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Cellphones to hone teaching skills


12 June 2009

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Teachers in India will soon be able to access information relevant to their subjects through mobile phones. A government-funded institute is developing a database that will store comprehensive course contents in various formats to enhance teachers’ knowledge.

Cellphones to hone teaching skills
Image credits: Google Images / Cellphones to hone teaching skills
Chennai, Tamil Nadu: The latest in mobile technology will soon help teachers across the country enhance their teaching skills by providing them access to a whole host of information on their respective subjects through their cellphones.

The system, an initiative of National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) under the Human Resource Development Ministry and the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), involves developing a database with course details in various formats, including presentation and animation.

"This database can be accessed by a mobile phone through satellite communication to get required information," said NITTTR Director S. Mohan.

The system is expected to be launched in the next six months, he said, adding that the database and other related software, created by a group of experts, would also have comprehensive course contents in various subjects.

Mohan said this technology would be gradually introduced for students also, the objective being to make them well conversant with the new technology, thereby creating their own innovative learning resources.

"In fact, such a facility for students will provide information on subjects, career guidance and much more. This is an age of technology. We are working for convergence of technology for enhancing the quality of education," he said.

Vasudha Kamat, Joint Director of Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) of NCERT, said CIET had recently conducted 'Educational Technology Lecture Series' across India and found almost all teachers who attended it had mobiles. Taking the cue, CIET planned to use mobile technology in big way soon to enhance teachers’ knowledge, she said.

The NCERT also plans to create a mobile phone portal at CIET, where a database of teachers across India would be entered. It would work on the same lines as the railway ticket booking system through mobile phones. Teachers can call in and access information.

"There is so much happening in the field of Education (Teaching, learning, evaluation) that teachers can be helped to keep abreast with some techniques, pedagogical issues and strategies through mobile Short Messaging Service technology.

After receiving their consent, we will start sending the SMS containing required educational content, she said.

She also said that there is no need for separate mobile devices for accessing their content from our database. "Also there will be emphasis to ensure that the content and services reaches out to every single existing mobile device without users having to upgrade anything", she added.

Kamat said there is no need for 3G technology in the current set of launches and existing formats like SMS and WAP would be used. Over time, when 3G gains prominence content existing with CIET in the video would be converted into the necessary formats. The technology partner will be decided over a period of time for this, she said.

 
Source : The Hindu

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