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International Journal of Educational Science and Research (IJESR) ISSN 2249-6947 Vol. 3, Issue 4, Oct 2013, 33-46 © TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.

ICT AND EDUCATION: A STUDY OF CHANGING DYNAMICS IN INDIA ARBIND SINHA Professor, MICA, Bopal, Ahmedabad, India

ABSTRACT The paper is based on a primary research conducted in five cultural zones of India to study the direction of change brought about by introduction of ICT into the educational scenario in India. It shows how ICT, has percolated down to the education system and how the students at various levels perceived the changes brought about by the use of Internet. Education was always the beneficiary of technology but revolution in ICT during 1970 onwards it brought about a transformation in education system. The research has covered the students of the management students, the college students, and the students of higher secondary schools and records the perception they have about the changes brought about in the student - teacher relationship by the use of internet and mobile technology. The paper presents an analytic account of impact of ICT vis-à-vis the teaching and learning behaviour of the teachers and the students. It examines if the ICT has affected the student–teacher dynamics, if the respect for teachers are getting eroded in otherwise traditional Indian society and whether the distance between a student and teacher has widened. It also throws light on the changing scene of the students’ spending time in library and consulting the teachers for counseling. The finding have been dissected on the theory of change.

KEYWORDS: Education, Internet, Values, Teacher-Taught Relation INTRODUCTION The evolution of mankind has passed through several ages; the age of barbarism, the nomadic age, the stone age, the age of agriculture, the age of industry, and the age of information. With advent of technology at every stage, the face of society always changed. So has been the pace of information and communication that got a boost with the technology it adopted – the Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Education, being part of integral system of any society, was always the beneficiary of technology. India is a unique case that presents coexistence of diversities; both – the ancient as well as the modern technology exist in this country side by side. There are centres of excellence where all modern technologies of the world exist and they truly boost themselves as ‘world class’. Move 10 miles away from the Centre and you might find an educational centre struggling for age old black board technology, looking for ICT to arrive. The study tried examining the penetration of ICT in the backdrop of Theory of Change. As theory of change (TOC) describe the introduction on new technology as a tool for developing solutions to social problem, the author analysed the ICT in the social context and tried to find out how a group of early and intermediate activities result the steps for bringing long-range results. I also examined – how and why the introduction to ICT will bring them the change in otherwise long rooted education system in India. Like any other country, India also has recognized ICT as the vehicle of success and growth of the nation. India recorded revolution in ICT from 1970 onwards. The country made a stride in this field and it has emerged as an ‘information society’. The information base for Indian society increased due to advent of television, Internet, mobile


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Arbind Sinha

phones, and other ICTs. More information is available than ever before. Telecom Authority of India (TRAI 2011) reports that “there are 19.67 million Internet subscribers in March 2011, a yearly growth of 21.59 % w.r.t. March 2010. Broadband users (>256 Kbps) are growing at 35.49% and were up to 11.89 Million at March 2011”. Thus, India has emerged as an ‘information society’. It holds a reputation of being ICT powerhouses. Let us discuss the social concerns in historical perspective. When radio technology entered into Indian scene, it has its own impact on the society. Mathur and Neurath (1959) and Kilvin (1968) studied its impact and both these studies show that this audio technology generated a sense of dependence as source of information, which otherwise was change agents or friends or relatives dependent. When telephone technology arrived in India, as documented by Heather Hudson (1984), it made the communication easy even in the rural areas. Late 1960s and 1970s created landmark for communication revolution in India. Satellite television made the communication distance free and the satellite communication technology was used for large scale holistic education to develop the lives of rural population of India through a one year Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE 1975-76)1. By first half of 1980, television and video communication technologies touched Indian society and took the driving seat for change. In 1984, the then Prime Minister of England had gifted 250 BBC micro computer sets to Indian Prime Minister for its use in Indian school education. That was the time when computer was not very familiar technology for India. These sets were installed in various types of schools in different part of India under Computer Literacy and Studies in Schools (CLASS) Project. The learning as well as its impact on education system was rigorously evaluated (Agrawal and Sinha 1986, Agrawal 1996). This can be termed as a turning point in usage of computers in Indian education. This was followed by another joint effort by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of the Government of India and the Canadian International Development Assistance (CIDA) under Shashtri Indo-Canadian Institute’s initiative in ‘Computerizing Indian Universities’. These initiatives gave encouraging results and the Indian education became technology savvy to the extent that in most urban homes, computer became a household name and a three years old child knows how to operate computer. The child learns alphabets and related visuals through computer programmes, especially designed for their learning. Even for simple computations or dictionary search we depend on computer so much that one day without computer makes us handicap. The era of 1990s became another landmark for the revolution in ICT in India. 1990s witnessed the process of Liberalization, Privatization, and Globalization that led to the opening up of the economy and allowed the entry of multinational organizations almost in every sector ranging from food and beverages to financial sector to education. Privatization was emphasized and those sectors, which were taken care of by the Government only, gave way to the private players. Education is no exception. With privatization and commercialization of various sectors including education, competition grew. Name any corporate sector and they entered in education field. They were forced to acquire state of art information technology in order to sustain and grow in the market. Proper and timely availability of information became the need of the hour. They all required adequate and timely flow of information. It opened window for the Information Technology to enter the society fast. All of us relied heavily on it. With the passage of time, ICT percolated down very fast and touched base with the common man too, gradually becoming an important part in the society’s daily needs. The growth in ICT in India has been phenomenal. The advent of newspapers, telephone and public call offices, radio and television channels, sky channels, Internet facilities, and cellular services have changed the entire lookout of the society. Power centres shifted from economy to information. ICT become the buzzword and the education sector too adopted ICT in all possible ways. The complete Information and Communication Technology supplemented to erstwhile


