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Using IT in Education

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IT in education
Arindam Das, Sec-D, Trimester-I,PGPBM ISB&M,Kolkata

What is IT ?
• Information technology (IT), as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), is "the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware." • IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store,

protect, process, transmit, and securely retrieve information .
• Now a days Information Technology (IT) is a general term that describes any technology that helps to produce, manipulate, store, communicate, and/or disseminate information. Presumably, when speaking of Information Technology (IT) as a whole, it is noted that the use of computers and information are associated.

Using IT in education sector
Various uses
• Developing a wide network using concepts like ‘Internet Communication Technology’, ‘Education Collaboration Network’ • Virtual classroom concept • Development of easily understandable models and audio-visual content • Using networking and applications for better and efficient use of resources and better management

Benefits
• Increasing the reach of quality education and improvement in distance education concept • Audio-Visual learning experience • Better co-ordination among education institutes and teachers leading to development and expansion of knowledge-pool • Improved special education • Easy availability of wide variety of quality educational resources • Improved teacher training

Indian education scenario..some information
All data presented are of 2004-05

100.00% 95.00% 90.00% 85.00% 80.00% 75.00%
Source: MHRD

Access to Primary education

Percentage of population

Access to upper primary education

60 40 20 0 Dropot Rate 2004-05
Source: MHRD

Class I-V Class IVII

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Class Class V Class Class III VII VIII Marks obtained by students
Source: NCERT

1:48 Math Language Science Social Science

1:40 1:33
1:26 Teacher Student Ratio
Source: SES, MHRD

Primary Upper Primary

Some uncomfortable truths: Primary Education

About 10% of students in age group 7-14 are out of school

About 45% of students in Govt. Schools in age group 7-10 cannot read, 13% in age group 11-14

Increasing focus on ‘what is thought at school’ rather than on ‘are children in school’

Effective delivery of education is key

Pratham’s survey About 60% of students in Govt. Schools in age group 11-14 cannot write, 25% in age group 11-14 can’t read

Key points

75% of Govt. School students between ages 7-10 cannot do simple arithmetic

Quality and quantity of teachers, education material, resources are very low

Evidence shows that Computer Assisted Learning has improved learning

IT..current usage
• Greycells 18 Media, a JV between ‘TV18’ and education service company ‘educomp’ launched a 24hr. channel ‘Topper TV ’ , for senior school students. • The channel has faculty from IITS, IIMS and foreign university. It is broadcasted using DTH Services. Subscription of students is between 40,000-90,000 already. • Everron systems Chennai, has signed an MOU with IIM Indore for offering management programmers using the VSAT Technology.

IT..current usage
• Srinivas Adepalli senior VP, Tata communications wants to launch educational courses for engineering and management courses through net using the help from Pune based Tata management training centre • Amity university has launched youth TV, to cater to students needs. • Virtual classrooms like ‘extramarks.com’ and ‘classroomteachers.com’ will touch 8.5 million households by 2010 as estimated remarked V.K.Arora director (electronic and system administrator head) of IGNOU.

VidyaVahini
• It is govt. initiative to connect 60,000 govt. & govt. funded senior secondary schools on internet and intranet. Though currently it is operated as a pilot project in 140 schools of 7 districts. • Program focuses:  Providing ICT infrastructure  Training teachers to use ICT infrastructure  Providing different learning resources which include different education tools, course curriculum & other learning materials  Providing course content in regional languages

VidyaVahini…facilities
Facilities: IT education and computer aided learning Access to Internet Online library

Academic services Web broadcast E-learning Sharing library resources

Hardware & Software equipments
Hardware
 One Server (P-IV based), 256 MB memory, 36 GB Hard Disk  Network Printer  10 Multimedia P-IV Personal Computers with Web Camera  29” Flat Screen Color TV  5 KVA UPS with 15 minutes power backup  Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) & Constant Voltage Transformer

Software
MS-Office (full suite) with multi-lingual support Core CAL Visual Studio Encarta Reference Suite & Online Deluxe Magic School Bus Web Hosting Software Software Tools (MS VISIO 2002) – to prepare proper documentation like flowcharts, graphs, organizational planning, etc.  CBSE/State Govt. approved course curriculum  Education Software Tools       

