Tablets in Education: Is India ready for their adoption?

5,543 views

Published on

Contemporary Concerns Study (CCS) project undertaken for credits in IIM Bangalore

Published in: Education
2 Comments
14 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total views
5,543
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
10
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
2
Likes
14
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Tablets in Education: Is India ready for their adoption?

  1. 1. TABLETS Is India ready for their adoption? Contemporary Concerns Study Report Submitted to: Prof. Rahul De Submitted on: 26th February 2014 Submitted by: Vishrut Shukla (1211314) for Education
  2. 2. Page 1 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 Contents Overview and Objective of the Project.................................................................................................. 2 Phase 1: Exploratory Study .................................................................................................................. 2 Indian Education Overview .........................................................................................................................................................2 Market Opportunity ........................................................................................................................................................................2 ICT at K12 Level .............................................................................................................................................................................2  Infrastructure .....................................................................................................................................................................3  Payment Model.................................................................................................................................................................3  Adoption..............................................................................................................................................................................3  Competition........................................................................................................................................................................3 1. Pure ICT Players..............................................................................................................................................................3 2. Mobile Devices/Tablets..................................................................................................................................................4 Phase 2: Descriptive Study ................................................................................................................... 6 Technology in Classrooms..........................................................................................................................................................6  Parameters for Consideration......................................................................................................................................6  Types of ICT Solutions in Use .....................................................................................................................................6 Stakeholders in the ICT Ecosystem.........................................................................................................................................7 Understanding the Tablet Ecosystem .....................................................................................................................................9 1. Hardware Manufacturers...............................................................................................................................................9 2. Educational Content Providers....................................................................................................................................9 3. Aggregators.......................................................................................................................................................................9 Implementation of Tablet-Based Solution ...........................................................................................................................10 1. Payment Model..............................................................................................................................................................10 2. Use Case of Tablets....................................................................................................................................................11 Considerations for Implementation of Tablet-Based Learning ....................................................................................12 Primary Research & Data Collection on Pilot Runs ........................................................................................................15 1. Primary Research in Schools ...................................................................................................................................15 2. Primary Research in Higher Education Institutions ..........................................................................................20 Phase 3: Consolidation, Conclusions & Recommendations............................................................... 22 Conclusions and Trends ...........................................................................................................................................................22 Recommendations and Future View.....................................................................................................................................23 Tablet-Based Solution Implementation Architecture .......................................................................................................24 Recommendations for Implementing Techno-Classes at IIMB ...................................................................................26 Appendix ‘A’ ....................................................................................................................................... 27 Appendix ‘B’ ....................................................................................................................................... 27 Appendix ‘C’ ....................................................................................................................................... 28 Appendix ‘D’ ....................................................................................................................................... 29 Appendix ‘E’ ....................................................................................................................................... 30 Appendix ‘F’........................................................................................................................................ 31 Appendix ‘G’....................................................................................................................................... 32 Appendix ‘H’ ....................................................................................................................................... 33 Appendix ‘I’......................................................................................................................................... 34 Appendix ‘J’........................................................................................................................................ 35 References.......................................................................................................................................... 35
  3. 3. Page 2 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 Overview and Objective of the Project The project is a study on the emerging trend of using tablets as an ICT tool in classrooms with a special focus on educational content availability and impact on performance of students. In the entire story of using tabletsas the new-age ICT media to be used in classrooms, two key components are yet understudied: (a) Availability of ready educational content to be consumed on tablets; and (b) a measure of effectiveness of the tabletsover the traditional mode of education. Thisstudy is aimed primarily at going deep in both these areas. Studying both of these is the key objective of this project. Please refer to the project proposal document for timelines and deliverables. Phase 1: Exploratory Study The following are to be achieved aspart of the phase 1 of thisproject: (a) Collecting information about the variousICT toolsused by the Indian education sector till now; and (b) Find how the case for tablets have emerged as a media for education over the last few years. Indian Education Overviewi India has most recently begun reforms to promote new teaching approaches and ICT. Across India’s decentralized education system, national and state leadersface big challenges in their efforts to support an education system that must reach so many students. Efforts to shift curricula from behaviourist approaches to learning to a constructivist approach that emphasizesthe personal experiences of learners are recent. A growing number of policies support ICT integration, but expert revi ews suggest that there is still great variation in implementation of these policies and access to ICT is still limited for most students. Although there is variation by state, the duration of the standard school day is five hours, divided into 35 -minute lessons. The class sizes tend to be large; the classes typically ranges from 45 to 60 students. Indian teachersare expected to cover a lot of content, and the textbook often becomes the centre of the learning process. The state curriculum varies (in Maharashtra State, for example, the students have a very full schedule by the upper gradesstudying 11 compulsory subjects) and the medium of education also differs across regions and boards. Market Opportunity To make a business case for using tablets for education, it is essential to understand how big is the opportunity for tablet manufacturers and content providers who are two key pillars of this ecosystem going forward. As Step 1, the Indian education market was examined via secondary dataii :  The total number of schools in India is 1.3 million.  20% of schools are privately run and only 10% of these schools have adopted multimedia.  The currently predicted market size for digitized school products in private schools is $500 million, which at a CAGR of 20%, is predicted to grow to a worth of $2 billion by 2020. However, if every private school isattracted to adopt the digitized products, the total market worth will be of $4 billion.  If the top 100,000 private schools in India are considered as the captive market, the potential is approximately 2 million classrooms of which currently just about 80,000 (4% only) have been digitized. Thisleavesa 96% majority of classrooms still on the table for ICT players in India today.  The market for Information & Communication Technology (ICT) is promising even if government schools are considered. Current market of $750 million is expected to grow by 400% by 2020.  In terms of device usage, the opportunity for low-cost tablets in India is extremely huge. As per recent projections, in the next two years, thismarket will exceed the size of the computer market in India i.e. 10 million unitsper year. Thismeansthere is enough room for new entrants in this sector.  Looking at the total tablet market in India, according to a study by MAIT, an industry body representing India'sIT hardware, training, and R&D services sectors, the tablet market is predicted to see growth rates of 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years. It expects 1.6 million units to be shipped in 2013, increasing to 7.3 million units by 2016.  According to a recent The Economic Times (16th Dec 2011) estimate, the opportunity to digitise educational content in India is of the magnitude of $3 billion (Rs 15,000 crores). ICT at K12 Level
