|From the Director's Desk......|
By the time this issue of EduComm Asia reaches you, it is likely that the 14th Commonwealth Conference of Education Ministers is underway in Halifax, Canada from November 26 to 29, 2000. As important as the recently concluded Education For All meeting in Dakar, Senegal, this meeting of Commonwealth Ministers is of great importance, because never have the issues of education been so urgent and critical. For although today's society is rapidly changing; providing education in an equitable manner remains the perennial stumbling block, especially when one remembers that a large proportion of the disadvantaged, the deprived, and the dispossessed live in the Commonwealth of Nations.
If one argues that today's information and communication technologies offer us a chance to address the concerns of the silent majority of the poor, we must then, redefine our mission, recognize our strengths and limitations and in fact, undertake an exercise in introspection to determine if and where we have gone wrong. For this reason, in this issue of EduComm Asia, we bring you the first part of a lecture by Prof. R. V. R. Chandrasekhara Rao, delivered as part of the Ram Reddy Endowment Lecture series. In a thought provoking piece, Prof. Rao dares us to think differently.
We profile Malaysia's Multimedia University and in our case study, we focus on a distance education programme for pre school education in Sri Lanka. In our section on Technology tracking, we examine an interactive software programme. Other information about websites, regional events, and forthcoming meetings are also described.
As a new feature from this issue, we shall be bringing you a book review on a new topic relating to our field of endeavour, communication technologies in development and education. We hope you will find such information has some added value to your reading and writing. If you come across any interesting information, case study, article, website, please be sure to write to us so that we may disseminate the same to others in Asia.
A new feature at CEMCA is that we are also available on line. All information about CEMCA and its services is available free at our website: www.cemca.org. Our data base of audio and video programmes have also been web enabled; as also old and current issues of EduComm Asia.
After two years at CEMCA, I am now confident that we are beginning to meet the specific media needs of educational institutions in this region. To a large extent, this is because of the constant feedback 1 received from all of our readers. We welcome your suggestions and comments; these will help us to refine our work better.
|Dr. Usha Vyasulu Reddi|
Prof. R. V. R. Chandrasekhar
Prof. R. V. R. Chandrasekhar Rao is an eminent
academician, former Vice-Chancellor and ex- Director, Asia Programmes at COL.
In this edited version of Prof. Raos discourse at the G. Ram Reddy memorial lecture in July, we have tried to capture the essence of his argument on the relationship between information, knowledge, wisdom and the informational society.
This is the first part of his lecture. The second part will appear in our next issue.
The subject I have chosen to speak on may not directly relate to open learning or distance education and this may be construed as rather unconventional for the occasion. Yet my plea is that the transformation of the nature of the learning process in the contemporary decades has had an intense impact both on the methodologies of learning and the contents of what is to be learnt. Further, the late Prof. G. Ram. Reddy whose memory we commemorate today, was as much interested in the wider reaches of the learning endeavour as he was with distance education.
The global reorientition of thinking about learning is so metamorphosed in recent years and the emphasis laid on the 'subject' or 'agent' of the learning process is so sustained that phrases like 'learner-oriented education; 'learning society' 'life-long learning' abound in the discourse in education in general. Correspondingly there is the accompanying linkage with the technological revolution as being at once the cause and consequence of this metamorphosis in learning. It is in the context of the linkage between learning and technology that the challenges and opportunities for open learning come into focus. Among the many puns that the concept of open learning is subject to I would like to add yet another contemporary society is the 'open sesame for learning.
Essentially the information revolution is identified as knowledge-based. The very word 'information' in the phrase informational age connotes this. But is this age entitled to be called knowledge- based? We will deal with this briefly before we go into what is information society.
A classification of the concepts of information and knowledge is very essential in this context. Those with literary and philosophical sensibilities would demur at the pairing of those two words Information; and Knowledge in a complementary sense. After all the ringing lines of Eliot: " where is the wisdom that we lost in knowledge; where is the knowledge we lost in information" are too pressing to ignore the hierarchy in which Eliot arranged them. But, then in the secular and even the materialist mindsets that condition our contemporary scientific and sociological discourse, the complementary and even the near-identity of knowledge and information is to be taken for granted. Still, fine distinctions are drawn between the two.
Machlup simply defines information 'as the communication of knowledge'. Here the definition of knowledge is broadened almost making knowledge and information congruent. Porat proposed that information is "data that have been organised and communicated." What is an informational society and how does it differ from information society? The distinction between the information society and informational society is critical to the proper understanding of our subject. Castles argues that " The term information society emphasizes the role of information in society. But I argue that information, in its broadest sense, e.g., as communication of knowledge, has been critical in all societies...." In contrast, the term informational indicates the attitude of a specific form of social organization in which information generation, processing and transmission become the fundamental sources of productivity and power because of new technological conditions emerging in the historical period"
To further, appreciate the interface between the information technology revolution and education, it is useful to note how the I.T. paradigm is characterized. Adapting the classic analysis of scientific revolutions adapted by Thomas Kuhn, the notion of the technological paradigm is analyzed by recent writers as consisting of five characteristics:
1.Information is the new material for the IT paradigm: there are technologies to act on information, not just information to act on technology, as was the case inthe previous technological revolution.
2.The pervasiveness of the effects of new technologies is the second feature.
3.The third characteristic refers to the networking logic of any system using these new information technologies.
4.The information technology paradigm is based on flexibility. Not only are processes reversible, but also organizations and institutions can be modified and even fundamentally altered.
5.The growing convergence of specific technologies constitutes another feature. Thus microelectronics, telecommunications and computers are all now integrated into information systems.
