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IT making learning accessible to all in India

New Delhi , Thu, 11 Jul 2013 ANI

New Delhi, July 11 (ANI): Information technology has changed our world irreversibly. Access to information is now a button on the keyboard away and instant communication is changing the way we interact dramatically. No aspect of life is untouched by it and naturally, it has also started outlining a new dimension of educational practice and delivery - something unheard of just a decade-and-a-half away.

There is a paradigm shift in education today. Yesterday's bulky books, heavy satchels, rote learning, and even evaluation mechanisms are already old school. In fact, the class room has changed forever - with digital content, interactive media and student-teacher dynamics all undergoing a sea change from what we knew it to be, are engaging in a more collaborative style of learning-teaching. Transition from the chalk-board teaching style to the digital style requires a change in mindset. While the younger generation will adapt to the changing scenario, the pre-technology era teachers might find the going tough.

Training teachers in technology and retraining them in delivering effective content with the aid of that technology is a pre-requisite to modern digital style of imparting education. Preparing almost six million teachers is a herculean task. But it is achievable if a step-by-step approach is adopted. The teachers are today explaining the toughest of lessons via 3D images and PowerPoint presentations. Digitalisation has also augmented teacher's efficiency by equipping them with projectors, interactive boards and assessment devices. No school is considered whole without this new model of education. The urban bias is quickly fading away as semi-urban schools also deliver IT-supported education.

New innovations in hardware are also defining the trend of education delivery. Tablets are one of the latest tools to have made inroads into the education culture. Due to their portable design and interactive capabilities, Tablets have proved to be an invaluable component. It allows students to customise learning at their own pace, learning becomes more project-based and there is a greater peer-to-peer communication. IT-enabled education has also led to tectonic shift in the overall quality of educational content and its delivery.

Digitisation of content has allowed for instantaneous upgrading of content, quicker verification of data, comparative notes, references popping up on screens within nanoseconds, evaluation by teachers in real time, instant feedback and a verifiable means of calibrating progress.

Technology can accelerate, enrich and deepen basic skills. It has the power to allow every child to explore the outer limits of his or her potential. It is also a powerful teaching tool that adds value to a teacher's repertoire and can create a stimulating and challenging atmosphere in any school environment. Above all, it is democratising education, making learning accessible to all irrespective of location, quality of teaching and cost. By Shantanu Prakash(ANI)(The author is Chairman and Managing Director, Educomp Solutions Ltd.)

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