Appears far-fetching, but the true Indian Scenario can be seen and felt with the approach to visit to the market or a specific Window Shopping module in a City Mall. The diverse learning scenario in schools with have and have-nots’ has really taken in a grim picture to the audiences and the Government at large.
The learners today face the culture of mobiles and laptops with a limited accessibility to govern but a desire. The presence of computers in schools or with the teacher as a showpiece based tool of entertainment to check the FB walls or their mails from one fine associate is a fashion.
For the student from a normal livelihood, the computer is a desire……. For all. Even in the face of diminishing budgets the learners make the learning possible via cyber hubs and free IT access to make the freedom exposed. The integration of technology into the classroom is a distant future for the majority but they seek information through various options further. As a matter of fact, technology is not a tool to them but the building block of learning and social interaction. On the other hand the great divide in the Indian Learning Society also has one phase where the lot of students have never known life without the ability to connect, communication and explore 24x7, and for this portion of the society, this is a practical norm in particular. The nicer informed lot is tied up with dependency for immediacy of information sharing from a device in the palm of their hands.
Above all the American model as the Pew Research Center’s Internet American Life Project, a non-profit, nonpartisan research organisation, provides free data and analysis on the social impact of the Internet. It says that over 95 percent of teens aged 12 to 17 are now online. And much to surprise many, over 62 percent of them use wireless and mobile devices for digital activities away from home or work. Looking at the above facets to the Indian ICT culture, there is a need for tools like video conferencing, screen sharing and interactive applications which shall allow them access to virtual laboratories, complex simulations and interaction with a wider community of learners and teachers.
What is now required is a cult for enhancing ICT in Academics by means to generate interest towards 100% attendance to schools, participation by the wards and their keen participation in the teaching and the teaching-learning process at large. Above all, teachers- who by and large are now becoming digital natives themselves, have been at the forefront of the movement to use technology to augment curriculum. We all know and believe in the fact that the DIGITAL DIVIDE still exists in the country and shall be for a couple of years to come but the low entry price of SMART PHONES combined with 3G pocket Internet offers is helping to connect the students, the Google Generation.
Kudos to the service providers making Mera Bharat Mahan !.
Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra
Vice President (Academics), Next Education India Private Limited