The multi-faceted nature of the interaction between the new technologies and the learning process can easily be discovered. The important question is whether technology determines society. Even if it does not do so, society does not unilaterally script the course of technological change. A complex pattern of interaction underlies their relationship. The point is that the contemporary technotronic revolution makes this dialectic interface even more interesting.
It is in the context of this that the implications of the learning process become evident. When the physical processes involved in learning undergo change because of transformation of technology, the impact of the latter on the means and ends of learning become even more manifest. And it is with this problem that we are concerned.
Learning/ Education in the Informational Society
The intrusion and penetration of I.T. into offices and homes has had an exponential impact. Such an impact, quantitatively speaking, may yet not be as immediately felt in developing societies as the impact of old-fashioned technologies is felt. But when we take the pace and intensiveness of the impact in the area where IT is penetrating, then the nature of the impact or the push-factor on learning becomes more evident. For, the reception of IT in business and industry, the service industries, and even in the government office floors is witnessing an algebraic progression. The requirement of IT skills and capabilities is so immediate and pressing that the nature of acquisition of knowledge has already exhibited a transformation from what it was only a decade ago, even in the developing societies. Schools vie with each other to introduce computer awareness courses and even computer-based learning in established conventional courses. Software development in this area is an important priority of computer firms. Secondary schools adopt a computer-based curriculum, and at the tertiary stage there is a veritable rush to replace, at least partially, traditional humanities and social science programmes, (and even pure science courses) with computer applications programmes. Manpower requirements from the engineering streams of technical institutions are relegating civil and mechanical graduates to a corner unless upgradation of qualifications by acquiring electronics and computer programmes is also accomplished.
Retraining and Detraining: Imperatives
At the business and industry work-force level, I.T. virtually converts the need for general education into the need for retaining, involving even detraining of past skills. If retraining the workforce consists in the policy of training, training willy nilly becomes equivalent to education and together their end goal in its turn is employment. No wonder some countries renamed their formal educational ministries as Ministries of Employment, as is the case of Britain. Thus, while the next generation of the workforce is being initiated to familiarize and learn new technologies, the current generation is under the threat of becoming obsolescent and hence under constant pressure to unlearn past skills and learn new ones. So much so that what has come to be called as human resource development (HRD) now comes under the purview of formal learning. It is precisely at this point that open learning or distance education comes to play its special role, in addition to discharging its first generation role as a second chance channel to offer traditional educational programmes in tandem with the channel of conventional universities. The standing forth for human resource development revolutionizes the opportunities for open learning. For instance, the Indian Policy Document on education envisioned in 1986, incorporates for the first time HRD as of special concern for distance education thus commissioning open learning with an overcharging mandate.The uniqueness underlying the HRD concepts and its interface with the new socio-economic implications to learning and economic productivity require a brief survey of the origins of the concept.
Human Resource Development: A new premium on the new paradigm in learning:
The concept secured its recognition when the U.S. economist Theodore Schultz analyzed educational expenditure as a form of investment.. Others followed this up. The pivot of this thesis is that "Investment in human capital produces benefits both to the individual and society as a whole. The individual takes part in education or vocational training by increasing his or her chance of employment and by increased life-time earnings. The costs and benefits of education also affects society as a whole, since society benefits from the increased productivity of educated workers through out the world". The cost and benefits to society can be compared by means of the social rate of return.
'The social rate of return' can be called the profitability of learning and this learning. Research on the productivity of different levels of education and training, and the question of relative yield of investment in human capital and physical capital has yielded very interesting results, though fierce debate among education economist still persists in this area.
Vocational Education and Skills Acquisition:
On the question of education and economic productivity the trend towards the vitalization of vocational orientation had been noticed even before the IT revolution. The IT revolution has both quantitatively and qualitatively pushed the trend further.
Vocational education is now appropriately distinguished from technical education. While technical education is defined as development of skills and knowledge to be applied in practical situations, vocational education is signified as demonstrated and acknowledged development of knowledge skills and attitudes necessary for a place in the workforce at level ranging from pre-trade to para professional. Prof. V.C. Kulandai Swamy, building on the above differentiation, concluded "From the point of view of distance education one may generalize that the difference between vocational and technical education is one of the difference in providing opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills. The skill component is more prominent in vocational education than in technical education." Because the informational society demands greater and quicker adoption of and adaptation to skills, and these further require a higher level of comprehension the appreciation of skills with what we usually call knowledge, the latter element also enters into the picture.
Among methodologies of education, the option of distance education stands out as the foremost. To this audience one cannot overstate this particular development. The very concept of open learning as an answer to the solution to the challenge of contemporary learning requirements is a recognition of its viability and sustainability. Correspondingly, pedagogical theory itself has put a premium on learning-oriented acquisition of knowledge and skills, and in so doing has supplied theoretical imprimatur to new learning. The surprise is that the methodology of distance education, like all revolutionary changes that lie unmanifest in slow incremental changes that precede them, had taken a long time in finding reception, though it galloped when once it established its credentials.
The mention of innovations in education and education technology should hasten me to mention the unredeemable debt that both learning and technology owe to Michael Young well before the rise of the informational society, Young, among his myriad initiatives in education, social research and social defense, visualized the marriage of technology and social empowerment.
If you have the technology without the face-to-face groups, then in educational teams nothing much may happen. If you have the groups without the technology, something will happen, but it will often happen better with broadcasting. For there is technical knowledge available which can raise the quality of life for millions of people and increase the control they have on their own lives, if the knowledge is made more easily available.
Young's vision by now has been vindicated in ways unimaginable only a few decades ago thanks to the informational revolution.
