September 28, 2014
Abstract: Using technology to digitalize education is posing huge challenges for India. Not surprisingly, India has ranked poorly (83rd among 148 countries) on the World Economic Forum’s Network Readiness Index in 2014. To harness technology effectively for education, a regulatory framework linking consumers and suppliers of education technologies is required. The government needs to set up a clearing-house cum rating agency for web-based learning material (proposed in the 2012 National Mission on Education). But mainstream use of technology for education can occur only when it complements student-teacher-parent interactions (which are crucial to achieving learning outcomes).
Technology allows for different pedagogic approaches to be applied, tested and improved and ultimately for customization (based on individual learning needs). In sum, there are three frontiers to consider while mainstreaming technology for education—(a) access and infrastructure; (b) the technology innovations market; and (c) the measurement of impacts. Using technology judiciously can change the educational system’s focus from inputs to outcomes.
Keywords: digital education; web-based learning; network readiness; academic performance