Introduction :Learning Processes using Electronic media through remote control equipment tend to be extremely complex but gaining popularity across the world. It is not too surprising to note that the existing research done in this field seems to be too scattered and dominated by more tangible issues such as content and learning platform design in a bottom-up approach. While initially this appears practical, I am convinced that advance learning platforms need to be designed to optimally support the underlying educational process in India specifically for the Rural schools , where the opportunity for getting quality education are scarce.
We must strongly believe that access to educational opportunities is a basic human right for all, not just a privilege for the few. Regardless of whether one is from a urban or rural sector, one is born in a city or a village, one’s status or location, all people should have access to the best education the world can provide. And I believe that the technology already exists to accomplish this goal–so together we can change the world.
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As a management strategist and educator with deep interest in significant and effective learning and have realized that neither learning paradigm in isolation can provide the support that educators require to implement effective blended learning scenarios. Rather, a socio- technical solution that co-considers educational concerns and technical support is needed in order to promote technology enhanced educational practices that are as intuitive and close to its users as possible.
But how can we bridge the wide gap between educational practices and learning. This research work intends to be based on the process based learning theories (top-down approach ). This research study proposes the Blended Learning System Structure (BLESS) model that introduces a layered architecture for decomposing the complexity inherent in the transition from courses their effective support by learning technologies.
Considering the economic conditions it is proposed that the research work shall be highlighted and emphasise the following factors: •Developing a low cost user friendly model i. e. , it will be a process driven and the facilitators ( shiksha karmi ) appointed in the village schools shall be able to give face-to face teaching support in the BLESS. •Standardization : It will be highly recommended that the system shall be standardized and same syllabus should be followed everywhere, however the language differences in different parts should be taken care of. Low cost training system for facilitators ( siksha karmi) •In particular , BLESS is intended to act as a reusable framework for decomposing complex blended learning process into smaller, more tangible and reusable learning activity pattern may subsequently be used to guide blended course design and effective use of learning technology. A large number of studies have been done in the west on BLESS but practically not much efforts are made in India to take advantage for the vast rural population.
I feel that in India we now require an education system at the primary level which should give more emphasis on visual displays and also the teaching methodology should be uniform and all schools in villages can avail high quality and standardized instruction sources through satellite transmissions. Similarly it is observed that in higher education especially in theory based courses i. e. , MBA the Faculty can connect the class rooms to the best Institutions in the world and get specialized lectures on specific topics or handle a case study along with the students of other top grade institutions etc.
Objective of the study : The objective of this research work will be a purely exploratory to develop a best methods for Indian students at the Primary Level to enhance the quality of Instructions, make education more interesting , more interactive, cost effective and high level of standardization in education through BLESS model to be specifically designed for Indian rural population in line with the objective of Indian government for compulsory education at the school level. For over 3000 years the “sage on a stage” most instructional approach has dominated human culture and education models.
Education is now emerging as schools, teachers and students have begun to utilize technology, open to all approach in education. Today technology can play a intense role in creating a education system converge to unite disparate and disconnected education systems into a single global learning platform. Such an effort to revolutionize education in India will not be possible without bringing together leaders in government, technology industry and education into a collective mission dedicated to realizing the vision of Educated India and learning for ALL.
The outcome we seek will benefit millions, tens of millions, in Indians. India will enjoy as a result of elevating education to be equal and accessible for all across cities, towns and villages. In essence this is a continuation of Gandhi’s struggle for equality and fairness for the people of India. The second objective is to reduce / nullify gap between the education standard between urban & Rural education system through uniform implementation of BLESS model. Elaborating and establishing relations with various strategic models under cost advantage and differentiation strategies for mass acceptance of the BLESS model.
To study the impact of BLESS for higher retention level, growth in interest level, enhancement in awareness level, ideal combination level of different approaches in new pedagogy i. e. Person Centred e-learning (PCeL), interactive class room e-learning & face-to-face. Sample study shall be done by questioner methods and demonstrations for collecting primary data. Hypothesis : (The real challenge) Today, India’s education system is designed to overload the pupils with too much ‘knowledge’ or theory and the focus is to enable them to improve their memory skills rather than enabling them to be innovative/creative/practical. . The current system is designed to create a hierarchical society, with only a small section scoring very high marks; the remainder gets fed up with the monotonous and irrelevant education system, forcing them to discontinue their studies. 2. India has made giant leaps in the field of telecommunication and technology. There is hardly any village in India which is left out from this excitement. This technology has not touched the education system to provide ‘remote teaching’ facilities or online knowledge sharing. 3.
The urban sectors are more concentrated on, whereas technology can touch lives and enable education across the rural sectors as well. 4. The cultural differences between the urban and rural sections of people in India; this creates barriers for people in the rural sector, who are more docile in nature and it takes great efforts for them to open up, answering in class, or making their ideas heard 5. The access to uniform teaching content, especially video and multi-media content will enable removal of disparities. This will neutralize the ill effects of absentee teachers (which is also a major problem in rural India). 6.
Limited access to technology, where only a few can afford. Other challenges before us : Primary and secondary education: Lack of access, quality and literacy Despite efforts to incorporate all sections of the population into the Indian education system, through mechanisms such as positive discrimination and non-formal education, large numbers of young people are still without schooling. Although enrolment in primary education has increased, it is estimated that at least 35 million, and possibly as many as 60 million, children aged 6–14 years are not in school. Severe gender, regional, and caste disparities also exist.