In 1992 Rumble and Oliveira noted "Pedagogic technical developments, including educational radio from the 1940s, educational television (ETV) from the mid 1950s and 1960s, audio and video cassettes (in 1970s and 1980s) resulted in a wave as media and resource-based learning was incorporated into traditional educational programmes, first under the guise of innovation and through pilot projects, and increasingly as a matter of routine. These developments made the distinction between distance and conventional education less clear-cut. The move made so many distance systems use face-to-face tuition as a subsidiary part of their pedagogic strategy."
Of course, not all countries can afford the luxury of use of this comprehensive educational technology. The developing countries are still prone to the lag-factor. Paradoxically though studies confirm that developing countries' investments in education are more and also yield better results than those in developed countries. Mobilizations of upto date technologies, however, tell a different story. John R. Arblaster has argued that "My experience in this regard is that the potential applications of technology in learning process are far ahead of the distance education's comfort in applying them, the teaching faculty's wishes, and the learning needs. Therefore, technology decisions should be taken with great care, because often unless the right conditions prevail, they can mean great expense with little value added to the quality or quantity of the distance education experience for learner"
End of Part I
Multimedia University Malaysia
Formely known as Unversity Telekom (Unitele), Multimedia University (MMU) is currently operational with two campuses; in Cyberjaya and in Melaka. Multimedia University (Cyberjaya Campus) is located strategically at the heart of Cyberjaya, Malaysia's first multimedia intelligent city created in a strategic, privileged location with advanced infrastructure within a eco - friendly environment that forms the nucleus of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).
Multimedia University (Cyberjaya Campus) is purposely built to conduct a spectrum of information technology and multimedia - based courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels through its four Faculties; Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Information Technology and Faculty of Management. With all the advantages of high technology, the University is equipped with various intelligent features such as high speed ATMs, multimedia learning facilities, intelligent building systems, electronic governance, digital library and an integrated campus management system.
One of the primary roles of the University is to support the growth and success of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project. Combining computer and web - based interactive learning, extensive research and in - depth programmes in a conducive environment for teaching and research, Multimedia University will produce graduates with specialised knowledge and multi - skilled in the fields of multimedia and advanced technology.
Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Information Technology
Faculty of Creative Multimedia
Faculty of Engineering and Technology
Faculty of Information Science and
Pre-University / Matriculation Technology
Faculty of Business and Law
Multimedia University offers students the benefits of
pursuing higher education in a thriving educational environment. Study opportunities
available are undergraduate program, postgraduate program and distance education.
Computer & Digital Art Faculty of Engineering & Technology( Multimedia University -Melaka Campus )
B. Eng. (Hons)
Electronics Majoring in Telecommunications
Electronics Majoring in Computer
Faculty of Information Technology
( Multimedia University -Cyberjaya Campus )
B. IT (Hons) majoring in
Information Systems Engineering
Multimedia Technology Management
BMM (Hons) majoring in
Software & Animation
Software Engineering & Games Design
Faculty Of Creative Multimedia
( Multimedia University -Cyberjaya Campus )
BSc. (Media) (Hons) majoring in
Film and Animation
Apart from the above mentioned programmes, MMU offers various other courses.
Student Admission and Scholarship Division Multimedia University Jalan Multimedia,
Tel : 03 - 8312 5090 / 5095 / 5097
|Case Study .....|
THE CERTIFICATE IN PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION IN SRI LANKA:
A case study by Dr. (Ms) W.A.R Wijeratne
The Open University of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the first courses at the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) was the ongoing programme for the Certificate in pre-school Education (C.pr. Ed.).
Teaching in this programme (C.Pr.Ed.) was conducted during weekends on a face-to-face classroom basis. The methodology consisted of direct teaching, workshops and practical work in preparing teaching aids and teaching in pre-schools and project work in the form of preparation of a handbook on pre-school education. The administration of this programme (C.Pr.Ed.) was handed over to the newly established Open University of Sri Lanka in 1981.The original programme of study has undergone many developmental changes with a view of transforming it into the distance teaching mode.
This programme is designed and implemented to achieve the following aims:
1. provide education and initial practical experience to pre-school teachers, educate the creche managers and care takers of children in child care and development and expose them to practical experience, and to create parental awareness in early childhood care and education.
The major target group consists of pre-school teachers who have not received any formal professional education and training relevant to their profession.
The curriculum is organised under the following topics in two major areas.
1. Child psychology
2. Principles of education
3. Development of language
4. Development of mathematical concepts
5. Development of manipulative skills
6. Exploration of the envioronment
7. Home and school relationship
8. Creative / Aesthetic activities
9. Organisation and management of pre-schools and creches
10. Child health and nutrition
11. Integrative approach to teaching
Practical work in pre-schools (observation and teaching
) and home based practical work.
Practical work is an integral component in any teacher education programme. Accumulation of knowledge by learning the theoretical contents alone will not in any way make a competent teacher. The teachers need to be able to put theory into classroom practice in dealing with young children and doing activities with them and also helping them in their problems and managing the total pre-school situation.
Delivery mode and its characteristic features
The programme is delivered through the distance mode. study materials are produced mainly in the form of print material. A supplementary limited number of audio and video programmes are available in the main library in Colombo and in regional centres.
A limited number of contact sessions (10-12) are held at the regional / study centres, where the number of student attendance exceeds 15.
Credit Rating and Duration of the Programme
The total curriculum contents covers two credits spread over a minimum duration of one academic year. One credit carries a total study time of 450 hours including the time spent for all coursework, practical work, attending Day Schools and answering assignments.
Evaluation of student performance
Student performance is evaluated through continuous assessment and final evaluation.