Internet access of 128 Kbps through VSAT

VidyaVahini…basic model
 Technology room: One of the classrooms has been converted into the Technology Classroom with facilities like one PC interfaced with 29” Flat Screen Color TV with internet connectivity  Teacher’s training lab: A teacher training lab, a replica of the installed infrastructure is created every district to train teachers

Source: Dept. of education

VidyaVahini…central authority
• The entire project has been implemented by ERNET India, an Autonomous Scientific society under Department of Information Technology. • ERNET is a nodal network connecting education and research institutions in the country. • A Central Portal (www.vidyavahini.ernet.in) has been hosted. The Portal containsEducation material
Programming tools
Software tools for teachers

Software tools for students

Language tools

Filtering software

Course curriculum

EDUSAT
• EDUSAT is the first Indian satellite built exclusively to serve the educational sector. • EDUSAT or GSAT-3 was launched in September 2004 by the Indian Space Research Organization • EDUSAT carries five Ku band transponders providing spot beams, one Ku band transponder providing a national beam and six extended C band transponders providing national coverage beams • A joint-initiative by IIT-Bombay & ISRO was launched on Jan1,2008 using EDUSAT network.

EDUSAT..contd.
• It started with 13 full-fledged courses on this channel and other institutes(e.g. other IITs, NITs, etc.) are enabled to receive it. • Other institutes joining the program will be provided with ground equipments • In this network, ISRO already set up 45 broadcast & interactive network covering 20 states including North-Eastern states and Islands. • More than 30,000 classrooms have been equipped with connectivity through EDUSAT.

A survey…
We decided to do a survey about this topic, the purpose was To gauge the mood of PG students of our institution as they represent a mix of youths from different states.  Collect some primary data about perception of students about use of IT in education.  The following are the details results of the surveySample size: 30, All PGPBM students of ISB&M Questionnaire consisted of 10 question Likert’s scale was used for taking responses, i.e. as follows
Strongly disagree
Disagree Can’t say Agree

Strongly agree

Survey...results
Q1:IT should be included as a compulsory subject from school level? Q2:Should certified courses on IT be made compulsory in school and college level?

0% 7% 20% 1%

0% 33%

Strongly agree
Agree Can't Say Disagree Strongly disagree

Strongly agree
Agree Can't Say Disagree Strongly disagree

93%

46%

Survey..results
Q3:Use of IT enhance learning. Q4:Students find IT courses more interactive.

1% 13%

0% 20% Strongly agree Agree Can't Say 26% 46% 13% 2% 13% Strongly agree Agree Can't Say

66%

Disagree
Strongly disagree

Disagree
Strongly disagree

Survey..results
Q5:Use of intranet beneficial to students. Q6:Knowledge of IT beneficial for all round student development.

0%
1% 13% Strongly agree 33% 53% Agree Can't Say 0% 0% 0% 26% Strongly agree Agree Can't Say 74%

Disagree
Strongly disagree

Disagree
Strongly disagree

Survey..results
Q7:Virtual classroom concept should be incorporated in PG Courses. Q8:IT infrastructure facilitates research findings.

0% 14% 15% 6% 13% 13% Strongly agree Agree Can't Say 60% 13%

Strongly agree
Agree 40% 26% Can't Say Disagree Strongly disagree

Disagree
Strongly disagree

Survey..results
Q9:IT helps in intra- and inter-level student interaction and collaboration. Q10:IT enables quick evaluation and feedback process.

0% 0% 0% 14% 13% 0% 14% 13% Strongly agree

Strongly agree
Agree Can't Say 73% Disagree Strongly disagree 73%

Agree Can't Say

Disagree
Strongly disagree

Findings
Some key problem areas in Indian education system are as follows  Performance: Only 6% of students continue studies up to collegiate level and most of those who continue are poor in English, Science and Maths. According to DPEP Baseline survey extent of repetition in grade I is as high as 30-40% in some states.  Teacher training: Large number of teachers are under-qualified and many more need professional training.  Teacher-Student ratio:
60%

50.00% 40.00% 30.00% 20.00% 10.00% 0.00% Teachers

1:43
1:40 None Single Two

50% 40% Basic 30% 20% SC HSC 10% 0% Ratio

1:37
1:35

HSC or less Graduate

PG Trained Qualification

1:32
1:29

Findings..contd.
 Quality of material: Text books are updated infrequently and contain many errors. No collaborative feedback mechanism for gathering inputs from teachers & students  Data: Though there is some system in place to collect data about primary education but no such thing present for other levels. So all planning are based on performance of individual institutes which is difficult and inefficient.  Lack of support materials: Teachers are not equipped with any supplementary helps and no system is in place to share resources and ideas.  No standardized system of evaluation of performance.  Distribution system of books are inefficient and education is totally dependent on this conventional material