ICT and Education: A Study of Changing Dynamics in India

35

educational technology. It has gone a long way in bringing about a transformation in education system. Rapid growth in ITC has penetrated in the classroom. It led to better access to information, sharing the learning board, and radical ways of teaching and learning. There are indications that ICT may lead change in the role of a teacher and the relationship between the teacher and the taught. Since the study of social change do examine new symbols of cultural/structural change(s) changes in family, changes in the way individuals interact with one another, the present study also tried to examine the impact of ICT from these angles. The study also observed some radical changes in the student - teacher relationship. This attracted communication scientists to document the direction of change by ICT, especially mobile phones and Internet, and its consequence in terms of application of technology in the classroom – either a facilitating factor or a nuisance. Literature survey reveals that there has been good discussion worldwide on whether the cell phones should be allowed in the classroom or not. The studies report that some are in favour and some are not. Korzeniowski (2006) reports that “Cell phones are ubiquitous in high school, common in middle school and making their way into elementary school.” He holds the opinion that “it (cell phone) distracts students during the school day. Instead of focusing on the teacher, they concentrate on ringing or vibrating phones or on reading text messages.” Cohel (2011) writes that “most school administrations regard cell phone use as disruptive and distracting, and have implemented policies that prohibit using them on school grounds.” Watters (2011) quotes on MindShift's Facebook page that "Most teachers are still afraid of cell phones in the classroom because they know little about how to use them as a tool for learning." Stern et. al. (2012) has pointed out on how and why the sequence of change might come about due to informed social action. The studies also suggest that the effects of a new technology can change individual social interactions. Similarly, it has been established that many of the problems associated with the introduction of new computer systems are caused by this sort of alteration in people's social interactions. Along with the explosion of cell phones came the widespread use of text messages, or SMS. In classrooms, the SMS is used for communication as it is an excellent way to communicate if use of cell phone is not allowed in a classroom. Barkhuus (2006) write that “SMS enabled the students to contact a friend where it would have been socially awkward for him to call her”. Gautreau (2008) studied the use of text messaging in the schools and records that some of the schools have put a ban on the use of cell phone in the classroom for simple reason that when it rings, it distracts the classroom environment to a great deal. Text messaging has given them a way out. “Students will text each other all the time during class, and there are times when the teachers won't even notice!”. Some of our experiences as teachers are not different. Writing about the Pros and Cons of text messaging Camburn (2011) mentions that “Text messaging has become one of the most popular forms of communication. It has almost made voice conversations obsolete. 76.4 Percent of US cell phone subscribers use text messaging”. On the same issue Alexander (2011) says that “Advantages of text messages are that they are discreet and can be used when a phone call might not be appropriate – classrooms, libraries, and waiting hall. … Texting forces you to think through what you're about to say and allow you to get straight to the point.” This goggling text message lingo has led to the emergence of new vocabulary and grammar in different languages. Beal (2010) mentioned that “With the popularity and rise in real-time text-based communications, such as Face book, Twitter, instant messaging, e-mail, Internet and online gaming services, chat rooms, discussion boards, and mobile phone text messaging (SMS) came the emergence of a new text language tailored to the immediacy and compactness of these new communication media.”