Continuous evaluation is done by way of take-home assignments that are to be submitted according to a given schedule. These are evaluated and returned to the students with comments made by the tutor and the grade indicated on the assignment sheet. This continuous assessment procedure serves two purposes. One is the instructional purpose. The comments given by the tutor / examiner serves as feedback to the students to correct any mistake and improve their knowledge. The other purpose is assessment of the progress made by the student. The student becomes aware of his/her achievement according to the grade marked on the assignment sheet.
A percentage of the marks obtained is added on to the final examination marks of the respective course.
The composite mark for all the courses calculated by adding 30% of the continuous mark to 70% of the marks for the final examination in the respective courses determine the criteria for the final award. A student has to obtain pass marks in all the courses including practical work to be eligible for the award of the Certificate in pre-school education.
The clientele of this programme is varied and widely spread in different parts of the island. The majority of them are either teachers in pre-schools or those who look forward to start a career in teaching in pre-schools or managing a day care centre. Some of them look forward to finding employment overseas in the same field. The remaining section of the clientele consists of parents familyelders and primary school teachers. The age of the client group range from 18 years to 60 in rare cases, But the majority are between 18 and 30 years of age. The vast majority of them are females. There have been instances of a few male students, and also priests and nuns (both Buddhist and Christian) following this programme of study.
Openness and distance mode
Heterogenous group of students are drawn towards this programme mainly because of the openness and the distance mode of delivery. Flexibility at the entry point is a great relief for students who, for various reasons have not been able to get higher qualifications with employable skills, while the distance mode did away with the barriers caused by the distance from home to the providing institution.
Relevant curriculum contents provided value and added clientele. Educating the young child is a collective responsibility of the community. Parents and the average adult have reached different levels of education in different subject areas and they also can claim to be educated citizens. But all of them need this knowledge as parents, teacher, care-takers of young children. Therefore this programme of study justifies its role as an agent of empowerment through knowledge specially in the area of educating and bringing up young children.
Educating the young child is a collective responsibility of the community.
Human resources development
This programme of study opens up avenues of employment to those school leavers who look forward to a professional qualification. As it is the only pre- school education programme administered by a university that has a special recognition within the country as well as overseas. Many of the students who successfully complete this programme in the English medium go for overseas employment as nursery teachers. This qualification helps the clients to be self-employed by setting up their own pre schools in their own locality
There area number of constraints in making the best out of this programme. The number of study centres where the programme is active are limited due to resource constraints, its success, despite severe constraints is because the course content is real based, i.e. reluctant shortage of tutors to serve at specially for the practical work which is a compulsory component of the curriculum. As such there has been instances when the OUSL could not respond to the needs of all those who request the opportunity. Sufficient use of AV media to compensate for the mentioned resource constraints too was not available
for the same reasons. Within such constraints, this programme has been successful in producing an average of over 200 qualified persons per year (refer table 1)
|Year No.||Enrolled No.||Passed|
|1997-98||475||Result not declared|
This is a satisfactory achievement when compared with
the enrolment in a distance teaching programme where entry requirements are minimal. A
lower rate of success is indicated only in one instance (1994-95).
This programme of study was selected for a case study because of the characterstic features of open / distance education in its implementation and also because of the common features in aspects of human resources development, training, and non-formal / community education embedded in it.
Radio listening has increased: PBC
Radio Pakistan is the prime source on information and entertainment for nearly ten million Pakistanis, almost 34 per cent of the country's adult population. This was stated by a spokesman for the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC). This, he said, was based on a survey conducted by Gallup of Pakistan to assess the number of radio listeners and the type and pattern of radio listening in the country.
This increase in radio listening, he added, was mainly attributable to wide-ranging reforms and improvements brought about in the programme fare and news presentation as indeed in the working environment for both employees and artists of the PBC.
The PBC had set for itself a new vision to meet the
challenges of cultural and political invasion unleashed by foreign broadcasting stations,
The first cultural radio channel in the SAARC (South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation) was launched in February in Sri Lanka.
This channel, named Visiral, has as its main objective the protection of the cultural heritage of the country. It will be aiming to make listeners aware of different subcultures such as rural, urban, coastal and upcountry.
Visira cultural radio is sponsored by the Central
Cultural Fund in collaboration with Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Ministry of
Cultural and Religious Affairs.
Human Development-The Top Agenda
South Asian Governments should give attention to stop the decline in governance, a conference on human development has said.
The four-day conference on human development in South Asia was reportedly organised by the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, in memory of Mahboob ul Haq, the architect and pioneer of the UNDP's Human Development Index on Bangladesh.
The conference was attended by over 200 participants and called for an aggressive forging of the South Asian identity and solidarity for promotion of peace in the region.
Human development must be placed high on the political agenda of Governments in the region as a fitting tribute to Mahboob ul Haq, the participants said.
A statement adopted at the end of the conference appealed that the new millennium should begin with "all out efforts to promote human development and eradicate ignorance, disease, gender inequality and all kinds of social exclusion.'
This must involve fighting against bad governance and working towards better understanding and cooperation between Governments, the voluntary sector and South Asian people. These steps were needed to strengthen democratic institutions, create and sustain employment, eliminate deprivation, develop resources, improve productivity of resources, and quality of life and pave the way for a new era of growth and prosperity based on equity, justice and human dignity for all.
The vital parameters crucial to the region like health, education, gender inequality, governance and peace were discussed in detail.
The need for South Asia to make efforts to eradicate illiteracy and provide an adequate level of education to all its citizens was stressed.
Governments were advised to "reduce unproductive wasteful expenditure and find the means to provide universal primary education to the young by taking the help of voluntary and international organisations.'
They were also urged to strengthen their efforts to
provide proper health care, safe drinking water, shelter and food security to the entire
population. eco-friendly food and health policies suited to local conditions.
