Let us think how to make teachers to start creating and using mobile learning content. Once this happen, the students would start using mobile learning, as students are heavily influenced by their teachers. In reality today, mobile devices usage are not allowed in schools and colleges. Today we try to convince deans or principals to allow schools to enable m-learning for students and bring contents for m-learning.
Instead, teachers should be educated to understand values/benefits received by them for contributing to mobile learning. They should be equipped with case study and procedures to restructure their content or produce new content for mobile delivery. Some things to share with teachers can be
- Reduce the time teacher spends on assessment evaluations and conducting exams. Multiple choice assessments are delivered as mobile application to student’s mobile and the student answers them and selected answers are send to the centralized content server for rich reporting to teacher.Timings for the exam can be self selected and tests can be time bound. This enables teachers with access to questions bank that can be used as required in future.
- Enable audio exams on the mobile that are in viva formats. The viva could be either live tele – vivas that can be conducted on call or recorded submissions using the mobile recorder, the audio file from which can be transferred. Best teachers can be involved in viva voices.
- Learning content can be downloaded, categorized and provided to students using SD cards similar CDs/DVDs of PC era. Schools can perform the download and distribute to parents for them to enable children as and when required in the academic year.
- Teachers from far distances can be brought together to collaborate using mobile . A urban/experienced/retired and one rural/new teacher can collaborate in peer or mentor roles. This enriches their subject knowledge and reflects in the class lectures benefiting of their students. This can happen with presence of central system that enables collaboration and a directory to find related peers/experts.
- Teachers should be provided incentive to contribute and to enhance adoption of m-learning in their students. This can be made possible though scholarships, income tax benefits, special skill building programs or m-teaching training subscriptions. Also there should be a mechanism to appreciate free sharing of knowledge by teachers, rank teachers based on the popularity of their learning content and the ranking given by their peers or students.
Let me start with how to educate students the usefulness and enable usage of mobile based learning. I am of strong opinion that self learning and teaching abilities in lower age groups are high. We need to see how many students adhere to a practice of self learning without external push in non-mobile world. Can these practices be migrated to mobile?. How many self learning kits are available? Are they used by majority of the people? if not, why they are not using?
- Make learning possible in the language of the student and that would make more students to choose mobile learning. This needs to be a joint work where we need to educate and work with mobile device companies the importance of supporting multiple languages and what is enabled by support multi languages?
- Educate students that learning can happen with much less hesitancy and more enthusiasm. With an error tolerant and non-judgmental mobile application there are no figure of authority in learning:parent or teacher both disappear. This would encourage self practice, fluency and confidence.
- Demonstrate to users and teachers the power of audio capability of the device. Demonstrate to users that audio record and playback capability of the mobile as mechanism to improve reading and pronunciation. Show that slow learners and students students who are absent in few classes can still attend/re-attend the class through the recorded audio session of the class,
- Educate teachers the impact of a holistic content(permutations of video, audio and text) on the student. The interest of student can be increased by providing complimentary media (visual or audio) learning content focussed on the practical usage, along with regular academic content to enable the student to explore beyond regular learning.
- Educate students to use all capabilities of the mobile handset, how to locate the installed application, how to install the application, how to use of GPRS/3G in optimized fashion for downloading content, how to share applications with each other easily(blue tooth). Post visual guides in educational institutions to enable self-start. These guides can be parent assistive when learners are too young.
- Build applications models that use limited internet capability and a rich learning environment is available at affordable cost. Campaign schools and colleges to have wi-fi capability for students so that they can download large content without cellular provider.
- Today we have mobiles and tablets with wi-fi capability in build. The schools should set-up wi-fi communities. student can collaborate on these wi-fi communities and learn from each other, peers or seniors. The good part is the discussions forums are not monitored in real time by teachers, which allow students to come with open questions without fear of being intimidated.
There are a lot of challenges faced by rural India and education is one of them. We came with good reasons for mobile to be the media to deliver education and started our journey with mobile education. Our experience in the field has broken most of our assumptions. When we started, we had the following reasons.
- Mobile based learning has potential to reach multiple sections of the society. As mobiles cut across geographies and require minimal infrastructure and there is huge tele-density. Effectively they flatten socio-economic hierarchies; counteract competency
- Mobile learning can be personalized and can offer medium that is not disrupted much by
natural and social challenges of nature; therefore consistent and sustainable. The mobile features like audio and voice can be used effectively.
- Mobile learning can enable instruction specific to individuals and enable students with varied degrees of learner competencies. Slow learners can learn slow, they can even take some extra lessons and still learn. Effectively mobile based education can cultivate interest in learning, build confidence and empowers the student.