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The student – teacher dynamics have been affected by availability of Internet technology. It has been realized that there are visible changes in values in educational institutions all across. Things are not the same as it used to be. The distance between a student and teacher has widened and the respect for teachers getting eroded. Quoting Patrick Beyrouti, Sankar (2010) writes that “If they (teachers) are not losing jobs to technology (advanced online learning applications), they are definitely losing respect.” She further quotes Beyrouti saying that “The profession (teaching) is rapidly becoming more about guidance than instruction, given that students are more and more capable of acquiring knowledge on their own.” Based on a study in schools, BellSouth Foundation (2003) reported that there is a “widening gap between the perceptions of what teachers and students believe is or is not happening in the classroom is a startling red flag.” Some of the students prefer to depend on the Internet rather than on teachers because they feel that the teachers also download teaching materials from same site and prepare their teaching notes. They feel Internet to be a better source of information than some of their teachers. Students have more time and stamina than their teachers. Today the students spend more time on the Internet in search of information rather than on books. This has led to considerable reduction in the value of library and books. Students do not consult each other and the concept of joint study is no more popular as students seek to the net for any clarification. It has adversely affected the bondage of friendship and oneness. In this backdrop of Indian education system, which like any other country, has entered into information and communication era where some of the educational institutions talks about nothing less than new media and communication, Internet and e-learning, the author wanted to understand the level of use of modern Information Communication Technology at various levels of education and in various settings of India. He and his team conducted a study in 2010 covering rural as well as urban areas in different geographical regions of India Objectives 

To study the use of Internet and mobile technology by the students of Management Institutions in the State capitals, College students from district towns, and the students studying in the Higher Secondary Schools in the villages, presumably for educational purposes.

To record the perception they have about the changes in education panorama brought about by the use of Internet and mobile technology. The study has special significance for society like India where long practicing traditions and cultural values

among the teachers and passed on from generation to generation and it play an important role in building their character. These values are inculcated among the students right from early childhood. Children are taught to respect and show gratitude to their teachers and elders. The teachers traditionally occupied status close to God. It is clear from ancient poet Kabir’s writing (quoted in Ludhiana Tribune 2003), which says "Guru Govind dou khare kake laagoon paye, Balihari guru aapki Govind diyo milaye" (if I face both God and my teacher. Whom should I bow to first? I first bow to my teacher because s/he is the one who showed me the path to God). Teachers are considered as the supreme body of knowledge. It was their duty to shape the future of the students and their words in the career management were considered as last words. For this study, the vast geographical area of India was divided into five zones; North, South, East, West, and North-east, and one representative State from each zone was identified for the study. Based on the density of television, telephone homes, and concentration of the mobile phone and Internet technologies in the States of all the five zones, Assam (North-east zone), Bihar (East zone), Andhra Pradesh (from South zone as a replacement of Kerala for unavoidable reasons), Punjab (North zone), and Gujarat (West zone) were selected for the study.


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ICT and Education: A Study of Changing Dynamics in India