Source: University News
IGNOU-Army Education Project
The Indian Army signed an MOU with IGNOU for undertaking a joint project to be known as AIEP through its HRDCs at its Headquarters Commands located at, Pune, Calcutta, Lucknow Chandigarh and Udhampur. According to the MOU, IGNOU will provide developed programmes in bulk to the Army, while the Army will admit and provide Student Support Service to the learners on behalf of IGNOU.
IGNOU will give a lump-sum grant on per student per
programme basis to the HRDC for meeting expenditure on management and academic support at
the rates to be fixed by IGNOU.
Asean Cartoonists form association
The Asean Cartoonist Association was launched in March in Kuala Lumpur to forge better understanding and communication between cartoonists in the region.
Cartoonists from the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia attended the symposium organized by the Selangor and Wilayah Persekutum Cartoonist Association (Pekartun) and sponsored by the Japanese foundation.
"There are already such bodies in the US and in Europe and we want to have the same here' Pekartun president Zainal Buang Hussein said.
'The communication can help improve our quality,' Indonesian political cartoonist G.M. Sudarta pointed out.
'There is also the issue of copyright of cartoons which still belongs to publishers,' he added.
Virtual Classroom Programme
The Union Minister of Environment and Forests, Mr. T.R. Balu, is reported to have announced that Rs. 1 crore would be sanctioned for installing LCD projection system in 50 schools of South Chennai Parliamentary constituency.
Inaugurating the 'Virtual class- room programme' at the Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School, Saidapet,
Mr. Balu, who represents South Chennai in Parliament, said Rs. 32 lakhs had already been allotted from the MP Area Development Fund for the programme.
The Chennai Mayor, Mr. M.K. Stalin, who presided, said the 'Virtual Classroom' facility had been extended to 19 Corporation higher secondary schools and other Government and aided schools in the constituency.
Browsing the websites of various newspapers and using both Tamil and English language are some of the utilities of the programme launched in the country.
'Links' to selective sites, 'question and answers' for the students, 'ask your teacher' to clarify the doubts of students, 'students forum' to interact with each other, 'test yourself' to gauge one's knowledge level with model question papers are the facilities made available at the website.
Special Needs Education Centre
An International Centre for Special Needs Education is being established in New Delhi with UNESCO assistance. The Centre is being established to facilitate access to quality education to children and young people with disabilities.
It will serve as a knowledge bank of research and innovative practices based on the principle of inclusive education. The Centre will also help to train and build capacity among teachers, educators, administrators and managers, and network with similar institutions in the region and beyond.
The decision to establish the Centre was taken at a two-day regional workshop which brought together delegates from Australia, Bhutan, Maldives, Indonesia and India, convened by UNESCO and NCERT, and was the fruit of a resolution moved by India at UNESCO's 1997 General Conference, seeking UNESCO's help in establishing such a Centre.
Children with disability (CWD) and others with learning problems need additional teaching and educational facilities than those generally provided by schools.
It is estimated that upto 20% school children may need special help at some stage in their school careers.
With more than 30 million disabled children in India alone who need to be schooled, the Asia- Pacific region has the largest population of disabled children in the world. However, in the initial two years; the emphasis will be on SAARC countries.
The Centre will be located in NCERT, New Delhi. Its mission will be-among others-to identify and prepare.(and help countries of the region to prepare), databases and a directory of re- source persons in Inclusive Education; collect data on CWD; run sensitizing campaigns among educators, administrators and managers; train teachers and prepare curricula/modules for such training; and hold orientation courses for administrators to enable them to draw action plans for their districts and communities.
The Centre will receive a grant of US $260,000 from
UNESCO. The Govt. of India has committed Rupees one crore, towards its establishment.
Source: University News
Enhancing Vocational Skills: Interactive Media Training
Interactive software is out there and its not just for kids. One of the most useful applications for multimedia (videos and CD-ROM) is skill enhancement and training.
Instructional CDs and videos have, in recent times, become a valuable tool to professionals who need their employees to be trained in specialized fields and practices.
They are also excellent resources for those who wish to hone their own job skills or perhaps update their current knowledge. For these purposes, there are several companies that specialize in providing these educational materials and they range from all types of professions to generalized self-improvement.
One of the most demanding areas for skill training and assessment is the technical field.
Here are just a few of the many products out there that are geared towards the mechanically and technically inclined professions.
Automation Studio (www.ttaweb.com) is a technical and interactive CD package, which trains individuals in circuit design and automation technology.
The software package is designed so users are able to outline, simulate, and animate their own circuits while using various methods of electrical controls, including hydraulics and pneumatics.
This is a tool that can be utilized by engineers, teachers and students alike. Automation Studio is available in multiple languages as well (English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, and Por tuguese).
Aircraft Systems Review (www.nolly.com/asrv.html) provides videos that can be used in order to train pilots on unfamiliar aircraft or allows those in the aviation field to refresh their current systems knowledge. The videos incorporate one-on-one instruction with visual explanations and procedures, which are viewed from a pilot's perspective. These videos are also "generic" in the sense that they can be used universally despite an individual trainee's airline affiliation.
TPC Training Systems (www.tpctraining.com) offer an extensive video and interactive CD library. They specialize in machine and mechanical training and have been responsible for training over 3 million employees with their products. Their training videos cover topics such as: Reading blueprints, schematics, and symbols; electronics and digital electronics education; engine mechanics, hydraulics, and even heavy machinery use. TCP also offers training CDs that cover Process instrumentation, mechanics maintenance, and air conditioning/refrigeration systems. These CDs are user friendly and incorporate full program narration, detailed graphics, and several quizzes, automated tests, and sections where the user can interact with the software.
