Technology-based learning devices in education are being commonly used in primary education in India. On the other hand, the EdTech has been introduced in the secondary and higher secondary schools but is yet to include a whole host of education technology-based learning devices and tools (Yadav, Gupta and Khetrapal, 2018). In terms of tools for education technology, they include gamification, simulation, digitized dialogues, and interactive whiteboards, among others (Shrivastav and Hiltz, 2013). Gamification involves the use of games (individual-based or group based) to create an engaging atmosphere where students can be taught.
Simulation is also another technology-based learning technique that involves the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) to have an interactive and engaging routine to teach students. Here, devices like Google Cardboard or any other VR headset can be used to mount smartphones for learning (Lone, 2017). This helps students understand better without having to rely on individual tutoring. Another device is interactive whiteboards, which can be used with projectors to project digital screen on the board in a classroom, enabling students to learn through audio-visual tools that can be seen on the board. EduComp specifically relies on this tool to further EdTech in many secondary and senior secondary schools in India. Also, the technology company Lenovo launched “Lenovo Slate”- an interactive tablet in collaboration with ConveGenius in 2017 (Raveendran, 2017).
Managing technology-based learning devices
The penetration of smartphones with internet connection boomed and have encompassed urban and rural geography of India. However, the quality of network access and infrastructural deficiencies make technology-based learning devices in secondary and higher secondary schools a sore point (Rajvanshi, 2017). Some private educational institutions have managed to provide its students with an above average technology-based learning devices experience, other private schools have managed to establish a good ICT infrastructure. In the case of government schools, however, network and infrastructure are not up to the mark (MHRD, 2018). In this case, teachers at these schools need to manage processes in a way to raise their voices and create an awareness of the need of ICT and digitized education system in their campus.
The Government of India is working to revamp the education sector through various schemes. One such scheme is Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) scheme, which involves the establishment of cloud computing and virtual reality-based processes to increase the use of technology in the education sector. The government, as of February 2018, have also kept aside a budget of INR 1 Lakh Crore for the same (Agarwal, 2018). Also, schools can enrol in the massive open online courses (MOOC) to better train their teachers and students as per the current standards of education. For enabling teachers to keep up with digital technology and help teach students through EdTech means, they can enrol themselves in courses such as “Swayam” and “Diksha”. These are teacher training courses meant to provide teachers with digital technology-based solutions for their classes and can help schools overcome their EdTech network (Pramanik, 2018).
Constraints that arise in device and network management
The transformation of traditional pedagogy to digitalized teaching has its limitations due to network coverage problems and infrastructural deficiencies (Rajvanshi, 2017). The country does have a 4G network by almost all network providers, but its coverage in urban regions is average at best and rural regions have still not gained good access to the 3G technology. Technology-based learning devices require a good level of network coverage, which will take time and pressure from the education, parent as well as social communities (Engineer, 2017). Another factor that has the ability to restrain the widespread technology-based learning process in schools is the lack of infrastructure or deficiency of infrastructure in schools. Remote regions, in this case, are most affected as unlike their urban counterparts, these regions do not have access to their network or infrastructure. Moreover, these regions may also suffer from average pedagogical processes in place (Ratrey, 2017).
Efforts are being made to convert teaching process from Blackboard to a digital board, and the government has already started an online skill updragation portal for teachers such as Diksha, Sankalp, Strive and Swayam (Agarwal, 2018). This is a right foot forward by the government to digitize education in India and help change the education ecosystem of the country.
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