Using Information and Communications Technology has become wide and trendy amongst students in the developed countries. Several institutions have been using this tool to make classrooms a 24*7 affair both for students and teachers. ICT has enabled teachers to interact with the students whenever both the parties require. It reduces physical distance between a teacher, say living in the US, and a student residing in UP, India.
A school teacher, Manuel Jaime U. Vinuya in Pangasinan, Philippines used blogging to reach the students even after the school hours. He created a blog and oriented the students on how to use it. His basic objectives were to encourage student participation in online discussions and collaborations, to use the platform as posting boards for assignments and activities, to serve as bulletin of information and reminders, class journal of activities, and online publication of student works and achievements. In his own opinion, ‘The blogs provide concrete evidence of class participation where students celebrate and share class learning and successes. Parents of the students can even take a look or even place comments in the blog and to have an actual idea of their children’s learning taking place’.
Another school teacher, Mr. Jenelou John Fuderanan Israel, again from the Philippines, created an online group to stay connected with his students. He made use of that online group to conduct Online Polls, as Message and Discussion Boards and Assignment and Project Hub.
In Brazil, radio and television have been used as instruments to increase the literacy rate among the youths living in the remote areas. The programme is named as Proforma Escola Do Radio. In the 5 months literacy course, materials are provided via radio and television along with books and face-to-face interactions. Lessons are taught through 15-minutes radio programmes which are repeated three times per day each week. The radio lessons are complemented by a weekly television programme which presents information on the various themes covered in the radio lesson.
In Malaysia the government had introduced Malaysian Smart School project in 1997. As a part of this project, four schools of Malaysia has been linked with four schools in the United Kingdom via internet. A website, MySchoolNet has been introduced to facilitate the connectivity between students. Now students of those Malaysian schools exchange emails and video conferences with their peers from the UK.
India is home to a large number of non-literate people and many children are there who do not have any access to school even today. Only around 64 per cent of the population is counted as literate in India. The average retention rate in primary section was near 58.11 per cent in India in the year 2004-05 (DISE). Hence, ICT should be used effectively to spread education among all. ICT will also help to strengthen quality education for all. If implemented well, students will be able to connect themselves with the rest of the world and it will, in turn, enhance their knowledge base. Another important aspect of ICT is the use of local contents which intensifies student’s interest in the curriculum.
E Education should be India’s one of the priority agenda along with E-Governance, E-Commerce, E-Manufacturing E-Health and E-Banking.
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.