Mumbai: An influx of free apps to make online learning more accessible is slowly transforming education in city colleges.
Academicians too are making efforts to bridge the gap between their technologically advanced students and traditional, blackboard learning.
Mangesh Karandikar, professor, Mumbai University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, has developed a free series of an Android apps called ‘EduSanchar’, which explains communication theories in easy to read formats.
“Communication theories are often difficult to understand. But such tools make them easier. Plus, it is a great way to revise before exams,” said Samantha D’souza, a BMM student from St Andrews College, Bandra. Priyanka Ketkar, a resident of Thane, gives French lessons to students in London via video chatting. “Though class room interactions are essential, online learning is convenient,” she said.
Recently, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT- B) tied up with EdX, a non-profit, to provide online versions of lectures held at IIT to non-IIT students. Before Edx, IIT-B had a centre for distance engineering education programme, called CDEEP.
“The lectures are very informative for students who couldn’t make it to IIT. The IITians who have missed a lecture can also listen to it online,” said Aman Chowdhery, a second year student at IIT-B. School education is not far behind. MT Educare, the parent company of Mahesh Tutorials, a coaching institute, has developed a unique e-learning tool called ‘Robomate’. “It’s a study friend for students who are shy and don’t ask doubts in class,” said Chhaya Shastri, director, MT Educare.
According to Basanti Roy, educationist and former secretary of the state board’s Mumbai division, technology and e-learning are needed to supplement education.
“The national policy is encouraging technological advancements in education. However, virtual mediums cannot replace class room interaction since it is very important for students to have peer groups and socialise,” said Roy.
TCS Insights: India is one of the largest consumers of distance education in the world. Canadian academic institutions can look to partner with Indian companies to deliver online courses across a broad range of sectors. Such courses and their assessment and training tools can be customised for corporations to enable employee recruitment and training, as well as generic courses for graduate/post graduate studies.