On the first level of the study, a management institute that is run under the State University education system (mainly from the State capital town) was selected. This was done in order to minimize the hi-tech environment in private management institutes. At the second level, two districts from each of the study States were selected based on local perception of developed/underdeveloped districts, one who was considered by the people and the State administration as ‘developed district’ and other ‘under developed district’. It is hoped that level of development is also the indicator of use of ICT. However, it was consciously decided that the State HQ districts, usually with high concentration of ICT devices, will not be taken in the sample of developed districts. However, the district close to the State HQ district is relatively developed and the under-developed district is usually away from the State HQ. Within the district the study selected one degree colleges functioning in district HQ. At the third level the study randomly selected a ‘village’ from the same district having a higher secondary school. A total of 20 students from each of the educational institutions; the management institutions, the degree colleges, and the higher secondary schools formed the sample for the study in a State. All the educational institutions under the study were purposely selected from among the State Government run system so that a uniform system of education is represented. The Respondents The analysis in the present study is based on a total of 498 responses coming from 101 management students taken from five management institutes, 199 students from 10 degree colleges, and another 198 students from 10 rural higher secondary schools (Table – 1), The list of the institutions covered under the study in their respective States, districts, cities, and the villages is given as Appendix – 1. The field situation was such that the target of getting the right respondents in equal number of male and female respondents at different levels could not be achieved. From management institutes there are 20 students from all four states and 21 from Assam. For the colleges, the target of 20 each were met in Bihar, Gujarat and Punjab, but in Assam it was short by two (38) and in Assam it was one more (41). Similarly, the number of respondents from higher secondary schools in Andhra was short by three and in Assam it exceeded by one. It displays somewhat skewed number but it reflects the ground reality that fewer female students were enrolled in these classes - the ratio represents the enrollment ratio of the educational institutions. Table 1: Profile of the Responding Students by State and Gender States Andhra Assam Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total

Gender of the Mngt. Students Male Female Total 5 16 21 11 09 20 10 10 20 12 08 20 14 06 20 52 49 101

Gender of the College Students Male Female Total 11 27 38 26 15 41 23 17 40 20 20 40 16 24 40 96 103 199

Gender of the HR. Secondary Students Male Female Total 21 16 37 37 03 40 34 06 40 25 16 41 22 18 40 139 59 198

Total N 96 101 100 101 100 498

Time Spent on Internet: The analysis of responses indicates that on an average 90 percent of the male management students (82 to cent percent, in case of eastern states of Assam and Bihar) and 94 percent females (cent percent in Gujarat); 63 percent male college students, varying from 50 to 83 percent and 94 percent female college students (all from Assam, Bihar and Punjab); 71 percent male students from higher secondary schools (58 percent in Gujarat to 100 percent in case of Assam) and 87 percent female students (cent percent from Gujarat) spend one to two hours daily on Internet. Male college and school students spend more than 2 hours time on Internet. In relatively


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Arbind Sinha

developed States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab, the use of Internet is more higher and collegiate female students from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab use computer less than their male counterparts. E-mailing is the foremost use of Internet among the management students with 79 % male and 67 % female respondents using Internet for e-mailing, closely followed by chatting by 62 % males and 57 % females, and ‘hunting for jobs and career opportunities’ – 59 % in case of males and 55 % in case of females. Management students also use it for downloading movie and music/songs (35 percent and 41 percent). The college students use Internet more for exploring various career and job opportunities, females outnumbering males – 54.5 % females and 46.5 % males. This is followed by ‘chatting’ on net – 44 % in case of males and 37 % in case of females. However, the students of at higher secondary schools in the villages, it is the downloading of music, songs and movies (65 % males and 68 % females), followed by getting educational materials. 59 % males and 83 % females students of schools use if for this purpose. Getting Educational Material through Internet: Internet has been used across the world for different purposes and the focus here was to see how much the students used it for accessing educational materials. The experience of Ghana has not been so encouraging where the Computer and Internet was seen as a supplementary source of educational material. The study of Amenyedzi, Lartey, and Dzomeku (2011) conducted in senior schools in Ghana reveals that “the teachers use computers to write lesson plans, prepare materials for teaching, and the students use it for finishing assignments, solving problems, learning history of other countries … The ICT were extra reference materials that helped to deepen their understanding of the subjects taught in the classrooms.” The present study shows that the scenario of the use of Internet for getting the educational materials is directly proportionate to the level of education or the age - senior is the level of education higher is the rate of getting educational materials through Internet. 85% male students and 88 percent female management students (all male students in Assam and all female students of Gujarat as shown in Table – 2). 69 % males and 80 % female college students use it for educational functions. When it comes to higher secondary level, it is used for this purpose by 59 % males and 83 % female students.