Probable IT solutions
Helping teachers by enabling a collaborative development of teaching material and making it accessible to all
Improving quality enabling mass participation in developing and maintaining materials

Improving operational efficiency by collecting disaggregated data and use of information-based methods to procure and distribute materials
Tools for sharing instruction material among institutes

Probable IT solutions..contd.
Use supply chain management techniques to improve delivery of materials

Retaining content in electronic form to reduce delay

Constructing and maintaining nationwide registry of facilities and performance statistics for proper planning & management
For this steps to be taken two basic needs are as follows

1.Data collection and storage mechanism

&

2.Data analysis mechanism

Education Collaboration Network
Principle requirements of ECN
Capability of handling different level of IT maturity and multiple languages Highly distributed and able to capitalize on existing IT infrastructure like EDUSAT, Vidya Vahini

Based on open standard for encoding and accessing content

ECN-Architecture

The basic architecture of the ECN would be a web services oriented one, based on open standards
Components that make ECN are all commercially available which enables quick and affordable implementation
Figure: A physical view of ECN

ECN-Architecture..contd.
• Architecture of the system will be ‘Client-Server Architecture’ • Software will be split between computer processes called ‘client task’ and ‘server task’ • Client side will have facilities like ‘offline content access’, ‘content authoring and collaboration’ depending upon he infrastructural support • Client will be able to send and receive data from one or more server • System will be independent of any hardware and operating system limitation

ECN-Architecture..contd.
1.Thick 2.Thin 3.Lowmemory 4.Noncomputing devices
1.Windows, Linu x 2.Internet Browser 3.Internet Browser, Palm Operating System 4. 1.PCs, Simputers, High-end PDAs, Internet enabled appliances 2.PCs, Simputers, High-end PDAs, Kiosks 3.Low-end PDAs, WAP, GPRS enabled mobiles 4.Televisions, Tele phones 1.Online & offline access, Creation of multimedia content, Collabora tions 2.Web-browser based infrastructure, Li mited storage, Simple content creation 3.Content access, Collabora tion 4.Content access

Probable operating environment

Client Type

Probable Devices

Offerings

ECN-Architecture..contd.
• All clients together will be able to support different level of IT maturity • Range will be from high-speed connectivity and high awareness users to limited connectivity and users with rudimentary IT knowledge  Servers provide back-end support for different clients
Service
Presentation Function s Enable users to access domain-specific content, Support all client types

Infrastructure

Basic infrastructural services that would be required by apps( System, lifecycle, workload, storage management & security)
Handle content organization, lifecycle, storage, distribution, authoring, s earch and other processes

Information

ECN-Architecture..contd.
To support the interaction between clients and servers, presentation services of the server will support following methods of communication:
Cable Network: Client services with noncomputing abilities for simple audio and video streaming
SOAP: Simple message querying and retrieval with & w/o attachments

WAP: Mobile access of information and status updates FTP:For transferring multimedia files

HTTP:Request and responses

ECN-Architecture->Some key points:

Network topology for ECN will evolve with its spread. In initial stages server nodes will have to be hosted by state/regional authorities, district educational centers or urban schools given the current economic and infrastructural condition. Initially server platforms would run on a ‘Virtualized environment’ enabling them to use storage and resources already available to ECN This also bring down the initial expenditure.

ECN-Facilities
Different types of clients allow for users with a wide range of IT facilities & awareness.
Access & collaboration can be achieved using communication technologies ranging from the internet to the telephone network.

The infrastructure allows both automatic translation of content & distributed translations by multi-lingual users.
As it builds on existing IT initiatives so the developing cost is low.

Regulation is possible but not mandatory in this approach because ‘network effect’ fairly small number of individual produce high quality contents.

References
 • • • • • • • • References: Ministry of Human Resource Development-Data Pratham (A NGO)-Data NCERT-Data Department of education-Govt. of India-VidhyaVahini network & Data IBM-For ECN Model Angel Broking Consultancy & The Telegraph-Data ISRO-EDUSAT Internet-Other data & information

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