  4. 4. Page 3 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 The current digitized school products operational modeliii at K12 level operates as follows:  Infrastructure The current model includessetting up of a Knowledge Centre (usually a computer laboratory sort of control room) within the school premises and deployment of a resource coordinator to oversee the ICT programme, facilitate training and support teachers. The model requires connecting the central repository of ICT educational content (maybe on cloud) with each ICT -enabled classroom. The classrooms themselvesmay require some modifications such as installation of network link, large - screen televisionsetc. to make them ICT-compatible. Content development, designing and sourcing is the essential last piece of the current ICT model. Mostly, the ICT currently operated under a BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) model under 3-5 year contracts awarded by schools to the companies providing end-to-end solutions in this sector.  Payment Model The above ICT model iswidely gaining acceptability as in most cases, the model does not require schools to invest huge capital expenditure into the facilitiesor even maintenance expenses. In most cases, the ICT solution providers charge the students directly. Otherwise the schools charge a reasonable fee like $2 per student per month to obtain license for such solutions.  Adoption Schoolsin tier-II and tier-III citiesare increasingly adopting the latest technology aswell to effectively compete with their counterpartsin tier-I and metro cities. In many case, ICT firmsare partnering with state/national governments under state’s public schemes to provide their services.  Competition Based on the prevailing situations, the current playersin the schooling space can be divided into two parts: 1. Pure ICT Players These include early market playerswho have multimedia solutions for ICT-enabled classrooms in India. Their solution typically involves a flat-screen TV with audio and video support in a media-enabled classroom which delivers multimedia content to students from a central knowledge centre located either within the school premises or over the Internet or via satellite links. The dominant playersin thissegment are Educomp Solutions, Everonn Education, NIIT, Core Education & Technologies, IL&FS and Compucom. New entrants include HCL Infosystems, Learn Next, Tata Interactive Systems, MexusEducation, S. Chand Harcourt (India) and iDiscoveri Education. Except for S. Chand Harcourt, which is a joint venture between S. Chand and US-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, all the others are Indian firms. For tablets aimed at education specifically, some of these may be competitorsand the othersmay be viable for partnership to obtain and deliver content. A brief background search about some of these players enable a better understanding of current market offerings: a. Educomp Solutions (product: Smartclass, More than 12,000 schools use across 560 districts (new users @ 20 schools per day), Price: US$4,000 per installation  so, EMI based payment approach, Augmented features: simulations, mind maps, worksheets, web links, diagram maker, graphic organizers and assessment tools for teachers and students) + (Edureach, a divison of Educomp, haspartnered with 16 state governments and more than 30 education departments and boards in the country, cove ring over 36,000 government schools and reaching out to more than 10.60 million students to provide ICT.) b. Everonn Education: Everonn is India’s first education and training company to offer satellite-enabled learning, presently reaching out to millions of students through thousandsof learning centresacross 27 states, working with several State Governments Create a Local Knowledge Centre Connect classes to Centre via n/w Modify existing classes for ICT Develop content for ICT teaching
  5. 5. Page 4 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 of India and isthe largest VSAT education network in the world. Everonn is in troubled waters currently and as part of its recovery process, has decid ed to reduce its dependence on government-funded programmes and focus on the schools and kindergarten education business where its investor GemsEducation hasspecialization. Educomp, over the years, has developed rich content for most Indian curriculum courses across classes and isnot launching content that isdevice agnostic and can be run even on tablets. c. HCL Infosystems: HCL's Digischool program, launched in 2011, hasalso made a strong beginning, with a client base of more than 2,500 schools as of Ju ly 2012 dataiv . d. Tata Interactive Systems: Launched Tata ClassEdge in early 2011 and haspartnered up with more than 900 schools as of July 2012. e. Pearson Education Services: Pearson providesend-to-end education solutionsin the K- 12 segment. Itsmultimedia tool, DigitALly, hasbeen adopted in more than 3,000 private schools across India since 2004. According to company sources, DigitALly installations have been growing at three times the market for the past two years. Currently, more than 60% of their customers are from tier-II and III towns, such as Barpeta (Assam), Sohagpur (Madhya Pradesh) and Balia (Uttar Pradesh). In order to make its offering attractive to the schools, Pearson hasdevised a monthly payment model under which a school pays around US$2 per student per month. As the price point is affordable, schools across all locationsand fee structuresfind it viable to opt for their solution. They focus on towns and citieswhere penetration isrelatively low and desire for adoption of technology is high. Besides the DigitALly programme, Pearson already has a huge repository of existing published content. Adding the right level of interactivity to deliver richer experience is now their number one priority. Meanwhile, in November 2012, Pearson Education announced the launch of a new tablet-based education application for schools in India. Known as the MX Touch platform, it promises school children access to more effective, personalized, and collaborative digital learning, with rich digital content, 3D animations, quizzes, and videos. Pearson offers free and paid educational content upto K12 for schools under the brand Edurite. 2. Mobile Devices/Tablets As per a 2012 Cyber Media Research (CMR) report, there are at least 90 vendors in the Indian tablet market space out of which the top five manufacturersare Micromax (18.4% market share), Samsung (13.3%), Apple (12.3%), HCL and Karboon. Most vendors in India sell tablets in the price range of $90-$180. With an increasing interest in technology for school education and push from the governments, there has been a rush of education-focused tablet computers in the market with over 50 modelsof Android tabletsavailable in the market today, as well as Apple's iPads, RIM (Research In Motion) BlackBerry, and several new modelsrunning on Linux. Several are affordable, priced in the US$50 to US$500 price rangev . Below are their specification and capabilities in brief: a. Aakash Tabletv i : The device wasdeveloped as part of the country's aim to link 25,000 collegesand 400 universitiesin an e-learning program. Originally projected as a "$35 laptop", the device will be sold to the Government of India at US$50 until further orders are received to obtain the $35 committed price, and will be distributed to university students for free. A commercial version of Aakash is currently marketed as UbiSlate 7+ at a price of $60. Aakash is now available in an enhanced version (Aakash -2) of the original tablet with 7 inch multi-touch 4-point capacitive display and 800x480 pixel resolution. It hasa 1 GHz processor, 512 MB memory, 4GB portioned NAND flash and micoSD card slot which can extend upto 32 GB memory and it runs the Android 4.0 Operating System. For applications, the Aakash will have access to Getjar, an independent market, rather than the Android Market. The tablet also includes Mango learning solutionsfor game-based educational modules, interactive smart books and the full CBSE curriculum and assessment tools. Some of the salient applications for Aakash include: Clicker (exercising responses in classroom polls via Aakash), proximity (for creating interactive lecturesincluding video and PPTs), Robot (robot control app) etc.
  6. 6. Page 5 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 Aakash tablets support C, C++, Python for programming activities. Also, SciLab is available for numerical computations and for research activities. IIT Bombay has planned to deploy the Aakash tablets in engineering institutions in India, with two objectives. The first is to test and enhance the effectiveness of these tablets for use in class rooms. The second is, development of new educational applications and contents on Aakash, largely through final year Research and Development projects done by BE/ME students at institutesv ii . b. HCL Infosystems MyEdu Tab: Launched in April 2012, which is priced at around US$230 for the K-12 version. The device comespreloaded with educational applications and also books from the NCERT. Teacherscan upload content, which can be accessed by students and parents for tasks such as homework and progress reports on their respective devices. The parent can monitor the progress of his or her child through the cloud-based ecosystem. c. Micromax Funbook: Micromax has also partnered with Pearson and Everonn to make available relevant content for students. Everonn hasinvested in developing content and services targeted toward tablet audiences. To start with, Micromax offers Everonn’s school curriculum-learning module and at-home live-tuition products on the Funbook. Everonn’s content addressing the needs of CBSE classes 1-12 has been ported onto the latest Android 4.0.3 (ICS) platform. Perfectly aligned to the CBSE curriculum, the content isavailable preloaded on individual SD cards that once installed on the tablet provides for offline learning. Students need to connect to the Internet only fo r assessments. d. Sky Tablet: Skytabv iii isthe fully owned tablet PC brand of Edware Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. established in 2009 by a group of IITians in Delhi. With latest Android technology, Skytab provides superior browsing, a more responsive touch experience, faster processing with ultra-low power CPU for longer play time. SkyTab’s vision is to become a leader in K-12 Educational industry by providing schools quality products /content and other modern solution for teaching and learning. Price: Rs. 2,990/-. e. Classpad: Classpadix , touted to be a competition for Aakash, the world’scheapest tablet, boasts of features such as touch screen, 7-hours of battery life, 1.3 GHz processing speed and a built-in memory of 8GB, which can also be expandable to 32 GB. The device is also equipped with WiFi, artificial intelligence and is built on the Android platform. The use of Classpads makes the teachers transfer class works to the students' tablet, share their own content instantly at ease and conduct tests. Moreove r, the students can also attempt to answer queries, quizzes on the interactive platform. f. Aakash iTutor: Aakash Educational ServicesLimited (AESL) launched Aakash iTutor, an education tablet targeted at students preparing for various medical and engineeri ng entrance exams, as well as foundation-level examinations, such as the National Talent Search Examination and Olympiads – basically target at students from Classes 8-12. In addition, AESL launched iTutor Labs, which offers schools and students educationa l content available for view 24/7. g. Intex iBuddy Connect: Intex iBuddy Connect is aimed towards students and comes preloaded with Educlass app which offers NCERT text books on various subjects, for classes 1 to 12. Running on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwi ch, the tablet sports a 7- inch capacitive touch screen display, 1GHz dual -core processor, 1GB RAM and 4GB internal storage, expandable memory up to 32GB. Further, the iBuddy Connect features a 3-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and connectivity features including 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI and dual-SIM support, besides being equipped with a 3,500 mAh battery. h. BSNL Penta T-Pad: BSNL has surprised everyone with the launch of its ultra low cost Android-based tablets. The company hastied up with Pantel, a Noida-based company, to introduce three new Android 2.3 tablets--Penta T-PAD IS701R, Penta T-PAD