At other levels also female students have out shown the male

students in using Internet for educational purposes. Table 2: Use of Internet for Getting Educational Materials State Assam Andhra Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total Assam Andhra Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total Assam Andhra Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total

Male / Getting Edu. Materials Female / Getting Edu. Materials Yes No Total N Yes No Total N Management Students 100.0 0.0 5 87.5 12.5 16 81.8 18.2 11 88.9 11.1 9 70.0 30.0 10 80.0 20.0 10 91.7 8.3 12 100.0 0.0 8 85.7 14.3 14 83.3 16.7 6 84.6 15.4 52 87.8 12.2 49 College Students 62.5 37.5 8 81.8 18.2 22 65.4 34.6 26 60.0 40.0 15 41.7 58.3 12 100.0 0.0 7 92.3 7.7 13 93.8 6.3 16 78.6 21.4 14 66.7 33.3 9 68.5 31.5 73 79.7 20.3 69 Hr. Secondary School Students 84.6 15.4 13 100.0 0.0 3 33.3 66.7 3 0.0 0.0 0 100.0 0.0 3 0.0 0.0 0 53.8 46.2 12 92.3 7.7 13 25.0 75.0 11 62.5 37.5 8 58.7 41.3 42 83.3 16.7 24


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ICT and Education: A Study of Changing Dynamics in India

Visiting Library and Reasons for it: In the age of ICT revolution, the percentage of students visiting library, which should have been sent percent or much higher, does not show an encouraging picture. At the management level it is only 50 % male students and 39 % female students who visit the library. At the college level it is 49 % male and 61 % female students and at the higher secondary school level, it is 39 % of the male students and 42 % female students who visit library. The Andhra and Punjab male students in management institutes as well as in colleges are relatively more serious in visiting libraries. At the college as well as school level it is female students from Assam and Gujarat who have shown more interest. The later could be due to the culture factors where the females are more outgoing (Table – 3). This confirms the findings of Abosede and Ibikunle who reported that “as electronic resources and the Internet are available as alternatives to library are available, students’ use of the library decreases’’ Abosede and Ibikunle (2011). The reason cited for visiting the library across both the gender is their preference to read the hard copy of books and journals over the soft copy. The other factors for male students visiting libraries are the lively environment, the joint study concept, and the clarification of doubts sought from other students present there. The female students get psychological satisfaction by reading in the library. For them the ambience is congenial for education. All respondents from Gujarat have endorsed this view. One-third of the male college students see the library as a venue of social interaction. Thus, we find that a library is not consider only as a knowledge centre but is taken as a facility centre. Table 3: Visit of Library and the Perceived Benefit to the Students by State

Total-N

76.9 0.0 60.0 8.3 30.8 39.1

Others

Assam Andhra Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total

Management Students 20.0 20.0 5 25.0 18.8 9.1 27.3 11 66.7 55.6 40.0 40.0 10 40.0 10.0 0.0 16.7 12 12.5 12.5 35.7 21.4 14 66.7 0.0 21.2 25.0 52 38.8 20.4 College Students 0.0 100 0.0 8 68.2 53.3 27.8 66.7 16.7 26 53.3 50.0 0.0 100 100 12 14.3 0.0 50.0 100 100 13 81.3 61.5 28.6 57.1 28.6 14 55.6 20.0 23.5 73.5 29.0 73 60.9 48.8 Hr. Secondary School Students 50.0 40.0 30.0 13 100 33.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 3 0.0 0.0 66.7 33.3 0.0 3 0.0 0.0 100 100 0.0 12 53.8 16.7 25.0 75.0 75.0 11 0.0 0.0 50.0 50.0 33.3 42 41.7 22.2

Satisfaction

50.0 69.2 25.0 30.8 50.0 49.3

Hard Copy

Assam Andhra Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total

Female / Library and its Benefits Goes

40.0 54.5 20.0 25.0 28.6 32.7

Total-N

40.0 81.8 50.0 25.0 50.0 50.0

Others

Get Hard Copy

Assam Andhra Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total

Satisfaction

Institution State

Visit to Library

Male / Library and its Benefits

12.5 0.0 20.0 12.5 66.7 18.4

6.3 22.2 20.0 12.5 16.7 14.3

16 9 10 8 6 49

80.0 12.5 0.0 53.8 60.0 55.8

6.7 37.5 100 100 20.0 44.2

22 15 7 16 9 69

66.7 0.0 0.0 66.7 0.0 66.7

0.0 0.0 0.0 66.7 0.0 44.4

3 0 0 13 8 24

Consulting Teachers for Clarification We tried to examine here – what role a teacher plays in technology enabled environment. Chandran (2011) suggests that “internet makes the teacher’s role all the more significant. S/he cannot be a passive disseminator of information, but an active facilitator arranging the learning situation and scaffolding the learners in a way that will lead to


