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Digital learning: Education goes mobile worldwide

Monday, 9 April 2012 - 2:39pm IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

Technology has helped to shift from e-learning to m-learning, says CEO of Extentia Information Technology.

The students are now connected, computer savvy, content-centric and community-oriented due to which education worldwide is going mobile, with parents supplementing their children’s education with mobile resources.

It is a timely subject of significant relevance for India also, said CEO of city-based Extentia Information Technology, Umeed Kothavala, who was invited to speak at ‘LEARNTEC 2012’, a leading international trade fair and convention for vocational education, learning and IT, held recently at Karlsrube, Germany.
Kothavala spoke on the topic of ‘Mobile education and global models’ at the convention. In his session, he spoke on the evolving state of learning on cellphones.    

Working intensively on potential uses for mobile devices in schools, Kothavala, said that a wealth of information was available at the trade fair, where over two hundred exhibitors from eleven countries presented their products and services.

“The power to do more increasingly lies with the younger generations who have a greater affinity for  technology and are more willing to employ it in their lives in a variety of possible roles. Mobile devices have played a significant role globally and are the best example of technological connectivity as they are interactive in nature, provide convergence and are intrinsically personal,” said Kothavala. 

The drivers of mobile technologies may be very different in India compared to developed world, but Kothavala said that the issues of introducing mobile learning are quite similar.

“Here people reflect and are concerned about the challenges they may face if they use mobile technologies. This is a good thing since we should not only get passionate about the upside of innovation, but also think about the risks and negative repercussions,” he said.

India’s challenges are equally unique, pointed Kothavala.

“Introducing mobile learning without a structured and reliable framework that guides our learning processes can be risky. Technology must extend and enhance the learning process but cannot do so by replacing current protocols or without an integrated thought process and pedagogy,” he said.

One of Extentia’s applications in mobile education is Skills Tutor developed for impact education. Skills Tutor Mobile has won the ‘Product or service most likely to succeed in the Tech Ed Market’ award at Ed Tech 2010. The award was presented as part of Software and Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) 2010 Ed Tech industry summit innovation incubator programme.

There is a widespread interest in digital school books in developed countries and use of technology in education has moved significantly from distant learning to e-learning and now towards m-learning. “The cost-effectiveness, eco-friendliness and logistical benefits of digital books and content will force users and publisher communities to take the medium seriously,” said Kothavala.

In India, Kothavala stressed on the need of new social and political structures to take evolving technology into account and the academia must adapt to these new conditions.

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