  7. 7. Page 6 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 WS704C and Penta T-PAD WS802C. The lowest priced device in the series is Penta T - PAD IS701R tablet, which packs a 17.8-cm (7-inch) resistive touchscreen, front-facing camera, 1GHz processor and 256 MB RAM, expandable up to 32 GB via memory card. The BSNL Penta TPAD ismodestly priced at Rs 3,499. The BSNL tabletsare up for pre - order and are expected to hit the stores in coming days. i. EducationBridge ATab: The $100 tablet includes three years of free access to EducationBridge, an educational platform developed by AcrossWorld, which gives students and teachersaccess to a wide range of open knowledge resourcesand legacy content through a single sign on. EducationBridge, according to their press release, will allow “academic institutions, teachersand studentsto use a variety of content elements including Open Content, Open Educational Resources, Legacy Content and proprietary content sources to connect, collaborate and innovate. It also includes professional services for deployment and training schoolsand collegeson using EducationBridge to leverage premium global educational content.” The 7 inch touchscreen tablet has a 1.1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 2GB memory expandable upto 16GB, Wi-Fi and an external 3G USB dongle. Phase 2: Descriptive Study The following were to be achieved aspart of the phase 2 of thisproject: (a) Evaluating the merits, demerits and challengesof using tabletsin education; (b) Looking at the availability of suitable educational content for all classes, who creates the content, how it is licensed / sold for consumption and what is the business model for the same, how the content creation can be accelerated in the future to achieve the required scale and coverage of topics; and (c) Exploring means to evaluate the effectiveness of tablets as an education media over current classroom mode of teaching either by primary or secondary-only sources. Technology in Classrooms It is imperative to understand what different ICT solutionsare being used in schoolstoday and the meritsand demerits in each of them in order to propose a tablet-based solution and evaluate the same.  Parameters for Consideration A World Bank studyx (2011) suggested that merely putting computers in schools and training teachersto use them will not improve the learning levels in students. Based on secondary study, a number of parameterswere identified to be kept in mind before deploying tablet-based education model in any school. Resistance to change, capacity building of teachers, Internet usage, language barriers, infrastructure, availability of appropriate educational content and availability of finance for deploying ICT in school are some of the important factors that the bucket list could be narrowed down to. Based on some of these factors, schools for possible primary research and pilot deployments for tablet-based solution should be selected. Another study of affordable private schools (located in Hyderabad city) has revealed that a good number of schoolshave already adopted ICT for education but are not making optimum use of the same.xi For example, among other statistics, 69% schools have computer labs but they are ineffective in 34% of them either because the devices are in poor condition to use or are not effectively put to use by the school itself. Around 58% of schools have techno classes with multimedia facility and/or smart classroom technology. Schoolson an average spend 2% of revenue on technology with the average spend on technology being $2048 in the year 2011. Also evident is a strong correlation between the fee charged by the school and their use of technology in classrooms. 87% of such private schools with fee more than $11 every month have techno-classes. However, only 37% charging below $5.50 on a monthly basis have classrooms equipped with educational technology. Schoolswith fee exceeding $11 per month are 19% more likely to have formal computer education than those that charge less than $5.50. Thishashuge implicationssince until the prices of the ICT solutionsdecrease, schoolscharging about $8 or less will be unable to implement even the basic type of smart class solutions. Therefore, before making a mass push towards tablet-based solutions, payment model and technology ownership costs need to be addressed.  Types of ICT Solutions in Use
  8. 8. Page 7 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 The term “Techno-classes” commonly used these daysrefers to an in-class educational technology solution which enablescontent to be displayed through a projection of multimedia on plain surfaces – typically walls or white boards. Broadly, these projection systems can be classified into (a) projectors; (b) smart boards; and (c) smart classes. Smart boards, alongwith projection capability, also have interactive surfaces that respond to touch and hence, the users become able to annotate on top of the content being projected. As a result, smart boards decentralize control over the content as well as the lesson by allowing direct interaction for studentsand teachersas well as finer explanationsby the teachers in addition to the multimedia content. While most smart board content isunidirectional, some of the more advanced smart board solutions include prompts for teachers built-into the educational content modules thereby reminding them that there isa need for further annotation and explanation for the concepts currently being displayed. The teacher may then choose to reinforce the material being projected or interact directly with the students to drive home the concept clearly. Needless to say, effectiveness of such solutions depend a lot on how adept the teachers are in fully exploiting this powerful resource in their hands and this is where proper teacher trainings become important. The other type of techno-classes category is that projectors, some of which come equipped with advanced communication infrastructure that makes them self-sufficient as a standalone device. For eg: K-Yan, a projector solution from IL&FS, isa portable device with built-in speakers, Wi-Fi access, multiple USB portsthat allow external content to be played directly without the need of a computer. K-Yan also comespre-bundled with digital and video content in major subjects of maths, science, social sciences and English. Smart classes (most notable providers in India: Educomp and Pearson’s Edurite) are much more advanced systems which come with an exhaustive quantity of modules in select subjects that span across variouseducational curriculumsand boards. The content comprises of videosand animations explaining key conceptsin the subjects. The payment/subscription models for these solutions have already been discussed earlier. Stakeholders in the ICT Ecosystem Before designing and evaluating any ICT solution for education, it isimperative to understand how different stakeholders of the education technology view and operate these solutions. Below is an attempt to tie the technology with the behaviour and motivations of stakeholders: School Management  View technology positively, compete globally  Way to distinguish from competition  Often use ICT solutionsas marketing tools  See ICT as meansof improving spoken English, reduce heavy bag load, connect studentswith others to create cross-cultural learning opportunitiesand improve learning and retention in studentsvia audio-visuals  Buying Criteria: o Content: Availability suited to their curriculum and board, aligned to chaptersto aid teachers in teaching, colourful animations, interactive optionsfor learning. o Price: Schoolsusually get enroleesfrom different income backgroundsand hence, price becomesa function of revenues, profitsand parents’ ability to pay for technology. o Training: Most teachersunfamiliar with technology, so teacher training modulesand interactive prompting by toolson their own. o Resource Requirements: Whether the content Students  Use three major formsof technology: cell phones, computersand Internet (Refer to Appendix)  Mostly see them asentertainment sources  Most common activity student engage in across three technologiesis playing gamesfollowed by downloading / listening to music  Internet isused for watching movies  Access to personal devicesand technologiesout of school dependsupon income level of families  Girlslack access pointsand encouragement for using technology when they are not at home, unlike boys.  Two types of technology personasemerge: o Technophiles: enthusiastic about technology and have much wider exposure, parentsare strong technology advocates, more likely to use Internet but with restrictions, teach each other how to use technology, view it asan asset to their career aspiration. o Techno-Skeptics: May not be fearful of tech but question itsrelevance and value in their lives,
  9. 9. Page 8 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 require Internet access, hardware setup and procurement, staff requirementsand what kind of maintenance costs to incur, who controls the content etc. are some questionsduring decision-making. more focuson identifying the drawbacks of technology and the problemsit creates, don’t believe how technology helpsin their career ambitions Teachers  Most schools in India use a very teacher-centered approach to education pedagogy and the top two primary toolsfor teaching are the chalkboard and the teacher’slecture.  As a result, if the technology being pushed isfar from this“chalk-and-talk” model, it will face greater resistance from teachers.  Teachers’ reputation and priorities are dependent on examsas they feel pressured to improve the performance for their students. Hence, any education technology aimed at reducing testing stress for teachersand studentsalike findsmuch greater acceptance. Thisis obviousin the patterns of how schools adopt educational technology first starting with tech-enabled testing modules.  Teachersview the following benefitswith tech: o Teach more in limited time: smart boardsand tabletshelp cover more material than previous “chalk-and-talk” model with at least one key concept designed to be taught in each class. Animation and video content keeps students more focused and engaged. Software testing is a standardized way of administering tests. o Reinforce conceptsvisually: techno-classes allow appropriate audio-visual aidsto lessons especially useful in mathsand science courses where students find some thingsdifficult to imagine and teachersfind it time-consuming to draw the diagramson board before explaining. o Simplicity of use: Teachersappreciate systems where the learning curve isnot long and steep and system has enough content to aid their teaching. o Cost-Effective: Cost in termsof both time and money issaved especially for younger grade students where technology can be used to engage with studentsby meansof colours, songs, videos, cartoonsand imagesto drive across the learning. o Easy assessment: Solutionssuch as tablets and voting padsautomate student assessment in a quicker, more routine and standardized manner. Teachersare left with more time to design lessons, work on reinforcing concepts that are not understood properly and instantly weave teachingswith testing within the class.  Teachersview the following drawbacks with tech: o Increased planning: If the technology being used doesnot come with content aligned to the curriculum, teachershave to carefully select which media to use for which lesson. Parents  Parents are generally approving of technological innovationsand understand the role they play in the education of their wards. In fact, most parents consider whether their ward will learn computer subjects as part of the curriculum while assessing if the school isworthy of sending their wards to.  On the other hand, many parentsare also wary of technology use by their wardsdue to the following: o Inappropriate content: Parentsfear that their wards might access inappropriate content which will lead to distractionsduring the study. o Lost touch with paper: Parentsalso fear that due to the use of computers, smart classes and tablets, children will lose the ability to complete examsadministered on paper effectively. o Health concerns: Impact of staring at screen for long periodsof time isanother aspect that tops the worry list of parents.  Parents live in closely knit communitiesand their perception of the school’squality of education is determined by opinionsand recommendations from their peers. Thismakes peer pressure an important factor influencing what technology parentsare willing to pay for in school and purchase for their wards in home.  If they decide to purchase tabletsfor their wards, parentsare often confused what to do with the device once the child graduates. The problem gets complicated if the tablet isdesigned specifically for consuming educational content which isoften copyrighted. In many such cases, the devicescan often not be used asa general purpose tablet at home.  Parents also fear that tabletsprovide easy access to Internet and video content such as movies, gamesetc. within the reach of children practically at all timesi.e. 24x7 and it isvery difficult to how their wards are using the device when not in school.  The use of ICT has also allowed parentsto closely monitor the performance of their wardsin school. Whether it isvia web access to grade sheets, assignment remarks or accessing report cards and teachers’ feedbacks online or on tablets, parents are better equipped to exactly know how their child is doing and when/how to take corrective actions.