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Arbind Sinha

meaningful learning”. For any clarification on educational matters, the students consult the teachers. This dependence is very high – more than 90 percent among the male students and more than 95 percent among the female students at all levels. They feel that a teacher explains better. It clearly shows the importance of a teacher in the educational sector in India. However, the analysis of data presented in Table – 4 indicates that the students may not get satisfaction all the time. Only 35 % male and 46 % female respondents at the management institute level indicated that they get full satisfaction from learning from a teacher. At the college level this number goes to 70 % male and female students, and at the higher secondary school level it is 87 % male and 55 % female students. Still 29 % of female students studying at management institutes search over the net even after consulting a teacher. At the college level it is 11 % female and 18 % male students who check with Internet. On the other hand there are 9 % male and 14 % female college students who feel that there is no need to go to the net after the subjects have been clarified by the teacher. Among the female higher secondary students, this response is little higher – 32 percent. It may be inferred that across the levels of education; State, district or village, more students believe that teachers explain the subject matter better. The comparison at different levels of education shows that level of satisfaction from consultation of a teacher is adversely proportionate to the level of education. Table 4: Level of Satisfaction through Consulting Teachers by Students

70.1 70.4

Male Female

87.2 54.5

Management Students 39.6 20.8 4.2 6.3 27.1 29.2 10.4 8.3 College Students 13.8 13.8 18.4 2.3 9.2 14.3 11.2 13.3 Higher Secondary School Students 4.3 4.3 10.6 10.6 31.8 9.1 0.0 0.0 -

Others

Male Female

Global Perspective through Net

10.4 10.4

Net Gives Greater Depth

35.4 45.8

Still Search Net

No Need to Browse Net

Male Female

Does Not Matter

State

Teacher Explains Better

Level of Satisfaction

Total N

4.2 6.3

52 6

4.6 0.0

73 69

2.1 13.6

42 24

Changes in Students-Teachers Relations: A more intricate question was asked to all levels of students if they have observed any change in relationship between students and teachers due to increased dependency on Internet. This question was asked with lots of probing by the investigators and they sometime used ‘conversational mode of interview’. Nearly one-third of the male management students feel that there has been some change in their relationship with their teacher ever since they are using Internet. For other 67 %, there is no change as such. Changes have been felt more by management students from Andhra (45 %) and Bihar (40 %). Interestingly, more female management students (43 %) feel that the relationship has been affected due to the advent of Internet. All from Gujarat and half of them from Bihar go for this (Table – 5). At the degree college level, 36 % male and 26 % female students reported that there has been some change in the relationship. Nearly half of the students from Andhra and more than four-fifth Bihar have affirmed their observation of this change. At higher secondary school level only 19 % male respondents but 76 % female respondents have reported in confirmation of change in relationship between the students and the teacher because of their using Internet, 44 % from Gujarat and all from Andhra endorse it.


ICT and Education: A Study of Changing Dynamics in India

41

Since management students spend more time on the net, they have an access to all sorts of information and this has decreased the importance of teachers. 22 percent of the college students are of the opinion that the importance of teachers has reduced as both the students as well as the teachers have access to the same source. At the higher secondary school level it is 14 % students who realized that there is some change in the student – teacher relation. They feel that the use of ICT is making students self dependent and it is going to affect the teacher-taught relationship. The analysis shows that the teachers still hold value in today's context; however, the analysis indicates that in the near future dependency on teachers may reduce. Table 5: Change in Relationship in Students and Teachers Due to Increased Dependence on Internet State

Assam Andhra Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total Assam Andhra Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total Assam Andhra Bihar Gujarat Punjab Total

Male / Change in Female / Change in Relationship Relationship Yes No Total N Yes No Total N Management Students 20.0 80.0 5 31.3 68.8 16 45.5 54.5 11 33.3 66.7 9 40.0 60.0 10 50.0 50.0 10 33.3 66.7 12 100.0 0.0 8 21.4 78.6 14 0.0 100 6 32.7 67.3 52 42.9 57.1 49 College Students 12.5 87.5 8 9.1 90.9 22 46.2 53.8 26 33.3 66.7 15 25.0 75.0 12 85.7 14.3 7 30.8 69.2 13 40.0 60.0 16 28.6 71.4 14 11.1 88.9 9 35.6 64.4 87 26.3 73.7 58 Hr. Secondary School Students 9.5 90.5 21 86.7 9.5 16 3.6 96.4 37 100.0 3.6 3 29.4 70.6 34 83.3 29.4 6 43.5 56.7 25 50.0 43.5 16 5.6 94.4 22 83.3 5.6 18 19.4 80.6 139 75.9 19.4 59