Medical training is another area in which interactive and self-training products are in wide use. Medical practitioners and students going into those fields are able to sharpen their skills by using visual tools that allow them to view details and solve simulated problems.
The University of Washington has a series of interactive CDs called the TUTOR
series (www.labmed.washington.edu/tutor/products). These CDs cover several different aspects of evaluating medical data and train individuals on how to interpret multiple results.
ElectrophoresisTUTOR, for example, is an interactive computer program that teaches electrophoresis interpretations of proteins in various body fluids. The CD, by using illustrations, charts, and tables, is useful for instructing initial students or evaluating competency levels. Another example in this series is Phlebotomy TUTOR. This program simply trains individuals in the appropriate methods and techniques of taking blood from a patient.
PedsLink (www.pedslink.com), a resource for pediatric healthcare, produces a series of training videos geared towards home health clinicians and nurses who are in charge of providing care for infants and children with various illnesses.
Videos, such as Home Phototherapy for Infants, use hands on training that take the care provider step-by-step through treatment methods and assessments, and use specific procedural demonstrations. The films cover multiple topics that can be reviewed as many times as necessary.
General Skill Training
There are also several multimedia tools to train individuals in universal skills. These are videos and CDs that can be valuable to anyone going into any field or business.
Glencoe Online (www.glencoe.com) is a source of several tools for non-college related, post-secondary education. One of which is The Job Interview CD-ROM.
This is an interactive guide that trains job seekers in all aspects of the interviewing process. The CD also provides information on commonly asked interview questions and gives advice on how one should respond. The CD utilizes video clips depicting job interview scenarios, narration, tips, and questions in order to reinforce concepts that are vital to having a successful interview.
BrainwareMedia (www.Brainware-tm.com) offers several videos and CDs for business and managerial training. Many of these, though, can be useful to everyone. The Art of Communication is an interactive CD-ROM that allows individuals to improve their communication skills and their ability to effectively get their message across. The Art of Communication features advice, interactive role playing using common, everyday situations and self-assessment exercises that allow the user to figure out how they communicate.
This is ideal for any individual who is faced with giving presentations, public speaking, or just communicating with people in general.
Finally, Brainware also offers a training video on how to train using videos!
How to Train with Video takes you step by step through the process of selecting the appropriate videos for any purpose. It also gives ideas on interesting and insightful ways of incorporating videos into everyday instruction or training programs. The video describes how to motivate people into learning on their own with interactive training, as well.
There are several options out there for post-secondary, vocational, and skills training. Utilizing audio/visual technology in order to stimulate trainees, or yourself even, can be, not only a more exciting way of learning, but also a more effective way. Learning as you go enables you to work at your own pace and review material as you see fit. Interactive CD training may also provide simple lectures or textbooks. As technology advances, multimedia applications may just become a standard in all areas of job training and general skills education.
The Crank Radio: No Electricity, No Batteries
One evening, in 1993, Trevor Baylis, an English inventor, watched a television program about educating Africans about AIDS. The TV commentator observed that in many regions radio was the only available media, but the need for batteries or electricity made them too expensive or too difficult to access. There was, therefore, the need for an educational tool neither print nor electricity-based. Within 3 months, Trevor invented a clockwork (windup) radio!
The crank radio is solar powered as well as self powered. It needs no batteries or electricity to work. It winds up and one full crank can last an hour. The crank motion creates tension in a clock-like spring that powers the generator in the radio that, in turn, provides electricity. The solar panel stores the energy for the radio. In direct sunlight, the radio switches to solar power automatically.
We know that radio is accessible to many, but the question is, how accessible is it really? Radios that use electricity are the most common and probably the least troublesome in that they can be used day or night without the fear that the batteries will run out. Transistor radios, for example, are inexpensive and run on electricity. The problem is that for many, electricity is simply not available, but does that mean that radio instruction is not either? The use of batteries is a practical solution but they too can be a limited resource. Often, batteries are too expensive, particularly if it means sacrificing more immediate needs such as food or clothing. Wind-up solar powered crank radios may be the answer to these problems and more. With one crank, these radios can last an hour. If in the sun, they automatically use solar energy to function.
This type is somewhat expensive as far as radios are concerned, in the long run, it pays off in that it does not consume electricity or batteries.
The transistor radio has been one of the greatest
innovations and now is the solar-powered crank. In the near future, we may begin to see
digital radios and digital recording devices used in the classroom where interactivity,
yet again, takes on a new definition. Students and teachers will be able to be truly
interactive by digitally sending messages to one another. Radio may turn out to be one of
the most cost-effective technologies in the future to reach a global audience in need of
knowledge and education.
MEDLIB: An Electronic Media Library Management Software which automates cataloguing, classifying and storage and retrieval of Audio and Video Programmes including stockshots..
Centres producing audio and video programmes, are faced with a daily problem of inventory of tapes and other non-print materials, storage and retrieval of programmes and stock shots for capsuling and production. It is essential for any production centre which cries out for computerization and yet, there seems to be no standard software for ready use.
CEMCA in collaboration with EMPC, IGNOU had taken the
initiative to create a specially designed software for non-print audio and video resources
and commissioned INFOTEL, India to do the task. Called MEDLIB, this software is a
specially designed software on a Windows platform, fully Y2K compliant, easy to use,
enables search on a large number of parameters, from title, content, subject, producer,
It also enables classification and cataloguing of stock shots, helps your media librarian in classification of programmes, inventory, issue and retrieval, preparation of progress reports and helps your producer to search for stock shots and determine quality of stored material. The software is priced at Rs 20, 000 for educational institutions. For your evaluation, M/S INFOTEL SOFTWARE, can provide you with a demonstration CD on request.