  10. 10. Page 9 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 Incorporating the step of matching tech content with the lesson plan isan extra effort. o Low exposure level: Aseducational technology is expensive, most schools often have special classrooms equipped with smart boardsand tabletsetc. As a result, students use techno- classes only for very limited duration. Power outages, equipment being out-of-order or absence of operating staff are other reasons due to which smart classes fail to achieve their purpose in most schooling environments. Understanding the Tablet Ecosystem It is important to understand the various pieces of tablet ecosystem to analyse which parts need to be addressed and strengthened before a wide-scale adoption of tablets can be performed in classrooms. 1. Hardware Manufacturers Hardware manufacturers sell devices with standard operating systems, pre -defined basic apps, pre- installed content (in some cases) and access to more applications online via app stores. Most low-cost affordable tabletshave settled on Android OS universally. Imported tabletscome with better quality with an option of bulk procurement. However, local service and repair is not an option for these devices. Meanwhile, locally manufactured tablets such as HCL, Karbonn and Micromax are more expensive which drives up the cost of the solution but on the other hand offer better servicing and support – a critical consideration since they will be used extensivel y on a daily basis by students. Brands and manufacturers have already been discussed in detail above. 2. Educational Content Providers There players specialize in developing content through various means such as textbooks, CDs, smart boards, tablet-based appsand so on. These companies have usual ly been in the market for long and most of them have managed to build an affinity towards their brands based on the textbooks they have published in the past. Though there are quite a few playersin the market developing educational content for K12 classes, there are not many providersdeveloping content for higher education for eg: technical or engineering courses. Thus, the only available option for higher education institutes remains to be the electronic version of textbooks already available by well -known publishers worldwide. Also, content providersusually provide their packages exclusively i.e. a device manufacturer usually gets locked -in with a particular content provider. Often, these content providers, being large players, are not flexible enough to tweakthe content based on suggestions from teachers to better align them with the lessons being taught in the classroom. In short, even teacherscannot create or modify content to better suit their teaching style. Thisisa drawback for students since they don’t necessarily get access to the best digital resources available online simply because of the strict licensing agreements and inflexibility towards integration. An ideal case will be when the same device can seamlessly integrate content from different providersto offer choicesto the studentsand the teachershave some degree of flexibility to modify the content to suit their classroom environment. Another possible source of content can be crowdsourcing from multiple individual content creators. These can be independent teachers, education enthusiasts, volunteers, subject matter experts, those working in industries, technical experts and technology leaders etc. who are willing to devote limited amount of time developing content for students. More on thismodel iscovered under the next section on aggregators. 3. Aggregators The aggregatorsdo not have a core competency in either device hardware manufacturing or educational content creation, but rather teaming up with other players of both kinds to bui ld learning solutions for classrooms. Khan Academy and the Indian company Pengala are examplesof aggregators. Aggregators may have one of the following business models:
  11. 11. Page 10 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 a. Source content through licensed deals: Aggregatorsenter into licensing deals from educational companiesand modify the product to suit a tablet environment. This is precisely done by large content publisherswho already have textbooks and CDs but want a third -party to optimize that content quickly for newer ICT tools such as tablets in cl assrooms. b. Open Educational Resources (OERs): Aggregators can also compile content through OERs which are freely available materials. The open nature allows anyone to download, use, modify and redistribute the content and aggregatorsoften optimize the content to give cohesive learning experience on tablet devices. Besidesoptimizing, the most important contribution of aggregators is to build a platform where OERs from multiple different sourcesare organized into categories, making it easier for teachersand studentsto download on their devices and use them for class learning. c. User-generated Content: Aggregators can also sort and host user-generated or crowd sourced content on their platform asdiscussed above. The primary benefit of this method of sourcing is the diversity of content in a single solution – giving studentsa chance to enjoy access to the best of learning resources on the device. However, this may lead to several drawbacks such as inferior or not up to the mark quality of content and inconsistency of content since everything becomes a function of the quality and number of users creating content. This has to be a controlled exercise where aggregatorsmaintain some basic quality check, issue guidelines and review content for correctness and appropriateness before making it available for downloading and using via their platform on devices. Implementation of Tablet-Based Solution Based on expectations, concerns and behaviours of the various stakeholders of the ICT ecosystem discussed earlier, the following typical decisions need to be taken: 1. Payment Model Who pays for the solution? Who bearsthe fixed investment? Who bears the repeat cost of content and annual maintenance or servicing? How to ensure the solution isfinancially viable for even l ow- income communities? There are broadly 5 different payment modelsfor technology in classrooms as follows: a. Government Distribution Model: Under thismodel, government pays for the devices (tablets etc.) and distributesthem to schools. Content usually comespre-loaded with these devices. While this practically lifts all fixed cost burdens off the school management, parents and students, it leavesa lot of room for doubt about how the educational program will sustain itself in future. Government distribution practically means a one-time activity leaving open questionssuch as who owns the device (the government or school or parents), who pays for maintenance of the devices, who services them, what if the content becomesoutdated, who refreshes the content and paysfor it and so on. In any case, a loosely designed government distribution model seems like a short-term exercise and it is definitely not sustainable. b. Government Subsidy Model: Under thismodel, government offers to subsidize a portion of the device cost and the rest is borne by parentsor schools themselvesin previously agreed fashion. The ownership of the tablets rest with schools or parents, depending on who has paid for the device out of their pocket. This is the familiar model of marketing the low-cost Aakash tablets in India. c. School Asset or Tablet Lab Model: Under thismodel, school management buys the devices (tablets) at 100% market rate and keeps it under its own control. The tablets are given to students only to be used during the school time within the classrooms and students are not allowed to keep them for use later at their homes. The school makes the content available on the device either by partnering with third-party developers or aggregators or simply uses the content pre-loaded on the device, if any. In thiscase, school teachershave quite a lot of control over the content to be used and in some cases, they add and modify content to the devicesas well to better suit their lesson plans. Also, thismodel makes it very clear that the school has to maintain and service the tablets, replace them carry out the update of software
  12. 12. Page 11 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 on them etc. The schoolshave different waysto finance the cost: (a) they can roll out tablets optionally to students whose parents wish to pay the increased fee for their us; (b) school can mandatorily roll the tabletsout for all studentsand increase the fee to finance the cost; (c) school can market the tablet-based solution to increase the enrolment into their programs and use that revenue to offset the investment. d. Parent Ownership Model: Under thismodel, parentspurchase the devices separately or the school makes them available for purchase at market price, with instalment payment options if desired. The studentshave 100% ownership of the tabletsand can carry them home when the school isover. The school makesuse of the content available pre-loaded on the device or distributescontent to be consumed on the device. In case the content is licensed, some schools only allow the same to be accessed within the premises. Studentsdo not get access to the content at home usually. e. School Subsidy Model: In this model, which is a variation of the parent ownership model itself, school management procuresthe tablet devicesfrom manufacturers and makes them available at subsidized price to studentswho can’t afford to pay the full market price of the device. Depending on whether the student’sfamily payscompletely for the device or partly, they are either allowed to take the device home or use them only within the school premises and submit them back at the end of the learning day. 2. Use Case of Tablets This dimension investigates how tablets are going to be used by students and teachers and the degree of change they will bring to the existing learning environment. The following frameworkxii aptly providesthe basic platform to classify the variousways tabletscan be used a given classroom or learning environment. The education ecosystem, comprising of school management, students, teachersand parentscan then choose where to place their finger before designing and adopting a tablet-based solution for their environment. Based on the above framework, the role of tabletsin education can be used to picture the following distinct learning scenarios:
  13. 13. Page 12 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 a. Tabletsfor Reading: Under thisscenario, tabletsserve a very basic purpose in the learning cycle – not disruptive but sustaining in nature and confined to use in formal, classroom learning environment only. Using tabletsto read electronic version of educational textbooks is commonly adopted and mentioned by teachers and school management when discussion about the deployment scenarios. As the textbookremainsthe same, the studentsdo not have adapt to an entirely new way of consuming content and the scenario also reduces the bag burden for them. E-books on tablets provide students an opportunity to quickly search for any term in the text where their understanding isnot clear and use built-in note taking, highlighting abilities and add- on featuressuch as dictionaries, voice reader etc. to have a seamless absorption of content, an advantage over traditional paper-based books. b. Tablets for Assessments: With respect to placement on the framework above, this scenario as well belongsto the ‘Improve’ section on the grid. This is how many early adopter schoolsin India are using tablet devicesin classrooms – to accelerate and automate testing process for school students. By enabling teachers and administrative staff to conduct electronic tests via tablets, schools are saving on time, improving scoring accuracy and beginning to automatically disseminate scores to students as well as their parents in some cases. The tablet assessment platform freesthe teachersto devote their time on more important things such as working with students to improve where the test shows a weaker conceptual or application -oriented understanding, class preparation and actual teaching. c. Tablets as Primary Study Supplements: Under this scenario, tablets serve as a tool to bring sustainable learning to informal, classroom environment. Tabletsfilled with educational content aligned with the curriculum and built-in assessment