AmritaCREATE workshop for Heads of Schools at ICTEE

January 7, 2012
Amritapuri Campus

A one-day workshop on Technology Enhanced Learning for Schools was organized as part of the IEEE International Conference on Technology Enhanced Education at the Amritapuri campus.

Sri. Vineet Joshi

Over 150 school principals and senior school administrators from all over the country participated.

The workshop was co-organized by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Confederation of Kerala Sahodayas, in addition to Amrita.

“It is simply a privilege to be here,” stated Sri. Vineet Joshi, CBSE Chairman, while inaugurating the workshop.

Sri. Vineet Joshi

“The reason is that I get an opportunity to not only visit Amma’s ashram but also address such a large gathering of principals and academicians; this is a great learning opportunity for CBSE as well as for me,” he added.

CBSE oversees nearly 11,500 schools all over the nation. The Board has recently spearheaded the implementation of several innovative measures to promote better learning in the school system.

“Can we imagine a situation in the future where we have a clickable teacher?” Sri. Joshi asked the participants. “If a child asks a question, the teacher will reply as many times needed without getting irritated. In our classrooms today, perhaps children are sometimes afraid to ask questions.”

Highlighting the need for the best teachers to develop e-content, Sri. Joshi applauded the work done at Amrita’s CREATE lab under the leadership of Profs. Raghu Raman and Prema Nedungadi.

The lab has developed extensive multimedia-based, interactive modules that are being used by nearly 30,000 school children all over the country to supplement their classroom learning.

Speakers highlighted that in the new era of e-learning, the role of a teacher would change. But technology would not replace the teacher. As a student recently remarked, “I am able to see the face of my teacher much more, now that she spends less time writing on the blackboard.”

Dr. Marcia Linn

Dr. Marcia Linn, Director, Technology-Enhanced Learning in Science Center, University of California at Berkeley elaborated on her lab’s efforts to build what she referred to as, the Linux of Education.

Dr. Candace Thille, Director, Open Learning Initiative at the Carnegie Mellon University, highlighted the need to measure the effectiveness of the e-learning modules by measuring student learning. “The benefit of e-learning is that we can embed assessment into virtually every learning activity and use that data to give powerful feedback to the learner and the teacher,” she said.

Dr. Kinshuk from Athabasca University in Canada made an impassioned plea to ensure that in e-learning, the focus not be on technology alone, but also on providing value-based education.

panelists spoke

Invited talks were followed by a panel discussion on emerging technologies that could enhance learning in schools. Participants included Dr. Sadhana Parashar, Director (Training) of CBSE and Ms. Meera Ganesh, CEO of Pearson Education Services, among others.

What would digitized classrooms look like? How could technology improve student engagement to ensure a mastery of basic concepts? How would technology enable the holistic development of a child? How could we scale up resources to take learning to remote and rural schools and reduce the digital divide?

As panelists spoke, it was clear that although technology offered a lot of promise, there were no easy answers. Experts agreed that technology had the potential to overcome the barrier created by lack of skilled teachers and resources. Technology could aid in the paradigm shift from teacher-centric to student-centric learning.

virtual Labs

Panelists agreed that technology could not replace the need for teachers. Technology will be a powerful tool in the hands of a motivated and resourceful teacher. But it will be the teachers ultimately who will make the difference.

CBSE feels 'clickable teacher' will help weaker students - Times Of India
CBSE gets ready for Sci-Fi meet! - Times of India
CBSE set to roll out virtual labs online - Deccan Chronicle
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