Technology in Education: Perspectives and Praxis

Educationists and practitioners explore the gaps between Ed-Tech policy and practice, especially in schools catering to children from marginalised communities
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This section is edited by L Devaki, Professor at the School of Education, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru.

Cowshed to QR codes

Cowshed to QR codes

Nine years ago, the government primary school in Paritewadi village, Solapur district, was located in a dilapidated building, sandwiched between a cattle shed and a store room. There was no electricity and hardly any students. The innovative use of ICTs has brought more children to school, got parents involved with education, and taken students on new journeys of learning across the world. The school’s teacher writes about his innovations with technology in education.

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Technology in the classroom: Insights from the Digital Equalizer programme

Technology in the classroom: Insights from the Digital Equalizer programme

Teachers are at the heart of the Digital Equalizer programme, which trains educators in the effective use of technology as a pedagogic tool, helping them bring creativity, diversity and real-life examples into the school curriculum through technology. The decade-old programme, spread over 15 states, has worked with over 89,000 teachers in government schools. DE’s internal assessment indicates that teachers in DE schools use technology in the classroom 2.5 times as much as non-DE schools.

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Between the technophiles and the sceptics: The view from the ground

Between the technophiles and the sceptics: The view from the ground

The foot soldiers of technology in education—including policymakers and bureaucrats—believe that the introduction of technology by itself will transform education. At the other end of the spectrum are teachers who are resistant to change. This article draws on the author’s field experiences in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and other states to discuss the enablers and barriers to implementing a successful ICT at School programme on the ground.

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Digital disparities: Children, school spaces and the internet

Digital disparities: Children, school spaces and the internet

The use of computers and internet for children is mediated more by the socioeconomic status of the family than the type of school they go to or the medium of instruction. This study of eight schools in Tamil Nadu points to sharp differences in the way children from elite, middle-income and disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds perceive and use computers and the internet. The study illustrates how socioeconomic backgrounds influence digital opportunities and disparities.

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What will it take to bring India’s children online?

What will it take to bring India’s children online?

Limited infrastructure, inequitable access to digital resources, and poor utilisation of digital resources in the education sector cause the digital exclusion of children in India. With a computer-student ratio of just 1:89 in India, initiatives such as Zero Connect–Wireless Agariyas employ vans equipped with antennae, solar panels and digital equipment to take internet connectivity and tablets to students of the Rann Shalas in the salt desert.

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Smart phones as educational tools: A reality check from rural India

Smart phones as educational tools: A reality check from rural India

The buzz about the great Indian digital revolution notwithstanding, a November 2017 survey in rural Karnataka indicates that while 49% of adults own a mobile phone, just 11% of these are smart phones. Twenty-five percent of children have access to smart phones, and of them, only 18% use the smart phone as an educational tool. The study offers a reality check on the access and use of smart phones in rural households, and the potential for use of smart phones in education at present.

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A digital survival kit: Re-imagining the curriculum for digital inclusion

A digital survival kit: Re-imagining the curriculum for digital inclusion

Most people today can get by with a peripheral engagement with digital technologies. In the future, however, all children who pass through the formal system of schooling would benefit from training that makes them discerning consumers and critical prosumers of digital technologies, gives wings to their creative imagination, and prompts them to grow into producers of ICT. This article proposes the objectives, content and context of a future-ready digital literacy curriculum for children

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Digital inclusion is more a problem of education than of technology

Digital inclusion is more a problem of education than of technology

In India, governments and schools view technology in education as a device to transmit knowledge, not as a way to help students generate knowledge through critical and creative thinking. For high-quality learning to occur, students must learn with technology rather than from it, and governments must go beyond making technology available in schools to working on the entire eco-space of technology and education.

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ICT in education: The rural challenge

ICT in education: The rural challenge

India can boast a gigantic telecom customer base, the world’s lowest call rates, the world’s cheapest mobile handset and most affordable 3G phone, but internet penetration in rural India is still around 20%, against 65% in urban India. So far, policymaking efforts have largely focused on overcoming infrastructural barriers to rural access. However, access to ICT devices and internet is only part of the problem of digital inclusion in rural India and rural schools

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The pedagogy of poverty and the digitisation of education

The pedagogy of poverty and the digitisation of education

The material and non-material dimensions of poverty, such as poor infrastructure, crowded environments, poor nutrition, social discrimination and reduced social capital, affect the socio-emotional development of children, and have negative consequences on the child’s performance in school. The government’s one-size-fits-all approach to education and to the digitisation of education, however, overlooks the complexity of the learning process for the urban poor

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ICT in schools: Panacea or pipe dream?

ICT in schools: Panacea or pipe dream?

ICTs are seen as the game changer in education. But are they? What actually occurs when technology meets the classroom in government schools, which cater to 53% of the 26 crore school-going children in India, most of them from poor and marginalised communities? The benefits of any technology flow through the power structures of a society. In a highly unequal society such as ours, ICTs in schools can widen social divides rather than bridge them.

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