SET conference: Mid-morning session

The next session State of ET in India Today and was led by fellow BITSian Manas Chakrabarti (now an independent consultant).

He led an panel of teachers who have been using technology in their teaching. What was interesting was the manner in which corporate interests are taking a lead in working with schools. The first two teachers talked about Oracle’s Think.com portal, which “connects schools, teachers, and students from around the world to collaborate on projects, share experiences, and build knowledge together.”

The next teacher spoke about their experience with Adobe’s Youth Voices Program: “A global philanthropic initiative to empower youth in underserved communities”

Also mentioned was EDS’ International Education Systems (and their team in India).

The last teacher spoke of using radio in her teaching as part of the Interactive Radio Teaching Program – which was quite cool, really.

A couple of things that stood out. First, the significant role played by corporations in supporting schools and teachers. A cynic may argue that this is just a way for these companies to push their products on to schools (and future users). However, given the lack of resources at the school level in India this concern feels quite out of place.

The second is how certain phrases such as “learner centered,” and “interactivity” have entered the discourse, and are used willy-nilly by all, with little if any clarity. I suspect that these phrases have probably have lost all meaning.

After the teachers came the “enablers” people representing institutions that have been engaged in working with teachers in helping them integrate technology in their teaching. I decided to take a brief break – since I was getting a headache. Remember never to sit near the speakers…

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