tests for periodic examination of students’ learning can be an effective replacement for the traditional method of instruction via tex tbooks. To start with, it can be good supplement to the core concepts taught by the teacher in the classroom. Students can consume the learning content on tablets outside classroom, with friendsand neighboursas well. They can refresh the conceptstaught in class, practice exercise via built-in assignmentsand tests thereby effectively adopting self-learning without completely relying on the teachers. d. Tabletsas Primary Medium of In-Class Instruction: Under thisscenario, tabletsserve as a tool to bring disruptive learning to formal, classroom environment. This is a use case where teachers extensively use tabletsto deliver lectures – so much so that it becomes integrated in the lesson plan asthe primary medium of interacting with students. The adoption of this scenario depends a lot on teacher’scomfort level with using tablets, availability of educational content aligned with the curriculum, planning efforts spent on seamless integration of tablets with other delivery media and classroom activitiesand behaviour of studentsetc. It is thisdependence on multiple factors that makes this use case ideally the most extremely integrated but difficult to adopt. e. Tabletsas Unconventional School: This solution combines disruptive learning in an informal environment using tablet devices. In thismodel, animation, video content and textbooks all are made available to be accessed via the tablet by students on their own and from wherever they want without restrictions. The tablet and its content are the ‘primary te achers’ and the school teachersin classrooms simply reinforce the content learnt on tabletsthrough activities and tests. Thismodel may prove to be particularly very useful where there isa difference in the quality of teaching between classes and students have access to informal networks to help each other learn on their own. The model enablesa shift from a teacher-centric learning to a student-centric learning where students are in-charge and the teacher only serves as a guide. Considerations for Implementation of Tablet-Based Learning Based on secondary researchxiii , following are some of the +/- points regarding tablet-based education: 1. What are some of the key challenges likely to be faced while implementing tablet-based education programme and how can they be overcome? a. Curriculum Alignment: Educational instituteswant the content in the tablets to be fully aligned with their curriculum and mirror the material currently being used in traditional classrooms. Any
  14. 14. Page 13 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 solution needsto ensure that content from different providers can be integrated and offered to the students. Some tablet-based solution providerssuch as Edutor have partnered with multiple publishers of textbooks & multimedia content such as Pearson, Cambridge University Press, Orient BlackSwan, APT Academic Solutions and Encyclopaedia Britannica etc. to offer fully aligned learning content to students. b. Content Security: The solution needs to ensure that all the content remains fully secure and safe. It should be able to address any apprehensionsthat publishersmay have about piracy and digital rightsmanagement for each device user license. Credential based or biometric access control must be built into any tablet-based learning solution especially, when device is shared. c. Affordability: While most affordable tabletsprovide Wi-Fi access on the device, due to high fixed and monthly costs, not all schools and universities provide wireless access in classrooms and across campus. Thus, a major functional benefit i.e. interactive connectivity stays unused by the teachersand studentsin most cases. For low-income parents, tablet pricesare still relatively not affordable and hence, the business model for using these devices daily in schools needs to be figured out. d. Durability: While books continue to be available for use well beyond the period of education and students in emerging countriesare used to sharing of reading materials, durability of tablets and for that matter, any techno-class solution isstill in question. Theft, hardware damage, breakage, water damage, accidental dropping of device etc. are occasions apart from normal wear and tear which result in relatively very high monetary loss as compared to the tools used for tradi tional learning i.e. books. The battery life of the tablet device isanother common pain point since at the current levels, tablets cannot last for the entire day (7-8 hours) without the need of charging. e. Role of the Teacher: The technology solution has to be designed keeping in mind its role of complementing the teaching experience by teachers. It must offer a variety of tools to empower the teacher to perform better in the classroom. Once the student is outside the classroom, the teacher again prescribes the broad course of student’s personal learning experience and can monitor and review the progress and performance of students. f. Balancing Stakeholders: The solution must provide features that ensure the learning environment in the tablet isconfigurable. This means that distractions such as games & movies can be blocked off completely while students in higher classes can be given safe browsing optionsor access to specific edutainment applications. Also, too much reliance on tablets may result in students’ not remaining familiar with writing on paper, also leading to a deterioration of writing skills of the students. The right balance of needs of various stakeholders – students, parents & teachers – should be achieved. g. Threat of disparity: The use of tablets, if and when made optional within the same classroom, will end up creating disparity among studentswho can afford it and those who can’t and hence, will result in disrupting the purpose for which the deviceswere introduced. Therefore, the payment and ownership models used to introduce these devicesmust be very carefully thought of before implementing. h. Identifying educational technology that delivers and not just a fad: For studentsin a developing country such as India with poor infrastructure, inconsistent teaching quality, cramped classrooms with little individualized learning and a poor emphasis on conceptual mastery, variouseducation technology innovations such as computers, smart-classes, mobile phones, e- readers and multi-media tablets are often identified assolutionsto promote education up the social ladder. However, the initial
  15. 15. Page 14 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 excitement and optimism around huge potential impact of a new technology often gives rise to the “hype” which beginsto obscure clear judgment on the part of educators regarding the use and deployment of the technology. What follows is nothing but poor integration of technology poorly selected and designed for the requirementsof the students. Often, a poor understanding of the educational ecosystem and community leads to weak technology integration and ineffectiveness in fulfilling its purpose. Policies such as One-Laptop-Per-Child and the nationwide rollout of Aakash tablets in India are examples of a poor understanding of the technology’srole in the ecosystem. The way tabletsare used to engage students, enhance inter- student collaboration and seamless delivery of content from teachersto studentsshould not be a mere imitation of traditional learning through textbooks, but must add extra meaningful value. 2. How can the tablets serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others? a. Lightening school bag: interactive enriched textbooks on tablets are found to work better at engaging the studentsand would also serve towards lightening the load of the school-bag for the students. b. No continuousdependence on electricity: Tablets, once charged, are independent of continuous power requirement and hence are less affected by power outagesthat are frequent in emerging world countries. c. Augmenting the Classroom: By using tablets, schools are empowered to extend the classroom and engage with the student even at home. Teachersare publishing material like homework and assignments for the studentsto complete at home and are able to review the progress easily . d. Formative Assessments: Schools are increasingly encouraged to assess students at formative stages – so that learning gapscan be quickly identified and addressed. Tablet-based solutions can be used by schools to conduct such assessments at greater frequencies. Assessment enginesbuilt into the course platform on such tablets ensure that tests are easily created and administered and results& diagnosticsare immediately available with the teachers – thus saving a lot of time & effort for the teachers. In short, tabletsmake the assessment cycle more efficient. Parents can also easily keep a tab on the child’s performance at school. e. One-to-one interactions: Tabletsallow studentsto spend time with their individual device without having to share a computer with multiple students and smart board with the whole classroom. The one-to-one interaction allows students to learn at their own pace for eg: if they want to revisit a concept, they can pause and rewind the content individually without causing interruption in the class or the fear of others knowing. 3. How scalable is the table-based education programme? a. Ease of Use: The tablet-based solution should be extremely intuitive and easy to use. Students across variousage groupsshould be able to adopt the solution very quickly and with minimal amount of training. Similarly, teachers must find the solution extremely easy to use – minimal amount of training is required and hence scale can be achieved. b. Customisation of Tablet: The solution ensures that content from different providers can be integrated and offered to the students. Thisensures that fully aligned learning experiences can be offered to students– irrespective of the exact curriculum being followed in the school. Thus the same product can be deployed at scale across schools. c. Portable: The learning content must be portable across a wide variety of tablets. Hence, as penetration of tablets increases (due to the efforts of multiple hardware brands), centralized device management solutionsneed to be developed and deployed to customize multiple devices for educational content. Thisfurther enhancesthe scalability and ease of managing the solution. d. Payment Models: The scalability of the tablet-based educational solutions depends upon how easy and affordable the adoption is. Availability of content and the payment model of content,
