Amrita University Receives Grant to Train 30,000 School Teachers in Digital Science Labs under Digital India Initiative; Content to be Hosted on National Knowledge Network (NKN)
This Teacher's Day, Amrita CREATE (Center of Research in Advanced Technologies for Education), an educational technology initiative, pioneered by Amrita University, is setting an ambitious target of preparing 30,000 science teachers in a digital learning innovation called “Online Labs” (OLabs). Under this nationwide initiative spread over 3 years, at least 10,000 schools across the nation will be provided with free access to Online labs.
“The OLabs project was initiated and guided by Chancellor Amma’s vision of providing high quality educational technology in all schools, including those with limited resources and in rural India. “, said Prema Nedungadi, Director, Amrita CREATE. "Online Labs is the best option available especially in rural areas where students do not have proper lab facilities and internet connection. As it is free of cost, the students coming from poor financial backgrounds can also avail the benefit of Online labs,” said Shri. Devendra Singh IAS, Education Secretary & Director, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where the majority of the schools have OLabs. In rural India, an innovative model of teacher training will use solar powered, low cost tablets without internet. OLabs will also be available in Hindi, Malayalam and Marathi.
What is particularly advantageous for schools and teachers is that both the training and the digital content is free of cost under a research grant from Department of IT, to Amrita University in partnership with CDAC (Center for Development of Advanced Computing), Mumbai. OLabs has over 80,000 registered users. An MoU has been signed with the National Knowledge Network (NKN) to host Online labs on their network and support the scaling to millions of students across the nation.
Online labs is officially endorsed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) as a teaching aid for its 15,000 schools. "It is also capable of assessing a student's observations, procedural and reporting skills, and will allow teachers to track the student usage, thus making learning more effective," reads the CBSE circular sent to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti and CBSE regional officers.
"OLabs is a great educational initiative from the part of Amrita University. Compared to other educational software such as 'SmartClasses' and websites developed by government as well as private companies, Online Labs stands out for its creativity and originality.” said Smt. Gnana Gowri, Chief Education Officer, School Education Department, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, during a workshop in Tamil Nadu.
Amrita CREATE (Center of Research in Advanced Technologies for Education), an educational technology initiative, pioneered by Amrita University, has impacted nearly 8,255 teachers and 200,000 school students by providing accessible and affordable digital learning solutions. With over 50 international publications, Amrita CREATE won the prestigious Computer Society of India, IT Excellence Award for eLearning and Education and 26’th Kerala Science Congress, Best exhibit award.