Materializing Vision Into Action: TECHEL-2015

Materializing Vision Into Action: TECHEL-2015

With the advent in technology, especially in the field of telecommunication and computer services the distance between people round the world has indeed been shortened, thus transforming today's world into a global village. With the emergence of wireless broadband internet access and mobile communication devices, remarkable opportunities have come up for the 21st century blended learning models-simultaneous online and face to face interactive sessions between students and faculty. E-learning is giving an edge over the traditional egg crate approach to education by enabling dramatic changes in education content, delivery and accessibility.

The government of India has realised the potential of Technology Enabled Learning (TEL) in bridging the digital divide among the urban and rural learners. In its eleventh five year plan, a centrally sponsored scheme was envisaged to leverage the potential of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in teaching and learning process, named as the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT). As a part of his educational initiatives, the Honourable Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi has launched an India-focused Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform, christened "SWAYAM".

NITR understands the significance of TEL in the present educational scenario and is the first from the league of NITs to take a substantial initiative in the above direction by collaborating with IITBombayX, which is a leading Indian TEL platform providing online courses. The online courses for the subjects under SWAYAM will henceforth be integrated in the NITR curriculum. The institute has also come up with a TEL hub named A. N. Khosla Centre for Technology Enabled Learning. It will be inaugurated on 4th August 2015 by Padmashree Prof. Deepak B. Phatak, an eminent pioneer in the field of e-learning, from IIT Bombay. Following this, a national level workshop on TEL: Accelerate learning through ICT (TECHEL -2015) will be conducted on 4th and 5th of August which will aim to cover the following aspects of education and technology:

·        development of ICT tools for teaching and learning goals;

·        recent technologies for education in higher learning ;

·        different teaching methods for engineering and science students;

·         SWAYAM: The MOOCS platform for education.

Prof. Sunil Kumar Sarangi is the patron for the workshop with Prof. S. K. Patra, Dean (FW) being the chairman. Prof. Suchismita Chinara and Prof. K. Sathya Babu are the convenor and co-convenor respectively. Notable personalities such as Prof. Anupam Basu, from IIT Kharagpur, member of SERC (Structural Engineering Research Centre) and a prominent researcher in the field of ICT4D, Prof. Bani Bhattacharya from IIT KGP and other faculties and research scholars from institutes in around India will grace the occasion. ICT4D ( Information and communication technologies for development) refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the fields of socioeconomic developmentinternational development and human rights. Mr. Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe, the new chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will also be attending the workshop.

This workshop will set a forum for the students and the faculty of NITR to get themselves familiarised with the technology and equipments involved in education through e-learning. Currently the instruments procured by the institute for this purpose are a 21 inch Professional LED/LCD Monitor, Touch Interactive Pen Display, and an Interactive Projector among other essential electronics. The financial support and sponsorship for the workshop is being offered by the institute TEQIP (Technical Education Quality Improving Programme).

The A. N. Khosla Centre for TEL plans to kick-start the videography of lectures by 18 faculty members of NITR. Also from the next semester onwards online interactive sessions for French OE will be provided via the English and foreign languages University Hyderabad. These video recordings will be accessible to NITR students only as of now with the packages made available to all once setup is complete.

These classes will shortly commence in PPA, Senate Hall and seminar halls since these have the desired acoustic proofing. The implementation of TEL in the campus will facilitate the students to have interactive web-based classroom sessions with the faculty of other reputed institutes. This workshop will merge lectures, simulations, hands-on-desktop experiments to create a rich collaborative learning experience and promote innovation in education. 

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