It is indeed an exciting time for digital learning in India, as the nation progressively gears up for last mile digital inclusion.
For rural school education, the acceptance of digital learning for government schools is growing at a very fast pace. The ecosystem has sensed the life shaping impact that an enjoyable digital touch can bring to our millions of underserved learners across rural and semi urban India.
Therefore, most of the state education departments, NGOs and CSR in school education are experimenting with digital learning models that can finally solve the impending issues with ICT in government schools and give them regular usage and much needed transformational outcomes.
It is also being clearly felt, that respecting the situations & complexities faced by our government schools, digital solutions, features and content for them have to be specially developed and customized to finally break open the usage and impact barriers.
We recently met an organization that has been dedicating its energies and resources towards this.
iDream Education is a social ed-tech organization with a vision to facilitate life shaping digital learning for every last mile underserved learner in India.
After working in ed-tech and government schools for seven years, iDream Education took up the baton to custom design digital learning solutions especially for government schools. They deeply studied every problem faced by these schools in using ICT tools and Digital learning, and are designing best suited solutions to solve them.
Their research has brought a conviction, that educational tablets for government schools is the way forward in digital as a means to transform school education in rural India.
We discussed with them about the key reasons why educational tablets could be the best-suited ICT implementation for our government schools.
Infrastructure, Staff and Electricity
Majority of our government schools have less than basic physical infrastructure, shortage of rooms, shortage of teachers and limited electricity supply.
Tablets fit into any government school beautifully by not demanding for fixed furniture, permanent power connections, UPS and a separate room or a dedicated ICT teacher.
With six to eight hours of play time, the tablets also remove electricity dependence and can keep the students happily engaged in learning even when the fans stop!
Hardware and Software Maintenance
Accessories & wiring repair, windows crashes and servicing issues is a key reason for non usage & wastage of computers in ICT at government schools.
Tablets with their ease of maintenance and error free android have finally ensured that such large investments actually reach the children regularly with genuine learning outcomes.
Rich Content including Animations, Digital Books and Apps
We all see a great surge in the adoption of apps, digital books and interactive forms of videos by children and adults across socio economic boundaries.
That is where educational tablets take the lead and can offer touch and view facilities for all types of learning content including digital books, play way apps, videos and practice tests.
Empower the government school teachers being their assistants!
Tablets actually work like personal assistants to the teachers, like their extended hands helping them to share attention and personalized content to every student at their pace.
They enable the teacher to be a guru, a guide and let the students use the digital devices happily for learning.
Costs and Scalability
Tablets outperform every other form of digital hardware when it comes to costs and ease of scalability.
Tablet based labs can be setup at large number of government schools very quickly thereby making it most suitable for wide spread digital inclusion across the country.
Last and Most Important, student’s Proactive & Happy Adoption
Tablets very beautifully connect with the child’s psychology in a non-judgemental environment. Even students, who otherwise may feel sidelined in the class, feel amazed & excited to learn via tablets, and very happily adopt it.
That is the biggest power that tablets bring to government school education. They can very well make our government school students fall in love with learning and growth!
Educational Tablets for Schools: A worthy bet
To summarize, we can no less agree that educational tablets indeed bring multi dimensional digital value to government schools and can best engage our rural learners.
Of course computers, laptops and Chromebooks have great value in different use cases for learning at schools, but it is safe to conclude that educational tablets offer the most effective & scalable way to bring our millions of growth hungry rural students into the digital fold.