Digital Learning” is one of the top-ranked online magazines in India which plays a key role in creating awareness about how ICT enhances the reach and quality of education in India. Prof. Kamal Bijlani, Director E-Learning Research Lab was interviewed by Anushi Agrawal (Correspondent Digital learning) for the cover story “New Age Classroom” in the March 2014 issue.
Below are some of the excerpts of the article.
The purpose of the story ‘New Age Classroom’ is to show the various ICT solutions available to make the teaching-learning process fun and dynamic. Education technology is an emerging industry and its growing popularity in our education system is very noted. This cover story highlights the stakeholders in digital learning and presents the objectives and challenges of the digital lab industry in India.
Quotes from Prof. Kamal Bijlani:
The complete model of teaching-learning is up for change. The traditional chalk and board method will give away to various models of “blended learning” as pointed out by Professor Kamal Bijlani. The new model will involve equal effort from both teachers and students in making teacher- learning a dynamic process.
Professor Kamal Bijlani opines that as soon as the regulations by the government are released about the formats through which education can be imparted in India, “soon it will become an online supermarket. The stigma associated with distance education will change; it will become huge and available to anyone, anywhere at an affordable cost in diverse subjects, in various formats. Universities will not only do traditional teaching but will be forced to do online teaching as well.
IIT professors are taking virtual classes in 100 engineering colleges across India, more than 20,000 colleges connected to each other through video-conferencing system designed (A-VIEW) for online classes that enables whiteboard collaboration and content sharing, more than 15,000 teachers being virtually trained at the same time in far flung areas of the country.
The fundamental infrastructure required is just computers, internet and awareness about IT tools. Boom of internet in the country has led to a boom in this sector. The official rate of growth is around 8-10 percent but this is a very conservative scenario. The industry has immense scope and on ground, the rate of growth is much higher. But the growth depends on overall development of infrastructure and content,” says Prof Kamal Bijlani, Director, Amrita E-Learning Research Lab.
Prof Bijlani appreciated the constructive and encouraging role played by the government in this sector says, “There has been a huge push by the government in this sector. National Mission on Education on ICT has several programmes funded by government. Government plays a huge role in bringing inclusiveness through use of ICT in education.
The article was concluded with a positive quote “the trend is going upwards, lot of stakeholders will come in, lot of consolidation will happen where independent provider will probably merge and start offering consolidated services and that is the way to grow”.
India boasts of the largest higher education system in the world. There are over 610 universities (including about 130 deemed universities) set up under central and state legislation, 36,000 colleges affiliated to these universities, and a very large number of institutes of technical education; medical, legal, dental, nursing teaching and polytechnics.
March 15, 2014