Our field learning taught us the following
- The educational solutions work well for urban education ecosystem and not for the rural and semi-urban areas. The internet bandwidth is not available or even if available, the costs are not affordable.
- Learning offered on mobile is not really contextualized; only mobile-literate people can effectively use services,They are only available in English and not in rural languages and this is challenges for adoption in rural ecosystem. Neither all mobiles support rural languages.
- The teachers and students are not technology literate and even if literate, they do not have affordable teaching tools that can enable them to easily get their content or bring their regular lessons to mobile.
To build ecosystem, We need to come with answers for the following questions.
- How to educate students the usefulness and usage of mobile based learning?
- How to inform and educate parents the power of mobile learning?
- How to enhance technical awareness for teachers and demonstrate income generation ability ?
- Can there be a learn while you earn targeted at professionals?
I have used public transport in Bangalore for the last 4 years and compiling my observations
1. Bu usage has increased in Bangalore compared to the situation 4 years old.The 500 series buses are jam packed in work areas. This is positive effect.
2. The number of cars with one passenger seems to be increasing in leaps and bounds. This is not a good news.
3. Transit from one bus to another bus is a cumbersome process. The flyovers are designed with a perception that bus passengers can walk a long distance but people driving should be able to be more comfortable. For example, the bus leaving ITPL and reaching silk board would drop passengers on this side of silk board flyover. The passengers need to cross the flyover and then cross the silk board entrance to board the next bus. This makes me think should I have my own vehicle. If this is my case, what about elderly people or families with children.
4. I happened to visit a tech park which is situated on the Hosur high way after the elevated high way to electronic city starts,. There was no footpath for miles and kilometers for me to get down on one side and cross the road. There was no subways even. On needs to go all along one side and needs to walk all along the other side and hence doubling the distance. Why are pedestrians made to walk a long distance
5. There is a flyover at agara. Are the flyovers build for minority population? The buses are still having the traffic signal and the bus commuters spends a large time. I find that the flyover is not getting used to its capacity and why was a flyover build for small number of vehicles.
I do not pay any taxes for charges paid to cloud computing service or purchasing a mobile application in android platform. I learn that all services in India are taxable. How about cloud services or mobile application service?
Cloud Computing allows Governments and Companies to access IT resources as a Service over the Internet. One is not required to invest in the IT infrastructure, Software and Services upfront. The software and data is stored on the servers of the Cloud Computing Service provider.
Taxation of cloud services is complex and is subject to the fact where is the Cloud located. Across the world, the practice is to tax where it is used, whereas in some cases,it is taxed where the service is offered( location of the server) or it is taxed where the office of the cloud computing provider is located. If companies are accessing Cloud Services from outside India, can the Indian Government tax it?
I might need to understand International law and Taxation domain and this is going above my head/ knowledge.
Governments depend on tax revenues on goods sold within their borders. How will the Indian government like to treat the cloud? They would like to follow an approach similar to off-the-shelf software purchases, which are of course taxed. How will the cloud computing company project this? They would claim that Cloud computing amounts to providing Software as a Service which will be governed by the local laws where the cloud computing company is located or where their servers are. These locations are mostly in the US where these are non taxable. As Infrastructure, Platform and Storage is provided as a service on the cloud model, this is going above my head/ knowledge.
Now I am in confused state.. On one hand as Indian citizen, I do not want Indian government to lose the tax revenues. At the same time, I would like Indian companies to make use of cloud computing and save costs,be leaner and more efficient. if Indian company wants to offer cloud computing services,this company would be under Indian tax jurisdiction and the cost would become charges + taxes. Can this company compete against the existing ones?
Are the above leading to the reason to my own question,”why the cloud computing providers like amazon and azure do not have cloud data centers in India?”. For both these providers, I was able to use my Indian credit card.
The satisficer/maximizer split seems relevant here. As Barry Schwartz explains in his fascinating book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, there are two types of decision makers. Satisficers (yes, “satisficers” is a word) make a decision once their criteria are met; when they find the hotel or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they’re satisfied. Maximizers want to make the best possible decision; even if they see a bicycle that meets their requirements, they can’t make a decision until they’ve examined every option.
Studies suggest that satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Maximizers expend more time and energy reaching decisions, and they’re often anxious about their choices. They find the research process exhausting, yet can’t let themselves settle for anything but the best.
I’m a satisficer, and I often felt guilty about not doing more research before making decisions. In law school, one friend interviewed with fifty law firms before she decided where she wanted to go as a summer associate; I think I interviewed with six. We ended up at the same firm. Once I learned to call myself a “satisficer,” I felt more satisfied with my approach to decision-making; instead of feeling lazy and unconscientious, I could call myself prudent. Now I can also remind myself not to get sucked into “decision quicksand” for decisions that don’t deserve that much attention.