For Detailed Information contact:
Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for ASIA ( CEMCA ),
52,Tughlakabad Inst. Area,
New Delhi Fax: 91 11 6085208 Tel: 91 11 6096730
e-mail : email@example.com
M/S INFOTEL SOFTWARE
F-18B , Saket
New Delhi 110017.
Tel : 011 6567308 Fax : 011 6858412
Workshop on Developing Multimedia Courseware for Distance Education
University Computer Centre, Osmania University, Hyderabad
The workshop aims to familiarize participants with the design and development of multimedia courseware for both stand alone and internet technology. The key objective of the workshop would be to help participants produce one multimedia lesson by the end of workshop.
January 15 - February 9, 2001
RIDE 2000 (Research in Distance Education), Management Centre, Deakin University, Austrailia
The issues addressed will focus on research practices, methodologies and findings in open, flexible and distance education.
December 5-7, 2000
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Annual Conference,University of Leicester UK
It aims to improve the quality of higher education through the encouragement of debate and publication on issues of policy, on the organisation and management of higher education institutions, and on the curriculum, teaching and learning methods.
December 19-21, 2000
Contact : email@example.com
International Conference on Quality Issues in the Delivery of Education for All, Particularly with reference to Open Basic Education. Hyderabad, India
The Conference would discuss, examine and define issues that contribute to quality in the delivery of Basic Education and Literacy Training in general, and particularly in relation to Open Schooling
The Conference would discuss, examine and define issues that contribute to quality in the delivery of Basic Education and Literacy Training in general, and particularly in relation to Open Schooling.
January 16-19, 2001
International Research Seminar on Indicators of Quality Education at Elementary Stage
The NCERT announces the Sixth International research seminar on indicators of Quality Education at the Elementary Stage to be held at New Delhi.
December 13-15, 2000
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
|Book Review .......|
Information and Communication Technology in
Development--Cases from India
Dr. Kiron Bansal The rapid strides in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have led to a growing
interest in the potential of technology for development. Information on this vital issue
is largely scattered and needs to be collated for wider readership. The book under review
fills this gap by bringing together varied cases on the successful implementation of ICT.
The selected 16 case studies presented in a workshop on Information and Communication
Technology for Rural Development have been compiled in the form of this book by Editors,
Subhash Bhatnagar, Professor of IT at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and
Robert Schware, Senior lnformatics Specialist at World Bank. The papers have been
contributed by administrators, implementers, grass root organisations and academics on a
wide spectrum of ICT ranging from simple and inexpensive technologies at one end and
sophisticated satellite- based communication on the other.
The rapid strides in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have led to a growing interest in the potential of technology for development. Information on this vital issue is largely scattered and needs to be collated for wider readership. The book under review fills this gap by bringing together varied cases on the successful implementation of ICT. The selected 16 case studies presented in a workshop on Information and Communication Technology for Rural Development have been compiled in the form of this book by Editors, Subhash Bhatnagar, Professor of IT at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Robert Schware, Senior lnformatics Specialist at World Bank. The papers have been contributed by administrators, implementers, grass root organisations and academics on a wide spectrum of ICT ranging from simple and inexpensive technologies at one end and sophisticated satellite- based communication on the other.
Packed in 230 pages of text are six parts comprising seventeen chapters, references, annexures, annotated bibliography, information about the editors and contributors and an index. Each part is segmented according to the different applications of ICT.
Part one, which is introductory in nature, provides a framework for assessing potential impact of ICT by discussing some problems of managerial rural development programmes and suggesting a classification of the emerging ICT applications.
Part two relates to decision support to public administrators for improving the planning and monitoring of development programmes. It includes chapters on innovative ICT applications for substituting manual registers and the implementation of GIS based Disaster Management Information System for better resource mobilization, faster decision making and cost reduction. IT based milk collection centres used in co-operatives to measure butterfat content of milk, test the quality of milk and make prompt payment to farmers is the theme of the next chapter.
Part three consists of cases on improving services to citizens and bringing in transparency. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has been making increased efforts to improve the efficiency of administration and make it responsive to the citizenry. The CARD project to introduce transparent system of property valuation is discussed in chapter 5. A review of the computerization programme at the mandal level has been provided in chapter 6. Application of IT for rural postal system for improving productivity, services to customers and proper accounting is the focus of the next chapter.
How people can be empowered through access to information and knowledge and how ICT can help 'economically poor but knowledge rich people' are discussed in Part four. Interesting case studies on 'Honey-bee knowledge network' and Warana project deliberate upon these issues in chapters 8 and 9. The Warana project, aims to provide agricultural, medical and educational information to villagers by establishing networked 'facilitation booths in 70 villages around the river Warana in Maharashtra. The high cost of private sector provisioning telephones for individuals in villages and the need for public accessibility is discussed in the next chapter. The use of one-way video and two- way audio teleconferencing interactive networks for education and training undertaken by JDCP and SEWA are discussed in chapters 11and 12.
Part five of the book comprises experiences on the use of ICT for generating employment opportunities and encouraging entrepreneurship in rural areas. The factors of cost, language barriers and braille embossers affect the scope for using IT for the disabled has been demonstrated in chapter 13. The emergence of computer technology centres in rural areas for training, data processing, desktop publishing and screen printing has been examined in the next chapter.
The final part sums up the discussion by outlining the agenda for the IT sector by the national taskforce and various state governments. Three key starting points for future projects have been provided in the concluding chapter, these are; for whom, what bundle of services and how well they are managed stressing the effective planning, design and implementation of the project.
