Saturday, April 21, 2012

Digital Education in Schools and Online (Internet) in India

quote on formal and self education
Nobody denies that education is the key to improve standard of living in a society. Not just talks but there is a lot of action around education ecosystem in India.

Right to education enactment is going to bring education to the poorer masses. Government, on their part, apart from running public schools, supports mid-day-meal schemes through public-private partnerships in many places.

Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are bringing enough change in society through positive contributions to education domain. Distribution of computers and volunteers from corporates teaching kids in rural areas, has brought smiles to many a people's faces.

Non-Government and Non-Profit Organizations are providing a helping hand to educate the folks in rural areas.

The emphasis is more on primary and secondary education as there is a huge school drop-out during school education. Private schools are able to apply the technology better and make a difference. Companies like Educomp and EveronnSystems have brought technology to the classrooms and re-inventing the way subjects are taught in the school. Extensive use of audio-visual aids, especially the animated content, helps student visualize and remember the concepts much better.

Tutions, which are meant to support certain students in their areas of weaknesses have become commonplace. They have become similar to schools in terms of operations and management. There is no comfort and convenience for students who attend these tuitions, as the work load has only increased. With this background, many websites have evolved for online learning- tutorvista, meritnation, extramarks and learningnext. These sites provide extensive study material and online assessment modules, which help students to prepare themselves in chosen subjects of their class, at their own pace. Most of these sites offer modules that are packaged and available for purchase online marking an era of e-commerce in education in India. There are sites which offer online tutoring service as well.

I happened to watch the meritnation advertisement in TV, which prompted me to write on this topic. Their site includes student material for both CBSE and ICSE boards and relate to the school curriculum of these boards. They seem to offer lot of personality improvement tests as well, which includes testing aptitude, skills and interests.

Personally, I prefer that students learn all fundamentals effectively at school and the rest throughout life from books, Internet, social interactions and travel. But the access to wonderful content through any means - TV, Radio or Internet (even through subscriptions like in case of meritnation) - can never be discounted.

With the evolution of personal gadgets (smartphones and tablets) and communication technologies, education in schools and on the Internet is going to change forever in not so distant future !