  16. 16. Page 15 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 price of new content and how authentic the content will be are some of the issues that need to be converged upon before proclaiming that the era of tablets in classroom has begun. e. Internet Access for Girls: With 3G capabilities, tablets can improve Internet access and hence, improved learning for girls in particular. f. Content Generation and Sharing: One of the key areas where tablets can help scale up the shared learning is by making it easy and encouraging different educators/teachers to create educational content for these deviceswhich can then be shared and collaborated upon to create a vast library available online for use by anyone. If thiscrowd-sourced model of content creation works, it will also ease the extensive planning to integrate these devicesinto existing curriculum alongwith the educational content. Primary Research & Data Collection on Pilot Runs The intention of primary research was to find out what kind of educational technology iscurrently being used in classrooms today and whether there isa case for large-scale adoption of tablets in the learning delivery system. Due to geographical and accessibility limitations, the efforts and focus of trying to conduct primary research and data gathering was decided to be carried out among Bangalore schools only. Apart from schools, it was also decided that at least one higher education institution must be covered under primary research to cover the entire spectrum of target population. 1. Primary Research in Schools Before taking up field work, some time was spent to understand the local secondary education sector in the city. Schools in Karnatakaxiv: Karnataka, renowned for itsrich culture, isthe address to some of the finest schools in the country. The state haswitnessed an increase in the literacy rate in the last decade, climbing from a mere 66.64 per cent to an impressive 75.60 per cent. Thishasbeen possible due to the improvement in the primary education sector of the state. The schools in Bangalore can be divided into three categories based on their affiliation:  Karnataka State Board  Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE Board)  Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ICSE Board) A list of schools in Bangalore across boards is captured in the Appendix. Another table in the Appendix captureshow the state of Karnataka fairsin termsof government’sbudgeted expenditure (revenue account) on education as per 2007-2008 figures.  The Appendix also lists down those schools in Bangalore which are known to be using tabletsor have used tabletsin the past for imparting education to secondary students. With a number of foreigners living in Bangalore, the city houses a few international schools as well. These schoolsfollow IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) syllabus. From the list provided in Appendix, it can be seen that quite a few of such international schoolshave already deployed tablet-based education solutions in different capacities. These schools may be sources of useful primary research data through interactions with teachers and students.  Bangalore city also has schools affiliated to ICSE, CBSE and to State Board. The ideal way to select schoolsfor first-hand interaction with stakeholders and shortlist likely target for a possible pilot run would have been spending per student. However, even after extensive search, the relevant data about spending per student for schools in Bangalore could not be found. The same is the case with schools anywhere in India, whereas this data is readily a vailable for developed countries. Therefore, a good measure of looking at schoolsfor primary interaction can be based on their rankings. Rankings published on the internet can be considered a reliable source in this regard as listed in the Appendix. Accessibility of schools should also be kept in mind while
  17. 17. Page 16 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 approaching them for thisactivity. The most likely schools that can be approached for carrying out primary research study in Bangalore are as follows:  Greenwood High School, Whitefield – Sarjapur Road (IB)  Indus International School, Billapura Cross, Sarjapur (IB)  Delhi Public School (South), Kanakapura Road (CBSE)  Freedom International School, HSR Layout (CBSE)  St. Joseph’s Boys High School, Museum Road (ICSE)  Baldwin Boys’ High School, Richmond Town (ICSE)  Bethany High School, Koramangala (ICSE)  Clarence Public School, J.P. Nagar (ICSE) Further, two schools in Bangalore were visited for primary interaction and observation where with principals, faculty and ICT program ownersto understand how the schoolsare using the technology in classrooms. The two schools visited were Delhi Public School, Bangalore East and Indus International School, Sarjapur, Bangalore. Appendix ‘F’ details the set of questions that were asked in the personal interviews carried out as part of the primary research. The data extracted issummarized below for each of the interactions which gives a clears picture of how schools and higher educational institutions are using technol ogy in classrooms currently. Primary Research 1: Delhi Public School, Bangalore East Personnel Contacted: (a) Ms. Manila Carvalho (Principal), (b) Ms. Ambica Vijayan (Head Mistress) Type of Interaction: Face to face, on-site, in school Date of Interaction: Friday, 14th February 2014 School Overview Delhi Public School Bangalore East, a franchise of the Delhi Public School Society, New Delhi, was established by the K.K. Educational & Charitable Trust in 2007 and has students from Nursery upto Std. 12th . The target segment of students for this school belong to the middle and upper middle class of society. The school promptly accords top priority to e-learning and believes it will help students meet the challenges of the modern day living. ICT Solution Used by the Institution (a) Smart Boards: Since 2008, each classroom has an Educomp “Smart Class” smart board solution setup which comprisesof multimedia projection device, PC CPU, a keyboard, a mouse and a whiteboard. The digital content is projected over whiteboard and the teacher can overlay the projection with writing for further explanation if required for a topic. The installed smart boards have Internet connectivity. The boards are not supposed to be used by the students on a daily basis but are used by students of Std. 6th and above during their PowerPoint or video presentations in their respective subjects. (Pic: Appendix ‘G’) (b) Content Infrastructure: The school hasa central resource centre which hosts servers to keep educational content. Each classroom has network connectivity and smart boardsin classrooms access digital content from the central repository over the network. (c) Educational Initiatives’ Mind Sparks: For the last 3 years, DPS has been using Mindspark, which isa computer-based, self-adaptive learning program that helps students of Std. 1st to 4th improve their skills in Maths. It allows each student to follow a learning path that isbased on their current level and at a pace they are comfortable with. Over 60% of the problemsin Mindspark package make use of visuals and animations. Students earn “sparkies” if they answer consecutive questionscorrectly. The graphicsin Mindspark are mostly used as serious learning toolsfor students. It is optional for students to opt for the service for which a fixed charge per students in collected by the school. DPS maintainsthat barring 1 or 2 exceptions, almost all students opt for the package. A dedicated Mindspark team from the company is
  18. 18. Page 17 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 stationed at DPS and they maintain tablet devices with the entire learning content pre-loaded in it for use by the students in pre-scheduled time slots (double-periodsduring the designated days in lesson plan). Students have login and password credentialsso that they can access the test from home over the web as well. The Mindspark team manages the entire service, taking care of updating content, servicing the tablets, charging and preparing them for daily use by students and the school simple pays to the company a license fee per student. Every month Mindspark mails out a detailed report to parents and teachers. These reports show the level the child has reached on each topic, the time taken by the child to master a concept, the success rate and number of logins and so on. The report to teachersprovide additional information on the performance of the entire class. (d) Educational Initiatives’ ASSET test series: DPS gets its students to take the EI’s ASSET tests in English, Maths, Science, Social Studiesand Hindi once a year. The test providesdetailed skill-wise feedback highlighting strengths and weaknesses and also benchmarks the student’s performance with peers all over the country. The test serves as a measure of teacher’s effectiveness and is used to identify areas where students need reinforcement of concept already taught. (e) CBSE Life SkillsEducational Content: Studentsget access to video content via CDs uploaded in Resource Centre which can be played on smart boards. (f) NIIT MathLab: Mathematics Lab room in DPS consists of PCs, projections system, projector screens and educational content which is based on CBSE curriculum is provided by NIIT. (g) One Learn: DPS uses a user friendly Parent Child Portal to provide regular online updatesto parentsabout notices, alerts, events, student performance metricsand report cards, fee due information, attendance etc. Every child is provided with an ID and password to access the portal. Additionally, DPS also has SMS and email functionality for events, notices, reminders etc. to be relayed to students and parents. Educational Content (a) Most of their digital content is limited to English language only. (b) Educomp’s content is included in the per student license that the school buys. The content comprises of presentation, videos, animations, photos etc. and are copyright protected, meaning they can be used within the school premises for classroom teaching only. (c) Students are not permitted to take the content home or on their personal devices or copy the same on storage media. (d) In addition, teachersuse a number of freely available multimedia resources available on the Internet to teach in the classroom, which are often emailed to the students. (e) Teachersconstantly give feedbackto Educomp over the appropriateness of content for their course topicsand the service provider modifies the content periodically based on thisfeedback. Hence, in summary, the teacher has an influencing role to play in both the design and delivery of educational content used on the Educomp Smart Class infrastructure. It takes about 3 months for Educomp to modify the content before it can be used in the classroom. (f) Teachers also give constant feedback for MindSparks to EI over content. (g) However, in case of ASSET tests and MathLab, DPS teachers do not have a say as they have a standardized content which is the same across schools. (h) Teachersalso often create presentations, animationsand diagrams on their own to be shown in the class over smart boards. These contents are freely distributed with students over emails for their reference at home as well. Teachers (a) While recruiting teachers, DPS tests their comfort level with technology used
  19. 19. Page 18 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 in the classroom. It is not left to choice for the teacher whether they wish to employ the use of techno-classroom solutions. (b) DPS also maintainsthat most teachers have found the use of techno -class rooms beneficial and they haven’t faced resistance from the teachers’ side when deciding to adopt new way of delivering better knowledge to students. (c) Teachersare also tracked using reports generated on a weekly and monthly basis whether they are effectively using digital content available to them via Educomp smart boardsor not. If a teacher isfound to be not using the same the management tries to find out the reason and take corrective measures accordingly. (d) Most service providersemployed by DPS including Educomp also have well defined training modules which can be used by the teachers to undergo training and gain familiarity with the system and resources. Return on Investment, Effectivenes s Metrics and Feedback (a) The school continuously tracks the use of technology and itsrich plethora of digital educational resourcesby both studentsand teachers. Thisallowsit to continuously review content, modify it if needed, train teachers and gauge effectiveness of its technology investments. (b) Quarterly meetingsat the minimum with each of its service provider helps discuss areas of improvement and review if the existing technology is fulfils its objectives. (c) Test such as ASSET and continuous tracking of student performances in MindSparks and MathLab serve as metrics regarding how useful the tools have been for learning purposes. Primary Research 2: IndusInternational School, Bangalore Personnel Contacted: (a) Ms. Sarojini Rao (Principal), (b) Mr. Rakesh Pandey (Director, ICT) and (c) Ms. Jyothikiran Hoskere (Curriculum Coordinator) Type of Interaction: On-site and telephonic interaction, in school Date of Interaction: Friday, 14th February 2014 and Thursday, 20th February 2014 School Overview The IndusInternational School, Bangalore isan International Baccalaureate school situated on a 40-acre campusat Sarjapur, Bangalore, which was established by the IndusTrust in 2003. The school isrun by the IndusTrust, comprising members who represent the IT sector, real estate and business investment. Established in 2001, as a day school with boarding facilities, Indus currently hasover 1100 students from 32 countries. Each classroom seats 30 students, is fitted with projection systems and computer facilitiesalongwith Internet access throughout the campus. The school is targeted towardsexpats, foreignersbased in India, children of embassy staff and the affluent rich Indians who wish to provide a global education to their wards. ICT Solution Used by the Institution (a) Smart Boards: For primary classes, Indus International School uses smart board solutions provided by the leading global vendor SMART Technologies. (b) Laptops: For Std. 5th and above, the school has partnered with Intelxv for a “one laptop per child” policy to enable 1:1 student-centric learning for its enrolees. Each student is provided a Connoi® Smart Book, a netbook specially designed keeping in mind the conditionsthat studentsoperate in – requiring sturdy build, child friendly, special features and buttons to provide ease of use for students. The laptop hasstudent-friendly operating systems, monitoring, web and content filtering features. (Photos in Appendix ‘G’) (c) BYOD: As most students in higher classes (Std. 8th and above) already have their own favourite mobile tablet devices such as iPads which their parents have purchased for them, the school allows them to bring the same to the classroom and use during course sessions. (d) ESL Teaching Resources: Indus, due to its large number of foreign
