(The Gist of Kurukshetra) USE OF ICTS IN EDUCATION [DECEMBER-2018]

(The Gist of Kurukshetra) USE OF ICTS IN EDUCATION


Use Of ICTs In Education

In the 21st Century, mastering the skills of computers certificate can be considered alongside 3 Rs (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic) as the fundamental requirements for a fully literate person. Whether one agrees with it or not, importance of computers and related technologies in the society is here to stay. (me comes across the digital world in myriad ways while performing one’s duties and responsibilities in the society. No wonder government has undertaken several initiatives in recent years to augment the digital literacy of its citizens.

Various efforts can broadly be categorised as under the following.

Through formal school education system where in subjects such as Information Technology is offered to students as part of main subjects at secondary level while a subject on Computer Science is offered at the senior secondary level.

Through vocational courses on IT under National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF), which envisages a smooth transition for students from what is considered main subjects to the vocational stream without worrying about certifications or mobility in career. The vast population of India’s youth require skills and their upgradation in digital technology. Government of India has invested heavily in skill development of youth by enlisting National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skills Council (SSC), Pandit Sundarlal Sharma Central Institute of Vocational Education (PSSCIVE), National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and State Governments.

  • Enhancing the technological competencies of teachers during both pre- service and in-service teachers training and
  • creating a digital environment in the country by the massive use of digital technologies in increasing access, enhancing quality of education, ensuring conclusion in the educational system.

The primary focus of the educational technology (ET) or the usages of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education remain the learning. The focus of technological integration into the education cannot be different from the central concerns of education which are to improve the quality of education for children, ensuring joyful learning environment for every child of the country; making learning constructive, critical, inclusive and collaborative and finally, building on a lifelong intellectual partnership with technology by constantly reflecting and analyzing one’s learning.

The Union Budget, 20184;, has proposed to start 'Samagra Shiksha' an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12 by subsuming the erstwhile Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE). The main outcomes of the Scheme are envisaged as Universal Access, Equity and Quality, promoting Vocationalisation of Education and strengthening of Teacher Education Institutions (TEls). One of the important interventions envisaged under Samagra Shiksha is the Digital Initiatives. It is perhaps the natural corollary of Digital India campaign which sought to revolutionize the digital ecosystem of the country by emphasizing on three core components: the development of secure and stable digital infrastructure, delivering government services digitally, and universal digital literacy.

ICT curriculum for students and teachers (ict curriculum.gov.in) seeks to educate and train students and teachers on the wide implications of use of ICT in education in a flexible manner allowing course participants to choose the timings as per their own conveniences. As its website mentions, “for the teacher, it is an initiation into exploring educational possibilities of technology, learning to make the right choices of hardware, software and ICT interactions, and more importantly, growing to become a critical user of ICT. For the student, it is an initiation into creativity, problem solving, and an introduction to the world of information and technologies which could also shape career pursuits”. Some of the states like Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Tripura and Telangana are in the process of implementing ICT curriculum for students. While state of Karnataka has adopted this curriculum for its teachers.


Government of India has launched e-pathshala (epathshala.nic.in) portal and mobile app (for all 3 mobile platforms, viz., android, windows, ios) in 2015. A Joint initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development and NCERT, this portal/app has all the textbooks of NCERT from Class I to Xii in digital form (698 e-books as ePubs & 504 flipbooks). There are Glher e-contents (more than 3000 of audio/video Materials) available on this app. All these resource are freely available. More than 35 million users access the contents on web portal of e-pathshala while about 1.8 million users access these contents through app.

National| Repository of Open Educational Resources (nroer.gov.in) was launched in 2013. It is a storehouse of all types of e-contents (more than 13000 contents are available now) arranged thematically and mapped according to the NCERT curriculum. More than 30 organisations have joined hands to share their respective e-contents under creative commons license on this repository.

A bouquet of channels (32 DTH TV channels to be precise) was launched by the Hon’ble President of India on 9th July 2017 in New Delhi under the SWAYAM PRABHA initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to telecast high~quality educational programs on these 32 channels on 2410 basis using the GSAT-ls satellite. Initially, each channel was prowling 4 hours fresh content daily which was repeated 5 times a day to make the channel 24x7. Now this slot of 4 hours is being increased to 6 hours. The channels are uplinked from Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar. The contents are provided by NPTEL, llTs, UGC, CEC, IGNOU, NCERT and NIOS. The INFLIBNET Centre maintains the web portal. These channels are freely available on Doordarshan Free DTH TV networks, Zee's Dish networks and Jio TV networks. These SWAYAM PRABHA channels telecast curriculum-based contents of the subjects taught in school from class IX to undergraduate and postgraduate leave the idea is to help students access best video resources and allow them to pick their own time for learning.

Along with SWAYAM PRABHA, SWAYAM was also launched on 9'1h July 2017 by the Hon'ble President of India. SWAYAM, an acronym for Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds. is a digital platform which hosts several courses offered by the best teachers of universities/colleges/ schools free of cost to the students living in any part of the country. It’s a massive platform because students in very large number can join any course. There are no seat-restrictions. It’s open to all free of cost and it is available online. SWAYAM (swayam.gov. in) has been developed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) with the help of Microsoft. The courses hosted on SWAYAM are in 4 quadrants 1) video lectures, 2) textual materials in digital format, 3) self-assessment tests and 4) online discussion forum for clearing doubts. In order to ensure that the best quality contents are produced and delivered, nine National Coordinators have been appointed hey are AICTE for self-paced and international courses, NPTEL for engineering, UGC for non technical post-graduation education, CEC for under-graduate education, NCERT & NIOS for school education, IGNOU for out of the school students, IIMB for management studies and NITTTR for Teacher Training programme. University Grants Commission (UGC) has made provisions for transferring credits for the courses done on SWAYAM. Such courses are also known as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

MOOCs is an excellent example of use of internet in education. Through MOOCs, we tend to achieve all three concerns of our education, viz., access, quality and equity. There are several platforms available for students to choose. MOOCs is a relatively recent development and can be used in variety of ways from offering courses offered in colleges and universities to courses designed for mid-career professionals to in-house programs for skill training and so on.

Shagun portal (http://seshagun.nic.in/) was launched by the MHRD, Government of India (Gol) last year to monitor the progress of SSA scheme on the regular basis and also to make this portal a repository of best practices, innovations, success stories and resources available in the States/Union territories (UTs). ShaGun stands for Shala meaning schools and Gunvatta implying quality. Shaala siddhi (http://www.shaalasiddhi.nuepa.org) launched by National institute of Educational Planning and Administration {lélEPAL New Delhi aims to improve the school functioning by evaluating schools holistically on 7 key domains such as i) enabling resource of schools, ii) teaching-learning and assessment, iii) learners progress attainment, teacher performance, v) leadership and management, vi) inclusion health and safety and productive community participation. Similarly, Kendriya Vidyalaya Shaala Darpan is an e-government platform for all KV schools in the country to improve quality of learning, efficiency of school administration, governance of schools and service delivery to key stakeholders. DIKSHA (https://diksha.gov.in/), a joint initiative of MHRD and National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) was launched by the Honorable Vice President this year to make one stop resource for all requirements of a teacher.

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