The main problems are the high drop-out rate, especially after Class 10, low levels of learning and achievement, inadequate school infrastructure, poorly functioning schools, high teacher absenteeism, the large number of teacher vacancies, poor quality of education and inadequate funds. Other groups of children ? at risk’, such as orphans, child-laborers, street children and victims of riots and natural disasters, do not necessarily have access to schools. Methodology: It seems clear from various discussion on the subject on learning theories that employing learning technology without any didactical or pedagogical baseline is a futile effort.
However, only few models or frameworks of making situated use of learning technology in learning scenarios are available and most of the experience reports and case studies in e-learning lack systematic evaluation: research and reports on effective use of learning technology are often traded for using or implementing improved technical features and platforms. The approach that shall be presented in the thesis shall be based on the belief that one of the most critical factors of successfully blending online with face-to-face learning is making situated and targeted, thus deliberate use of learning technology.
For example, using means of Computer – Mediated Communication, such as online discussion forums for preparation of meetings or workshops for shiksha karmies across the country or for a targeted audience. However acquiring comprehensive knowledge , experience, and a sense of which activities are suitable for what kind of online interaction, or which activities are preferably conducted face-to-face, is impossible to achieve within one or two application cycles. Therefore, under this research work, I will require to build awareness towards two basic dimensions of blended learning : 1.
Structural dimension : First, the structural ( vertical ) dimension will address the space between didactical considerations and the employment of Web technology for teaching and learning purposes. What lies between two ? How can we project and support learning activities on a learning platform in a situated way ? How can technology be employed to enrich learning process ? The current state of blended learning research resembles rather of experimentation : reports are mostly experienced based, deductive in reasoning and often lacking cues on how to generalize employed scenarios and conclusions to enable transfer to other domains.
The fundamental question, ” What is the added value for learning and how can that added value be achieved? ” , trends to be buried in a myriad of undoubtedly important but quite unstructured issues, ranging from finding identities in purely virtual networks over user interface issues to acceptable response times when downloading e-content from remote sites. While all these issues are essential in specific contexts, they need to be addressed more systematically and, whenever possible, features should be investigated and discussed in relationship to existing or new theories. . Dynamical dimention : Second, the dynamical ( horizontal ) dimension addresses the change that technology brings about for learning processes over time. Introducing blended learning is certainly not one – time effort. Rather, it follows an iterative, incremental process where technology should work as an enabler, with both established [ Rogers 1983 ], Schank 1997], and new, media – didactic learning theories [ Kerres and de Witt 2002 ], [ Myyer and Treichel 2003] acting as the primary drivers of change. This line of argumentation is currently gaining increasing support, e. . , [ Hamid 2002 ] record that “unfortunately… the emphasis on e-learning in the past has been on the …. technology. There is a need to shift the emphasis…… to the learning”. Population / Representative sample : The study will be based on a representative sample of schools in the rural area in west Bengal & also an elite school in Kolkata to check and evaluate differences that exist under different parameters. The representative sample size will be 1000 students from the rural and another 1000 from the urban area. Tools & Techniques :
Questionnaire shall be provided to children & shiksha karmies at the village level. Questionnaire shall be given to answer only after a demonstration is given through lap top/ LCD display with net connectivity. The following broad parameters shall be checked, analysed : •Percentage improvement/ decline in understanding a subject by using BLESS model •Percentage improvement / decline in creating interest on the subject matter •Percentage improvement / decline in retention level •Percentage improvement / decline in attendance by using BLESS model •Interest factors for shiksha karmies Interest factor of parents shall be studied through a separate survey method on a sample size of approximately 100 parents. Implication of study : Technology and Learning when together will majorly help improve many of the problems facing India by creating a complete education system -for every student, young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural. • Technology and Learning can enable education that is not anymore limited to a particular region or age group. • It will be learning anything, anytime, and anywhere from multiple authorities from the comfort of your home, village, town, city from any web-enabled device. It will be about playing exciting e-games that emphasize the topics key points you just watched or listened too. • It will be about students being able to earn and spend reward points for achieving goals and milestones, or completing assignments and connecting with others in virtual classrooms. • It will lend a helping hand in the process of identification of brilliant global students living in villages of India, based on their ability to interact within an intelligent e-learning environment. There will be new roles for schools – it can mean the end of thoughtless evaluation tests, grades and abusive certificates. Educational institutions, schools, colleges that will become the heaven for networking, knowledge application and mentoring. • There will be shift in learning, so will there be a change in the way schools and colleges operate. • Our teachers will become more focused on teaching problem solving techniques, critical thinking skills and social and interpersonal skills. • Teachers will no longer need to be experts in subject areas.
Instead experts will be delivering their thought and ideas directly to the students. • Teachers ( Shiksha karmi ) will become more like mentors and guidance counsellors to their students and as a result India will be able to train more teachers faster, and retain them, helping to increase the teacher to student ratio in classes. • It will then become easy to create and deliver a complete open course-ware online education media solution to any web enabled device. • It will provide tremendous efficiencies by allowing a global community of enthusiasts, teachers and practitioners to develop open course ware. It will eliminate the need to repeatedly create lesson plans, and local and regional control of educational content will become a thing of the past. • Just as communities of writers sort out topics on Wikipedia a community of global educators will sort out the order in which learning should progress for every subject. • There will be more avenues available to more people on job training and professional training programs that traditionally were limited to specialized organizations.