The book is timely, topical and pertinent. Its major strength lies in bringing together the scattered cases in using ICT for development. The well researched and well written papers cover a gamut of development, issues ranging from health care, milk collection, disaster management, postal services, telephones and services for the disabled. Each case study is unique and provides interesting vignettes into the key issues relating to planning and implementation of ICT.
The successful application of ICT is naturally the focus of the book, however, the challenges, constraints and limitations pertaining to the use of technology, specially in respect of cost, accessibility and local applicability have been adequately addressed. The cases endorse the assertions of the editors that although IT can be a tool for decentralized planning, integration across departments and reduction in workload, it cannot be the sole instrument for change. It can play only a supportive role. The importance of training, motivation and providing a sense of ownership to those engaged in the project and demystification of technology are stressed as crucial factors for the success of a project .
The structured content, style and treatment make compelling reading. Priced at Rs 395, the book is a must for all those interested and involved in ICT and development.
|CEMCA News ........|
Third Workshop on Multi Media Courseware Design for Distance Education
From June 19 to July 7 2000, sixteen participants and several resource persons spent three weeks developing multi media courseware in different subjects at a workshop jointly organized by CEMCA and Osmania University at the University Computer Centre, Osmania University. Resource persons came from the different fields of computer sciences, physics, education, and communication.
The objective of the workshop was to develop courseware and particpants prepared materials in subjects as diverse as mathematics, environment, science for schools, nutrition, history and languages. Participants were exposed to Powerpoint, Flash, and Authorware, as well as to the planning and design of content for multi media.
Feedback from the workshop revealed that such hands-on training sessions were essential if academics were to master the different aspects of multi media courseware. A future workshop, planned for four weeks in January 2001 will concentrate, as suggested by participants on developing Multimedia courseware using the Authorware Package. Interested parties may contact the Director, CEMCA for further information.
Research Strategy for Gyan Darshan Defined
Thirteen researchers and academics from as many educational institutions spent three fruitful days at a workshop in early September to develop a research plan for India's educational television channel, Gyan Darshan. The workshop was jointly organized by CEMCA and the Electronic Media Production Centre, IGNOU at CEMCA.
At the workshop, the information needs were prioritized, outlined, and budgeted. The workshop made recommendations to Gyan Darshan on informational areas from resource mapping to programme segmentation; from audience surveys to content analysis; and the assessment of the cable penetration and potential in India.
Gyan Darshan will be commissioning studies in all the different areas of research to academic and research institutions and individuals in India. Persons interested in undertaking research may please contact the Director, Electronic Media Production Centre, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Midan Garhi, New Delhi- 110068 Ph. 011 6857079.
EduComm Asia is published by Commonwealth Education Media centre for Asia (CEMCA) New Delhi three times a year starting from October and there-after in February and June.
CEMCA,a centre of The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Vancouver,Canada , is an international agency.
CEMCA's mission is to promote the application of media
in education in Asian Commonwealth countries. For more information,
Please call us at:
0091 11 6096730
0091 11 6076965
Our Fax No. is
0091 11 6085208
or visit our website:
Latest issue of our EduComm Asia is available on our website
Editor in Chief
Dr. Usha Vyasulu Reddi
Nimal T. Fernando
Cover Design & Layout
Nimal T. Fernando
Printed and Published by
For and on-be-half of CEMCA
|Research Proposal ......|
CEMCA invites applications for short term research projects concerning Educational Technology, Distance Education and Educational Media. The proposal for a research grant is expected to address the following basic questions, among others
I. What is the research problem to be investigated?
II. Why is it important?
III What objectives will be achieved through the research?
IV. How will the research process be carried out?
V. What types of outputs or results are expected?
VI. Who are the potential beneficiaries of these research results?
Accompanied by a curriculum vitae of the researcher/s, the proposals should be submitted with full details in the structure given below:
I. Title of the Proposal
II. Name of the researcher/s, designation, academic qualifications and institutional affiliations (In case of two or more researchers, indicate who will be the principal investigator)
III. Address (in full) of the researcher/s, with fax and e-mail addresses
IV. Duration of the project proposed
VI. Rationale for the proposed research
VII. Broad Aims and Specific Objectives
VIII. Proposed methodology (in detail)
IX. Proposed Plan of analysis
X. Expected outcome
XI. Potential beneficiaries
XII. Budget (in detail)
XIII. Time frame for planning and execution. Deadline by which the final draft report will be submitted to CEMCA for evaluation.
All proposals must come through proper channel and/or must be endorsed by the Head of the Institution. All proposals will be scrutinised by an expert committee constituted for the purpose. The decision of the Committee will be final.
The proposal, in duplicate, should be sent in a sealed
cover marked "PROPOSAL FOR RESEARCH, and addressed to :
Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia,
No. 52, Tughlakabad Institutional Area,
New Delhi- 110 062 , INDIA
NOTE: Last Date of Submission: June 15 and December 15 in each calender year
|Database of Consultants|
PROFORMA FOR INCLUSION OF PROFESSIONALS IN THE CEMCA-COL
DIRECTORY OF EXPERTS
CEMCA invites applications from professionals working in the field of educational technology in the Asian Region.The Directory will help to identify experts in different fields/specialisations for reference and specific as signments from time to time.CEMCA invites curriculum-vitae from the professionals working in the field of Open and Distance Learning and educational media in all sections and at all levels.
Date of Birth(m/d/yr):
Passport Details: No.
Date&Place of Issue:
Language: Spoken: Written Read
Other Training Received
Other Related Experience:
International Experience indicating consultancies if any taken up
Area(s) of Expertise:
NOTE: If space provided in the proforma above is insufficient, please add additional sheets to give the information specifying the heads under which information is provided.
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