On line Education – here is a technology that can help

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The world is moving on and we too. India introduced information technology (IT – computers and internet) in governance and is now pressing the throttle on it. Computer technology is already a mission critical enabler in the corporate sector. Now that 4G network services are available globally, education field should receive all the needed attention.

Drivers and Dampers

One may ask what exactly is ailing our education system. Is it the lack of awareness of older teachers, lack of funds, absence of electricity, lack of innovation, unreliability of knowledge databases that are held online, or simply lack of government initiative. The students are already using computers, internet and mobiles in day-to-day life. Unless we start using them in schools, we will never know what we really want out of them.

Yes, some institutes have adopted distance learning, but this is for reducing their permanent expenses on teacher salaries rather than for providing quality and flexible education for the students. Also, bright students who fail to cross the obstacles of reservations may be compelled into on line education. We could very easily introduce the informal professions or vocations; areas where certification or degrees are not required, to education using computers.

Who knows it might become a blessing in disguise for the general lack of resources or willingness. Who knows, the government may become lenient, driven by the volume of illiteracy rather than by their own initiative, for allowing computers in examinations, certifications, valediction etc for on-line studies. But these casual approaches should not become the drivers for on-line education.

One could present an argument that on-line education needs intensive investments, but if Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister in UP can spare 1.5 million laptops for the students, where is the hitch then. Recently, there was an amusing cartoon of a female teacher coming to the CM to get the laptop battery charged, because there was no electricity in the village for many days.

How to Deploy Computers for Education

In the USA, some new initiatives have been experimented with, and with astounding success. The K-8 and K-12 programs are the online versions of education for the Kindergarten to 8th or 12th year of education. K-8 is a bit state oriented, but K-12 is universal. The well-recognised features and advantages of these programs are as follows

  • Anyone irrespective of age or qualification can get registered
  • Subjects can be selected at will, and a package created for himself by the individual
  • The system is highly standardized and well regulated by the authorities
  • Learning is individualized or customized for individual student, and has an individual learning plan
  • Pool of certified and motivated teachers, who can operate from within the confines of their homes, is made available
  • Home environment suits all, the teacher, taught and the parent. At high school level students are more independent and self-serving therefore they are serviced accordingly
  • The system incorporates, in person events for social interaction, and it needs interaction with other non-computerized systems
  • Students are already familiar with Facebook, pinterest, twitter and other social networks. Instead of wasting time therein, time can be utilized for learning. One cannot deny that being on the networking sites delivers knowledge, even to elders.
  • On-line learning may have social inadequacies, how to tackle these may be a challenge but innovation and creativity can turn it around.
  • In fact, more time is available for social and sports activities because the travel times are reduced and the process of learning is optimized for efforts.
  • It is certainly a workaround for the handicaps propped up by reservations

On line Knowledge Databases

If the formal education systems are to depend on the computerized knowledge databases, then it is only imperative that these databases are authenticated and certified. The domain knowledge on the databases must be prepared by a team of qualified teachers or professors through an organised process. If authentic databases are available, and interactive webinars [1] are conducted by competent teachers, probably from a central remote location, there may not remain any inhibition using computers on line for formal education.


[1]  A webinar is a seminar conducted on the World Wide Web using the Internet, where numerous participants from all over the world can interact with the presenter as if they were all sitting in one room.

12 Comments

  1. GSN MURTHY

    Dear MK
    DID YOU hear about one person from Bihar who coaches under privileged and poor students of bihar to write JEE IIT? He selects 30 students to appear,so far he achieved cent per cent results all these years. He uses age old methods and may be those children have not seen the modern gadgets. I feel it is the interest that teachers take in teaching guys to shine. One thing is clear all in the class cannot make same grade. So identifying and putting them in right place can be achieved by good samaritans. Perhaps you are the one who got chance to work in computers after your 7 GTS tenure whereas we had to wait a long time to put our hands on it. What I want to convey is you do not need modern gadgets you need dedicated teachers to guide the children this the govt has to provide it is not the money always. I find the teachers in US for elementary school are not paid heavily but the commitment they have is great they have good standing in the society,respected and revered.let us build such socity.I wish to meet you when you are US or HK Pl let me know your stay and time.with best wishes to u and your family
    GSN 40DEO

    Reply
    1. admin (Post author)

      Of course I know about him … he is doing wonders … I agree that teachers play a lot of role in whatever happens to children. There are only 10 percent who contribute fully to to the students. who will change our society?

      Reply
      1. Gsn

        Who will do it? Yes this can be done in sections,the Reason being our population,had we been lucky the state would have done it. As it happened with our generation.i for one went thro the system no extra effort and studied in local schools where my father was working and used to shift every two years in the state. Things were not that bad and u could believe in the system. Changes in govt rules by
        Politicians caused all this at least delhi announced a good scheme on paper, can that be implemented?the street clinics appears to be novel but I find opposition to them too.let there be another revolution for it from us I have hope the educated lot will prevail over blind voters in days to come

        Reply
        1. admin (Post author)

          GSN Sir, I have to write another book … depicting what is wrong with us and what we can do. The first thing is we have to forget our past, past heroes, past PMs and whoever took birth here. Including the gods, prophets and saints who are worshiped while they are no longer here. They are all gone …

          We must wake up. We must realize what the world is today and what it will be in the future. How countries operate on financial, cultural and population imperialism and how can we safeguard ourselves against those enemies. We have just about a hundred years of life and we must do something that will last for ever. For me already 70 years are gone and I have got the recognition as an author. I am unable to influence the pains of the people. But I will still write …

          Reply
          1. GSN murthy

            Yes sir, you did impressive service in bringing some thing concrete for some one to follow or to adhere. Your lecture at Rex during 2012 is impressive. I am proud to be your course mate I am looking for an opportunity to get you to Hyderabad once I go back during winter. I want to arrange a talk in RSI on your books. If you are visiting US any time from April to October, you can visit us at NJ

          2. admin (Post author)

            NJ and US is out of the question for the time being, Vancouver is in. I appreciate you liked my blog and REX was a great congregation to speak on …

          3. admin (Post author)

            Thank you sir …

          4. Avari

            Nancy, the cakes are diffreent from each other in that one is more like a crisp sweet bread and the other is like a cake. I prefer yeast coffee cakes, so I'd go for the walnut coffee cake. Bob, my husband, loves the Budapest coffee cake which is much sweeter. Either of them would be wonderful for your guests.

  2. Anuradha Kalwar

    I think the foundation should be made strong..thats should be first and foremost course of action. That would help to take a leap. Coz devoid of primary education …online education has no scope. we make private school …online education forums but what about the primary infrastructure which is not in place. Mr Akhilesh yadav must go through the illiteracy rate…Primary school students drop out ratio etc then he shud have thought about generously distributing laptops. THATS a political gimmick.

    Reply
    1. admin (Post author)

      Dear Anuradha,

      What specific actions are required for the primary education enhancement. Do you mean up to the 5th class or up to 10th class. In my book I covered aspects about why students dropout or have no interest …

      Reply
  3. Naresh Khattar

    In Indian context, online education has little possibility of being a major change driver because our computer penetration is very low and internet is still working on snail’s speed ( comparatively). There is no power in villages, there are no skilled operators to work or repair these machine. It is a wastage of money at the moment.

    Reply
    1. admin (Post author)

      The choice is ours. Improve or lag behind in disarray. But politicians fooling the people should not be tolerated. Showing green pastures !!

      Reply

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