tools in it- i) Infrastructure ii) Hardware iii) Personnel Training. Benjamin conferred that these planning tools are built around geographic areas and institutions within them where the ICT programme will be implemented.

Champak Chatterjee, Secretary School Education and Literacy, MHRD quoted in his Valedictory address, “ICT must do something about enhancing teaching and learning process of subjects like Language, Maths, & Science. Maths is a huge problem area, especially fractions. ICT must do something to simplify this. Intel must keep this in mind.”

The tool box 4 is a crucial component which has ICT enhanced educational materials like audio\radio educational programmes, video\TV educational programmes, computer and web related materials, which are all an integral part of curriculum.

Frank Jones, President, Intel India Pvt Ltd while giving the vote of thanks, quoted, “ICT must do something about enhancing teaching and learning process of subjects like Language, Maths, and Science. Intel must keep this in mind. September 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Mark Your Calendar september

november

2nd AeA EduAction Thematic Workshop 8 - 16 September, 2007 Hyderabad, India

13th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning 7 - 9 November, 2007 Orlando, Florida, United States

http://www.aea-india.org/events.htm

http://www.aln.ucf.edu

iPED Conference 2007: Researching Academic Futures 10 - 11 September, 2007 Coventry, England United Kingdom

International Conference on Teaching and Learning (ICTL 2007) 15 - 16 November, 2007 Putrajaya, Malaysia, Malaysia

http://www.corporate.coventry.ac.uk/cms/jsp/polopoly. jsp?d=3182&a=18618

Case Study: The Implementation of a Student Success Course at One Community College 27 September, 2007 Online http://www.innovativeeducators.org

october 2nd Athens International Conference on University Assessment: Assessing Quality 12 -14 October, 2007 Athens, Greece http://quality.hau.gr/

Institutional Research and Accountability in Higher Education 17 - 19 October, 2007 Reno, NV, United States

http://ictl.intimal.edu.my

Teaching in Public - The Future of HE 21 - 23 November, 2007 Cardiff, Wales United Kingdom http://c-sap.bham.ac.uk

ICODL 2007 - 4th International Conference on Open and Distance Learning 23 - 25 November, 2007 Athens, Attiki Greece http://artemis.eap.gr/icodl2007/

december Regional Conference on Quality in Higher Education 10 - 11 December, 2007 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia http://qamu.um.edu.my/conf2007/

http://www.rmair.org/page.asp?page=1246

International Conference on Research in Higher Education Institutions 24 - 27 October, 2007 Cebu City Philippines

11th UNESCO-APEID International Conference: Reinventing Higher Education: Toward Participatory and Sustainable Development 12 - 14 December, 2007 Bangkok, Thailand

http://ched.mozcom.com

http://www.unescobkk.org/index.php?id=6257

Student Achievement in Higher Education 30 - 31 October, 2007 Madinah Munawwarah Saudi Arabia

School Education, Pluralism and Marginality: Comparative Perspectives 14 - 16 December, 2007 India International Centre New Delhi, India

http://educonference.info

http://deshkalindia.com

Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 5 May 2007

Call for entries: Innovative Practices Awards Entries are now being accepted for consideration for the Innovative Practices Awards from UNESCO Bangkok. The closing date for entries is 31 October 2007. As part of the “Innovative Practices in the Use of ICT in Education” project, UNESCO has launched the Innovative Practices Awards, an initiative which aims to acknowledge and reward innovators in the AsiaPacific region who are using ICT to change the way we teach and learn. The activity will document good examples, so as to inspire others, and will use innovative activities as the basis for workshops which will multiply the impact of good efforts. The initiative also aims to build networks for educators to collaborate and share resources. UNESCO has identified three award categories: • Teachers and teacher educators (in formal education), • Education planners and administrators, • Non-formal educators. One winner will be selected from each category by a panel of judges. Each of the three winners will receive a certificate and an award (a laptop computer or the equivalent). Winners will be invited to an Award Ceremony, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand. All entries of merit, winners and non-winners alike, will be posted on the website of the UNESCO Office in Bangkok. The UNESCO ICT in Education Innovative Practices Awards 2007 is sponsored by Japanese Funds-inTrust and other partners.

Enlist Your Event Here. Write to info@digitalLEARNING.in

45


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digital LEARNING invites authors We invite editorial contributions from our readers in the field of Digital Learning. While no guarantee is made or implied, we will make every effort to incorporate all views and experiences in the relevant issues so as to better serve the ICT and Education community at large. Note that contributions may be edited for space and/or clarity. Unconsolidated manuscripts and artwork will not be returned. Please be sure to read and follow the Editorial Guidelines available at http://www.digitallearning.in/editorial.asp All correspondence should be addressed to: The Editor, Digital Learning G-4, Sector-39, Noida, India Tel +91-120-2502180 to 85 46 Fax +91-120-2500060

May 2007 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


www.digitalLEARNING.in Soon in a NEW Look and Feel All-in-One Capturing Essential Elements of ICT and Education

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Beyond the mainstream... 9 - 10 December 2007 Crowne Plaza, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Get Involved! Submit films in the following genres • Films documenting ICT use for Development • Films created by the Community for the Community Topics of the films should address the Millennium Development Goals in their essence such as, • Poverty alleviation • Education • Health • Gender equality • Women empowerment, etc. Log on to www.i4donline.net/filmfestival for more details Contact: Sulakshana Bhattacharya (sulakshana@csdms.in)

Organised by

knowledge for change

Image credits: Chaitarya Modak, DRISHTI

Theme for the 2nd i4d Film Festival: New Media in Development

Consolidating ICT and Education : September 2007 Issue  

[www.digitallearning.in] With the aim of promoting and aiding the use of ICT in education, Digital Learning education magazine focuses on th...

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