  20. 20. Page 19 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 students, has courses that teach English asa second language (ESL) to the natives of other countries. It uses technology in classrooms extensively to develop language proficiency among the enrolees. (e) Online web-based tests: Indus uses online testing platform for its students (web-bases and not tablet-based tests) in various diverse areas such as IQ, leadership curriculum, aesthetics, kinaesthetic quotient, self-study and EQ. The school also streams TED talks in classroom on the smart boardsas part of its leadership curriculum. (f) e-Textbooks on Tablet Devices: From grade 9th and onwards, Indus school uses e-textbooks as the primary medium of instruction in classrooms. It is mandatory for all teachersto have a laptop and studentshave tablet devices such as Kindle etc. where they have electronic versions of their textbooks. Except for on an average 1-2 studentsin a class who still prefer hardcopy of textbooks, the rest of the students read on tablet devices. (g) 3D Printer: Indushas recently invested in buying a 3D printer technology in the school to expose studentsof grade 6th , 7th and 8th hands-on with respect to building models, production, manufacturing and also product and material designing practices etc. (h) Flip Teaching Model: Indus prides itself on pioneering the flip teaching model in the senior secondary classes where students consume the primary lecture content and teaching of concepts offline i.e. not in the classroom. Teachers regularly send learning materials created by them or obtained from the Internet to students via “Show Me” mobile and tablet app (see screenshots in Appendix ‘G). (i) CloodOn LMS Portal: The school uses Clood On – a learning management system which serves as a technology environment to plan, organize, deliver learning content and assess the performance of students. A hosted service that Indusis experimenting with, completed its pilot run in the school last year and is currently being used for delivering a different learning experience for Physics and Mathematics. (j) TCS ION ERP System: The school has deployed this ERP system to make student progress reports, attendance information, grade sheets, homework dissemination, fee payment details, notices, instructions to parents etc. via the Internet. Each student has a login id and password through which the above mentioned information can be checked by them or their parents. Educational Content (a) For smart boards, Indususes few of the endless freely available interactive whiteboard resourcesfrom online websites (such as http://www.iwb.org.uk/) which are distributed without license. (b) The school maintains that using technology in classrooms, students are developing inquisitive learning, learning by exploration. The enquiries from students have increased since they self-learn 1:1 using information available on the Internet and other sources. The students create mindmaps, use graphic organizers and other such resources to present their learnings in class on smart boards in line with the curriculum taught in the school. (c) Indusoften uses free resources available online for ESL learning sessions. (d) For e-textbooks, the school does not purchase any license or bulk usage rights for the textbooks and provides them to students on their individual devices. The school only recommendswhich textbooks to buy off the online e-book stores and the studentsindividually purchase the content for each of their devices. (e) The “Show Me” app used in flip classroom model by Indus, besidesallowing teachersto create their own tutorials, givesaccess to featured content from other users and the company’sown content developers for school children across subjects. The students go through this content before coming to class and the classroom time isdevoted towardsreinforcing these concepts for deeper understanding using activities, discussions and in -class assignments.
  21. 21. Page 20 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 (f) The teachers develop their own content using a combination of lesson plans, assessments, videos, animations, PowerPoint slides, audio and games on the CloodOn platform, just as the content available at Khan Academy. Teachers (a) It is mandatory for all teachers to demonstrate comfort with using technology and all teachersare provided with laptop to be used on a daily basis while teaching. (b) Teachersacross all subjectsdevelop their own content using PowerPoint, animationsetc. besidesthe free content available on the Internet to be used for teaching in classrooms. (c) Using shared technology with students, teachersare able to understand the pain pointsof individual studentsthereby taking the learning on a 1:1 route. Return on Investment, Effectivenes s Metrics and Feedback (a) The Connoi® Smart Book model allows teachers to monitor exactly what every student in the class is doing on their individual netbooks through the teacher’s own netbook. (b) However, Indusdoes not employ the use of any device management system of sorts for monitoring what students are doing on their individual tablet screens. Monitoring whether the students are sticking to the lesson being taught in the class on their Kindles, iPadsetc. isdone by teachers in person the old fashioned way i.e. while they roam around in class interacting with the students. (c) Visual Policy: Indushas a well-defined strict visual policy to shield younger students from harm caused by staring at device screens for long hours. The policy caps the screen time for students at 20 minutes for videos, movies etc. shown during the class and encourages teachers to keep such content to the minimum. Instead, Indus keeps videosshort and encourages students to reflect and discuss on the takeaways from the videos. (d) Effectiveness Measures: The school hasnot carried out a comparison of the new technology-based learning environment with the traditional textbooks- based system. However, enhanced collaboration between among students and with teachers is also evidently visible in the school following the introduction of technology. (e) Survey: Indus has carried out its first survey among parents and students regarding the effectiveness of ICT in classrooms. Only 150-160 parents out of 1000+ students studying in the school responded to the survey, so the results may not be representative of the entire target population. There have been mixed responses to the use of technology with one group supporting the rapid embrace of technology such as PCs and tablets in the classroom teaching environment while the group worried about the threat of students getting hooked on to these devices which may cause distraction. 2. Primary Research in Higher Education Institutions To get broader opinions from different use cases, it was decided to cover a higher education learning environment as well which is suitable for the tablet-based classroom. The below primary research activity captureshow tabletsare being used and can be used in an engineering education institution in India today: Primary Research 3: Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani (Pilani Campus) Personnel Contacted: Dr. Rahul Banerjee, Professor of CSE and Leader, Technology-Enablement Imperative (Mission-2015) at BITS Pilani University Type of Interaction: Telephonic Date of Interaction: Saturday, 22nd February 2014 School The Birla Institute of Technology & Science, BITS Pilani is an all -India Institute for
  22. 22. Page 21 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 Overview higher education and isone of the few top institutesin India to favour a ‘Merit Only’ based admission policy. To ensure complete transparency in student intake in the undergraduate courses BITS has instituted BITSAT since year 2005, a fully online pan-India exam testing prospective students on their aptitude for Maths, Physics and Chemistry. BITSAT also hasa section on English and Logical reasoning, thus becoming a complete analysisof a candidate’sintelligence and capability. BITS has been a leader in using ICT for education with long-term and heavy investments in ERP system, CMS, state-of-the-art video-conferencing Cisco Telepresence solution and campus-wide networkconnectivity in all classrooms, faculty offices, residences and student hostel rooms. ICT Solution Used by the Institution (a) BITS is examining the use of tablets for the students enrolled in distance - learning programme (DLP) courses to enable them in taking their semester examswithout visiting any of the BITS campuses or satellite centres. Also, tabletsare being examined for making it easy to assess the answer scripts of DLP students. It is important to note here that BITS isnot looking to carry objective-only MCQ-based examsas part of thisinitiative but also aiming at assessing full-length handwritten or typed subjective answers from students. (b) Pilot for Tablet-Enabled Classroom: BITS isgoing to run a full-length course on Pervasive Computing next semester using tablets in classroom. The course requiresstudents to collaborate in groupsand that is specifically for which tabletswill be used. The class will have a secure wireless connection to which each tablet will be connected and the students can access the content only after proper authentications(biometric or via user credentials). The tabletsare currently planned to be institute-funded and will be a shared resource to be used across courses. A glimpse of the tablet-based learning environment being developed revealed features such as class timelines, virtual breakoutsetc. built into the tablet software itself to enable studentsto step into “discussion mode” where they can collaborate before coming back and presenting their work to the class. The learning environment will use audio and video features on the device to permit life-like classroom feel. (c) BYOD Support: While the pilot cases for tablet-based learning methods will be satisfied using institute-funded tablet devices, in the long term, institute aims to fully support BYOD for students in classrooms. (d) BITS is developing biometric-based attendance systems as well in-house. (e) Video-conferencing on tablets, laptopsand in-class screens are being used for running multiple multi-campus courses at BITS currently. (f) BITS is also using tablet devicesas an infrastructure to carry out the various research projectsitsgets from industry and government. Tablets are used specifically wherever suited for the research project and condition. Educational Content (a) For evaluation of hand-written and typed answer scripts over tablets, BITS is perfecting character recognition and intent matching techniques so that the system can grade subjective answers correctly based on both content and meaning of the text. (b) For higher education institutionssuch as BITS, educational content is not a problem since most learning methodology is lecture-based where digital content delivery hasalready been adopted. The faculty already develops and uses lecture slides, videos, animationsetc. for delivering lecturesin the class which will not be difficult to consume on tablets. (c) For content to be consumed on tablets, BITS will adopt the model of having a central repository on the network from where students can access the content on their devices. Since institute-funded deviceswill be shared, they cannot be preloaded with content and hence, a network repository makes more sense in this use case. Teachers (a) At BITS, both teachers as well as researchers are developing content and software for use on tablet devices.
