Digital Education is no longer a distant dream. It is happening here and it is happening now
Call it technology driven or overcome by technology. A few years ago it became more and more clear that technology would rule the roost. Cranes; conveyer belts; motor pumps; radios; TVs which are in the process of morphing from black and white to color televisions; Xerox and a lot more machines that rumbled making the world noisy and full of grime and smoke, all gave indications of what was to come. You had to accept it. And you never thought beyond it. After all that is what life is all about, a basket full of surprises, waiting to tumble out in front of you.
Today, I just have a small change to make. I would call it the ‘gadget world’. You may call it the touch and live world. Either way it’s a world of mobile phones, laptops, obsolete desktops, applications for everything, blogs, facebooks, tweeting, Whatsapp, e-magazines from Ford to McCkinsy, Ted Talks, virtual articles and e-zines. The applications seem endless; you can stay connected on the go, or just touch or even swipe and chat, watch videos, book tickets online, bank online, shop and do much more. It looks like we will even see virtual men and women shortly, who will materialize at the touch of a button, cars without gears and aeroplanes that will take off without pilots. It is a silent, humming world where people’s voices will fill the atmosphere and will get things done. Oh! I almost forgot, health services have been greatly improved because of digital technology. The world in a hospital works with greater efficiency at the push of a button. It might not be odd to say that the world is awash with them.
In a world that is completely overrun by digital revolution, education has not only been magnanimously touched, but has also been overwhelmed by it. Today, from education for kids to higher education and research, education has everything for everyone. Educating is no longer about talking, it is about showing people how to do it. Digital teaching, digital learning, digital innovative ways of teaching, student-centric learning, course materials on the portals, digital lectures, workbooks, assignments, question banks, knowledge banks with extensive reading material, skype, it’s all there. All that you will need is your own password, key in the word and search engines will throw up an astounding amount of data-both verbal and visual. And, that’s not all. For what it’s worth, cloud computing is available today with a huge storage capacity. Now come down to earth. Jain University has created a Centre for Virtual Learning and Innovation, which is a digital platform for learning. We call this technology as Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). And the best part is that it is already a part of the digital world. With Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), a few clicks will take you to your classrooms. What else does it do?
- You can browse and have access to your subject’s modules, question banks, model question papers, assignments and finally digital lectures.
- Enjoy the benefit of both classroom teaching as well as digital lectures.
- Clicking on digital lectures will take you to lectures which are rendered by your class teacher.
- It is a self-paced learning system where you have an opportunity to learn on your own.
The URL is: www.jgi.alertsindia.com. Your login and password are the same-exam register are the same. It could not have been simpler.
The whole discussion will be incomplete without the work that goes into creating the content. If you were to watch Youtube, it would spool before every bit, which was quite irritating. But now we have sniped them in to short bits so that they can be watched in continuation. Then there is content editing. A word about digital lectures is that it takes a lot of time to create and that they are meant as a supplement to the classroom lectures. To begin with, we started with Commerce and the future would see us taking other streams.
All this is not only time consuming but also back breaking. Let us pay a line of respect to all those involved in it.
In its initial stages, the set-up attracted about 2,000-3,000 hits in general, and just before the exams, it goes to a gung ho number of around 4,000 hits. On the basis of this, one can say that digital learning is definitely working and would become a much bigger player in the coming days.