Advanced technologies are undoubtedly influencing the way students learn and they have enhanced the learning experience for them. ICT (ICT full form - Information and Communication Technology) can make a significant contribution to raising educational standards. ICT usage and academic success have been found to be significantly correlated. Teachers use these technologies to make learning engaging and effective. With the advancement of technology, the novel learning procedures demand more active participation on the part of the students and which consequently improves the learning outcomes. Learning ecosystems have been improved by the introduction of ICT in education. ICT in education can be considered a boon that is transcending traditional learning beyond our expectations. Because of these characteristics and benefits, NCERT has come up with some ICT initiatives to improve the quality of education. In this article, you will learn about ‘What are the ICT initiatives of NCERT”. However, before we discuss that, we will give you an overview of what is ICT and the role of ICT in education. So, read on to learn more about ICT in education.
What is ICT?
If you are wondering what is ICT, you will get your answer here. ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology. ICT in education is the usage of information and communication technologies to impart quality education or to impart knowledge. ICT integration in the classroom enables students to learn more eﬃciently and better prepares them for the future. Technology makes it possible for students to comprehend the learning concepts in an effective manner. Moreover, it enhances every step of their learning journey making it an enjoyable and enriching experience for the students.
Role of ICT in Education
In a technologically advanced world like ours, ICT plays an important role in the realm of education. The importance of ICT in education is reiterated by the better learning outcomes we are witnessing over the years. The innovative abilities and creative thinking skills of students are substantially impacted by ICT in education. Undoubtedly, it improves the quality of education. Some of the uses of ICT or the role of ICT in education are as follows.
- It unleashes the creative capabilities of the students.
- ICT makes learning more fun and engaging for students.
- The quality of education that is imparted in schools would improve.
- ICT would aid teachers in enhancing their teaching strategies and hence, they will be able to make a long-lasting impact on students.
- The learning outcomes of the students would improve as they will develop an affinity toward learning.
- It plays a key role in bridging the digital divide and would make education accessible to more students.
- It also contributes to the professional development of teachers and educators.
What are the ICT Initiatives of NCERT?
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is a self-governing body established by the Indian government in 1961. The development and dissemination of novel educational methods and practices are one of NCERT's primary goals. NCERT under MoE, Govt. of India has established ICT initiatives to make education accessible to all. Integration of ICT in education improves the quality of education and hence the learning outcomes would also improve. Let us look at each of the initiatives by NCERT.
ePathshala is a website and mobile application developed by NCERT to display and disseminate a variety of study resources to learners across the country. A number of e-resources like digital textbooks, videos, periodicals, etc are available through the website and mobile app. It aims to bridge the digital divide and make learning resources available for every one from anywhere and at any time. Through ePathshala, all parties involved, including parents, educators, teachers, and students, can access digital books.
Digital textbooks are available to students along with other learning resources. Moreover, through the portal students can participate in various events like festivals, exhibitions, workshops, etc. As mentioned above, students can access audio, videos, and other electronic study resources through this platform. In addition to this, students can also access the digital comic book called Priya- the accessibility warrior. The main idea behind this e-comic book is to enlighten students about the importance of accessibility and the message of this book is “Everyone Needs Accessibility, Accessibility Helps Everyone”. NEP 2020 accentuates the importance of inclusivity in the education system and the initiatives like Priya give an insight to the public about the necessity of education being accessible to every child.
As far as teachers and educators are concerned, they can make use of the e-resources available in the portal to add value to the teaching strategies. Through curriculum documents, educators have the provision to improve the quality of education imparted in educational institutions. With the help of the resources and tools available on the ePathshala platform, teachers can assist students in achieving their learning objectives and outcomes. Parents also have the access to digital resources in order to help their children to learn better and achieve better.
M. Venkaiah Naidu, the vice president of India, introduced DIKSHA on September 5. One of the most popular initiatives that promote ICT in education is DIKSHA. DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing), like ePathshala provides digital content to students and teachers across the country. In addition to supporting inclusive learning for marginalized and differently-abled students, DIKSHA is designed for use in school settings and foundational learning programs. Here, e-resources of NCERT and other state boards are available for students and teachers. These resources are available both on their websites and in their application. These study materials can be accessed free of cost. It paves the way for self-paced learning. The platform supports more than 18 plus languages and as mentioned above a myriad of curricula as well. It is an open-source platform and its theme is “Made in India, Made for India”. It provides various features like classroom resources, teacher’s training content, assessment aid, a community of teachers, etc. It assists teachers by providing lesson plan tools, training, leadership training, etc. Moreover, assessments, practice tests, question banks, etc are made available through the DIKSHA portal.
DIKSHA is a great platform for teachers to improve their teaching and make the learning process better for students.
This is one of the most known ICT Initiatives of NCERT. Let us look at the features of this initiative in detail. NISHTHA stands for National Initiative for School Heads' and Teachers' Holistic Advancement. These ICT initiatives of NCERT focus on the professional development of teachers and head teachers. The growth of educators subsequently results in the growth of students. Through Continuous Professional Development (CPD), teachers tend to be well aware of the latest pedagogical techniques and also will be able to adapt and implement those strategies in classrooms.
According to NEP 2020, "Teachers truly shape the future of our children and therefore, the future of our Nation. The motivation and empowerment of teachers are required to ensure the best possible future of our children and nation” and this initiative is in line with this belief. In order to improve the competency of teachers, this initiative provides online and offline training sessions for teachers and educators across the country. The One Nation One Portal-inspired DIKSHA portal has been adapted to conduct NISHTHA training programs in an online format.
National Repository of Open Educational Resources is another ICT initiative of NCERT. It is a huge repository of study resources that can be used to enhance the learning process of students. It covers all subjects and all grades of schools. In addition to online resources, NROER also provides opportunities for participating or enrolling in online contests and enrolling in courses that are available online. The main objectives of NROER include making educational resources accessible to everyone and making it possible for community members to contribute to the creation and distribution of digital materials.
It encourages teachers to create the best learning resources available for the students. Also, they motivate teachers to collaborate to create resources that would boost the quality of education that is being delivered. Like other platforms mentioned above, NROER provides teachers with access to videos, audio, question banks, images, and other resources. Teachers can make use of the best resources available that match their style of teaching and cater to the requirements of their students.
Subject matter experts can contribute resources to the repository. In addition to this, directors, filmmakers, producers, instructional designers, etc are also allowed to upload educational content on this platform. In this way, the repository would have a wide range of educational content to enhance the learning experience for the students.
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The efforts made by NCERT do demonstrate a beneficial improvement in the way we are educating our students. These initiatives are contributing a lot to the development of our education sector. As technology and digital education have enabled everyone to access learning resources anytime, anywhere, learning has become easier and more convenient. In universities, colleges, and schools, ICTs have grown to be a crucial teaching and learning tool. Hence, ICT plays a crucial role in building the future of education.
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Written by Athira V S