  23. 23. Page 22 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 (b) Due to the use of ICT such as multimedia and PowerPoint in lectures for close to a decade now, the teachersare pretty comfortable with the use of technology in classrooms. Return on Investment, Effectiveness Metrics and Feedback (a) Monitoring: For monitoring the activity of students in classrooms on their individual screens, BITS isdeveloping classroom and device management systems in-house tailored to the need of the course pedagogy. The decision was taken since none of the commercially or freely available management systems currently satisfy all the various combinations of use cases for higher education. While the off-the-shelf products may suffice for school education, higher education courses demand different policy sets to monitor and restrict access to content etc. asper pedagogy requirements specified by the respective instructors. It is therefore required to develop a solution from scratch in which instructorscan select the suitable policy for setting up the learning environment on tablet devices of students before the class starts. Thiswill also come in handy to restrict access to content etc. on the device and over the Internet when studentsare taking tests on their devices. (b) Metricsfor RoI and Effectiveness: While BITS wasnot ready to diverge the detailsof metricsplanned to be used to measure the RoI and effectiveness of the solution, it mentioned that a Data Analytics Office is being setup to constantly measure and keep track of these metrics and make the reports available to the management whenever required. The first-hand data gathering activitiesand interactionsthat were carried out in schoolsand higher education institution build a sound platform to identify the loopholes, problems and build solutions to address them which is covered in the next section. Phase 3: Consolidation, Conclusions & Recommendations In thisphase, the learningsfrom both primary and secondary data sources regarding the use of tablets and ICT in classrooms were compiled into conclusions and based on these, several recommendations about designing, implementing and managing an effective tablet-based learning environment are provided. Conclusions and Trends The following are some of the important trends and conclusions emerging out of the analyses: 1. Better learning: Tabletsand technology improve learning for the target students. All stakeholders in majority are of the opinion that ICT and most importantly, tablets are a better way to learn leading to more conducive physical aswell asmental conditionsfor a student-centric learning to happen. Tablets allow students to self-learn at their own pace, individualize their learning environment to their likes, and enable development of inquisitiveness and exploration, besides lowering the number of textbooks students need to carry. Moreover, in this digital age, tablets allow students to grasp concepts quickly and permanently using audio -visual cues. 2. Not without apprehensions: Both teachers and parents have some apprehensions with respect to using tabletsin classrooms. While teachersare concerned about the lackof control over what students are doing and the content they are consuming on their screens, parents are more concerned about the health and behavioural hazards of using tablets. A signi ficant number of stakeholders hence lookat tablets supplementing the traditional method of teachersteaching via books and not replacing the same. 3. No hard proof of effectiveness: While most stakeholders, especially school leadersand teachers believe that tabletsare useful for better learning, no instance wasfound where they made efforts to corroborate the claim quantitatively and conclusively. Comparative testing between student test group (tablet-based learning) and control group (traditional learning) seems to be the ideal method which schoolshaven’t undertaken yet. Therefore, the belief looks to be purely based on what they hear from peer institutionsand ICT service providers. In many cases, schools also use
  24. 24. Page 23 Contemporary ConcernsStudy Report By Vishrut Shukla (1211314),PGP 2012-14 tablets and ICT based learning environm ents as factor to differentiate themselves from competition. 4. Continuous monitoring for effectiveness: Institutions are heavily relying on the use of mostly periodic analytics (sometimes real-time as well) to ensure technology in classrooms remain effective and deliver on their purpose. Review of educational content for relevance, alignment with the curriculum and ease of understanding iscommonly carried out. Monitoring of teachers is also undertaken to ensure the technology put in place is actually being utilized well as per the curriculum design. 5. Assessment is the starting use case: For most institutionslooking to experiment with tablets for education, using them for assessment or conducting objective multiple -choice tests is the most common starting point. Thisis so because thismethod of testing finds quick approval from the teachers since it reduces their workload, saves time and shows its effectiveness immediately. Graduation to the next step from assessments i.e. active use of tabletsfor delivering lectures via PowerPoint slides, animations, videosetc. requiresmore effortson the part of the teachers and also require creating and searching for content, needless to say preparing the lesson plan accordingly, which somewhat tests the technology-friendliness and motivation of teachers. 6. Resource Limitations: One of the biggest challengesin large-scale adoption of tablets in classes for educational learning isthe high cost associated with their use and lackof a reliable hardware to serve the purpose of sustaining throughout the day at that affordable price. Even if most schools agree on benefitsof tablets, at current prices, battery life capabilitiesand the additional wireless infrastructure required, their classroom implementation will be limited to a shared use model with definite time periods when a particular class of students can get access to the device. This itself is a fractured way of learning and goes against the goal of delivering a student-centric self-paced learning environment through the use of tablets. 7. Content isno longer the missing piece: With ample content, both free and licensed available on the Internet, it issufficient to conclude that lackof availability of content to be consumed on the tablet devices are an impediment in their adoption in classrooms. Moreover, private school teachersare finding it increasingly comfortable to create content suitable for their lessons on their own, thanks to the ICT trainingsmade available to them by the schools. It was also found that teachersand school management both are open to adopting content created through purely crowd-sourced initiatives, of course, after their own curriculum coordinators and faculty review the same for quality and correctness. Reliance on ICT service providers (such as Educomp) totally for content across the entire learning spectrum i.e. right from K12 to all the way upto higher education, specialized courses etc. is unrealistic and that iswhy crowd -sourced model of content generation makesmore sense to drive large-scale adoption of technology in classroom. 8. Newer education delivery modelspicking up pace: Though not evident yet in large numbers and limited only to upscale, innovative schools for the affluents, some newer learning models such as flipped classrooms, classroom in the cloud etc. are already finding their way in the Indian education system. Recommendations and Future View Unlike South Korea, which aimsto replace the use of paper in itseducational institutions with tablets by the year 2015, India isa bit too diverse to roll out a blanket policy on similar lines. However, it isonly a matter of time that the latest toolsof ICT find their way into the classroom and hence, large-scale adoption of tabletsin education appears to be where the modern learning environments are heading. The following recommendations are presented to accelerate the process: 1. Expansion of Internet Use in Schools: In preparation of the upcoming tablet-based learning era, educational institutions need to expand the use of ICT by actively including Internet-based resources in the classroom. One idea isto make them part of the teachings listed in curriculum so that both studentsand teachersbecome familiar with searching, consuming, discussing and contributing to the vast amount of learning resourcesavailable for free on the Internet. This will later solve the problem of pre-loading the tablet device with content specific to the course and

×