Need of Professors Being Techno Savvy: Not only that the students use ICT, they also want their teachers to be more technologically savvy. It is an international phenomena and Steve Wheeler, while delivering his key note speech at the National Czech Teachers Conference said that “the role of the teacher must change because ICT will cause certain teaching resources to become obsolete. … Many will become specialists in the use of distributed learning techniques, the design and development of shared working spaces and resources, and virtual guides for students who use electronic media. Ultimately, the use of ICT will enhance the learning experiences for children, helping them to think and communicate creatively. ICT will also prepare our children for successful lives and careers in an increasingly technological world (Wheeler 2000)”. However, BellSouth Foundation’s study (2003) suggests that “Teachers don’t have to be technological experts to engage students, but rather provide the right combination of guidance and autonomy to create an environment in which students can bring their own technological expertise to bear in a dynamic, challenging learning experience.”The theory of change also points out the possible obstacles to change and we found that in the present circumstances any resistance to change will leave the teachers left behind. Thus, the study suggests the teachers to adjust their action (learning to new technology) accordingly.


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The study shows that there are 89 % male and 84 % female management students (all the male respondents from Punjab and all the female respondents from Bihar) who hold this view. Among the college students, this is 93 percent males and 75 percent females. Like the management students, 90 percent male and 85 percent higher secondary students do feel the same way. It goes across the age group. At the management level, as the age increases more number of students want that their professors should be more technologically advanced. However, at the college level it is on the reverse side. School students do not present any clear trend. Electronic Media Taking Over the Role of a Teacher: Both, in the group discussion as well as in the qualitative open ended questions, the answer to the question on ‘Whether the electronic media would take over the role of a teacher’, the analysis of responses shows less dependence on the teachers due to advent of Internet – more than half of the management students answered that the electronic media will never be able to take over the human element of teaching (Table – 6). For them the teachers are irreplaceable. This is in spite of the fact that management students spend lot of time on the Internet. This goes much in favor of the teachers. However, there are about one-forth students who feel that the electronic media to some extent may be able to replace the teachers but not completely. Table 6: Opinion on Electronic Media Taking over the Teachers by Students at Different Levels

LEVEL Management Students College Students Hr.Secondary School Students

Opinion on Electronic Media Taking over the Human Elements in Teaching Never Some Extent Yes No Answer

Total N

56.4

23.7

10.0

10.0

101

72.4

13.1

9.1

7.2

199

77.8

13.1

5.1a

5.0

198

In spite of the fact that we are in the technology age and to some extent we have become mobile and Internet dependent, the study shows that more than half of the management students (56 %) and approximately three-fourth of the college as well as school students across all the States displayed expressed their views in favor of teachers. They thought that electronic media will never be able to take over the human element of teaching. However, 24 % of management students, 13 % college and 13 % school students feel that ICT may take over some portion of human teaching. On other hand, though small number, 10 % management students, 09 % college students, and 5 % school students feel that the electronic media will be able to take over the human element of teaching completely. Thus, the teachers enjoy much higher status and these students feel that the electronic media will not be able to take over a teacher. Many of them feel that it is only a teacher who can provide with the basic learning and it is only a teacher who can explain the subjects. In the discussion they elaborated that the teachers impart the basic knowledge and explain it to the students. The electronic media will only make the learning richer.

CONCLUSIONS History tells that whenever a new technology was introduced in public domain, there was debate on its social implication in country like India. However, in spite of development dichotomy, India has entered into Information age and the penetration of Internet in Indian society, especially education has been a reality. Although the reach and penetration at different levels – Metros, cities, urban areas, and the rural areas has been asymmetrical, it is not an unknown technology anymore. It has touched the different facets of educational life and consequently, has affected the values in educational institutions all across.


