Can we be masters of the technology rather than slaves – ICT in Education Summit

“Learning has hugely shifted online and is no more restricted to schools and colleges. The modern ways of learning have evolved with technology with a variety of tools and resources available online to facilitate this learning. It is to understand and deliberate on this that the 4th ICT in Education Summit was conceptualized and organized, which was attended by around 200 guests comprising of academicians, think tanks from the corporate world and government representatives.” – VAR India, who organized the event. The report is on 4th ICT in Education Summit

The afternoon panel discussion was themed around “Education in India merits Change.”  It was moderated jointly by Mr Vijay Shukla, Managing Director, Eduvisors, and Mr Sujit Panigrahi, CTO, Convergent Technologies. The panelists included, Mr Adil Usman, Business Head, iProf Learning Solutions; Mr R. Sreenivasan, Co-Founder, CL Educate (career Launcher); Ms Vineeta Mittal, Principal, The Millennium School, Gurgaon; Mr Gaurav Tomar, Director, Rabindranath World School, Gurgaon; Mr Varadarajan Sridharan, Fellow, Ed Tech; and Ms Sara H. Basson, Ph.D., Worldwide Program Director, IBM – TJ Watson Research Center.

The panel, discussing “Education in India merits change”

Topics for discussion revolved around the present education system in India, spanning from how to make Schools’ ICT Investment Count and technology-led disruption for Indian education ecosystem to upgrading ICT infrastructure to make learning environment fit for the future and safeguarding devices and prioritizing cyber safety and security.

Opening the session, Vijay set the tone for the panel discussion ..

– How does ICT impact the three dimensions of quality, access and equity
– Is the school space or higher Education radically impacted
– with just 18% gross enrollment ratio for higher education in India, what is the game changer

Varadarajan shared

  •  ICT challenges and compels improvement
  •  21st century saw ICT push, because of quality – as tool to enhance
  •  Most technologies and tools have evolved in the last decade
  •  The hole in the wall experiment by Dr. Sugata mitra, showed how ICT can make a difference
  • So, teachers’ role has changed – It is a question of how fast you adapt, what do you do as a facilitators
  • It all boils down to how do you, as an institution empower the mentors
  • concept of learning environment, home work and evaluation change
  • Policies of the state has to keep pace with this change in the outlook and environment

Vineeta Mittal

  • It is a tool, definitely required
  • What all needed to change in a school context –
    • Teachers have to move from content delivery to being facilitators
    • From memorization to giving conceptual clarity
    • life skills to be inculcated and taken forward
    • The learning will become interdisciplinary
    • May help children to evolve as out of the box thinkers

Gaurav

  • Only compelling reason I found was, every school in the vicinity is placing hoardings all over about ICT, whether they understood or not
  • Could procure hardware from Nehru place, software home grown
  • But one significant shift that technology demands is the cultural change
    • How fast people in the system orient themselves to the shift
    • Is it imposed or embraced
    • The leadership has to facilitate the whole process

Sreeni

Tech or ICT is only an enabler. If I look back at our journey in CL Educate

  • Launched compassbox in 1998, reached thousands of homes, initially mostly the MENA Region for curriculum support
  • Then we went on to introduce classrooms on the desktop in the MENA region – 2001, teachers teaching from remotest parts of India. Pankaj, an amazing teacher with passion for tech, used to take biology from Patna in 2001, when internet penetration in India was miniscule. But Indians abroad lapped it up
  • CL – we have sessions in the career and test prep space – webinars – attended by about 6-7k participants from nook and corner of the country and abroad too

The important challenges to focus in schools these days –

    • To make the learning environment and processes that stroke the right brain, any ways we are masters of clerical faculties
    • Idiot box was a challenge, it became a baby sitter… Now lap top, palm top… Whatsupp (FB acquired it for $19bn yday).. they all end up making  people unproductive, if not realized their role..
    • I had shared about a film that I had come across, in which the grade 4 curriculum was completely taught through a project to design the furniture for the classroom, during the academic year. Here is the film..

What is very important is how do we use it, where and when to use it.. Possibilities include

  • collaboration among mentors across geographies
  • collaborative learning among students,
  • customizing learning to differently-abled children in the same class
  • promote interdisciplinary work
  • bringing world class open source learning resources to the child and mentors

We need to be master of technology rather than ending up as a slave…. Hope the laptops distributed by the UP govt is being put to good use, not just for watching movies!

Sara

  • education is the next big thing for ICT
  • analytics holds the key to facilitate students
    • personalizing – individualized attention
    • Georgia school research. – with the data, can you predict the student where will he be?
    • enabling careers – education and the world – marrying the two
    • best innovation is pause and start buttonChallenges
      – complete info about the student
      – how did you know that he is going to succeed; analytics of historical data
      – we have technology, trying to find the solution; not the other way around

Adil

Problems that can be solved by tech

  • check a few industries – health…. Tech has changed paradigm
  • we need to think how tech can be used in the
  • Challenges
    – shortage of quality teachers – people
    – access to high quality content and tools
    – customized learning paths
  • We have deployed tools in – Meghalaya, Mauritius, now 15 million in CBSE
    – increase efficiency, reduce unwanted workload
    – tablet and online learning
    – Offline, online, in lass, outclass
    – mentors can be better facilitator

Vijay

– what is the matrix of success?

Q & A

Dr jayaprakash – I used IBM 1620 in 1964 first time; retired as Principal Baskara charya college

in Delhi and NCR ….
– quality of the student? How does it change? In NCR we do not have shortage of resources…what about the interiors of the nation

Vineeta
Kind of learners – visual, kinesthetic, …. Figure out what kind of learner and use it
Any where and any time learning

Varadarajan
– do we have a road map for ICT
– quality vision and road map
– Dmitry, a thought leader is working on Preserving his brain
– large hadron collider, whole movie has been made. How many get access to it

– failing to plan is planning to fail

Sreeni

  • Having batted other way around let me bat for ICT
  • In IWS, our schools, the best of the resources from the universities of the world is on the tabs for the students – imagine MIT, CALTECH videos to understand the concepts of specific gravity, viscosity..children get to see the experiments recorded
  • Come to the class and faculty does only practical to help you understand better
  • It is all about how best we use and we need to stroke the imagination of mentors first, then children will be take care off

Vijay
I sum up the discussion with a question

Can we strike a right balance both in creation and consumption of technology?

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4 Responses

  1. Good. All the best.

    Like

  2. Quite well captured points … great panelists with interesting perspectives …

    Like

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