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The study shows that the dependence on Internet is directly proportionate to the level of education. Among many other usages of Internet for education, its use for downloading educational materials shows the similar correlation with level of education. It also has natural association with age – higher is the education level, higher would be the age. Library visits and use is another area which has been adversely impacted. In recent past, use of Internet has led to decrease in the use of library as the students consider Internet as an alternative to library. Library has become more as facility centre than knowledge centre. The analysis in study also shows some changes in the relationship between the teachers and the students due to the students getting into the cyber magnetic space. The students at all levels feel that the use of ICT is making students self reliant. This might lead reduction in students' dependence on the teacher in near future although the teachers still hold value in today's context. The findings of this study corroborate with the reporting in Financial Chronicle (2012), which recently presented views on the possibility of replacing the teachers by the rapidly evolving nature of educational technologies. In the paper two views were expressed; the first view was that “it is perhaps only a matter of time before technologies comes in to replace teachers entirely” and the second one said “no matter how attractive might be the content; it will never be able to replace a teacher entirely”. Many of the respondents of the present study felt that it is teacher only who can provide basic learning by explaining the subjects. To them the technology enhances the learning and acts as an aid towards better teaching. They did agree that the electronic media will make the learning richer and the students across all the levels and age group wish their teachers to be more technologically advanced. They have witnessed that the teachers who use Internet technology are more informed and impart updated knowledge. Although majority of the students felt that ICT will never be able to replace the teacher and it confirms the second view expressed in the Financial Chronicle, a few of them do think otherwise. The present study also alarms towards the first view as the respondents experienced the widening distance between the students and the teachers and felt that the respect for teachers is getting eroded. The study has an implication – The teachers have to get into information and communication technology, else they will be left out of the race of an effective teacher. The ICT will help them preparing for the class as well as help them in coping with the new advancement in education. The good teacher will be those who will combine their subject knowledge taken from anywhere with their experiential knowledge End Note 

SITE (1975-76) was the world’s largest techno-social experiment conducted in India during August 1975-July 1976 to educate the rural population and to support the school education at primary level. It covered 2400 villages in 24 districts of six states of India.

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APPENDICES Appendix – 1 Table 7: List of Educational Institutions Covered Under the Study State

Type

Assam

M C (1) C (2) S (1) S (2)

Andhra Pradesh

M C (1) C (2)

Name of Institutes – Management (M), College (C), Hr. Secondary School (S) Dept. of Business Administration, Guwahati University, Guwahati Brijhora Kanya College, Bongaigaon (District HQ) Mangaldoi College, Mangaldoi, Darang district Manikpur Hr. Sec. School, Manikpur Block, Bongaigaon dist. Duni Hr. Sec. School, Duni village, Sipajar Block, Darang dist. Dept. of Business Management, Osmania University, Hyderabad

Shri Lakshmi Narasimha College, Bhongin, Nalgonda district Tara Govt. Degree College, Sangareddy, Medak district A.P.S.W.R.S. Jr. College, Rajapet village and Block, Nalgonda S (1) dist. S (2) Govt. Junior College, Jogipet village and Block, Medak dist. Bihar M L. N. Mishra Institute of Management, Patna C (1) H.D. Jain College, Ara, Bhojpur district C (2) R.N. College, Hajipur, Vaishali district S (1) R.B.S. Vidyalaya, Dhanushi village, Lalganj Block, Vaishali dist. S (2) Inter School, Bihiya village and Block, Bhojpur dist. Gujarat M B.K. School of Business Management, Ahmedabad C (1) Sheth M.N. Science College, Patan (District HQ) C (2) H.N.S.B. Science College, Himmatnagar, Sabarkantha district S (1) Sheth C.V. Vidyalaya, Balisana village, Patan Block and dist. J.S. M. High School, Dhansura village and Block, Sabarkantha S (2) dist, Punjab M University Business School, Punjab University, Chandigarh C (1) BAM Khalsa College, Garshanker, Hoshiarpur district C (2) Government College, Mohali (District HQ) L.S.D. Sr. Sec. School, Bassi Daulatkhan, Hoshiarpur Block and S (1) dist. S (2) Govt. Senior Sec. School, Manauli village, Mohali Block and dist. M = Management Institute, C (1) and C (2) = Colleges in different town, and S (1) and S (2) Schools in villages



4 ict and education full