Articles

Editorial, Volume II, 2012

We are very happy to publish the Volume II of Bhatter College Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies both on the web and in print. It is indeed a very amazing feeling that we are carrying forward a legacy of human culture that had originated out of the need for communication in the unknown prehistoric times. The history of civilization—to a great extent—can be called a history of the evolution of technology. Marks and signs are everywhere—from the caves paintings, rock inscriptions, papyrus manuscripts, palm leaves, animal skin, printed paper, telegraph, radio, cinema to the digital media, and all these point to the evolving and creative nature of élan vital, which tries to assert itself in complex and varied forms. In the previous century we witnessed the culmination of such spirit on two media—paper, a product of Industrial Revolution of Europe, and cinema/television which led ultimately to an explosion of knowledge. But in this second decade of the 21st century we can sense that we have entered into post-Gutenberg digital era and got past the print culture. While in the previous century we witnessed explosion of knowledge, in the new century with the physical barriers of time and place greatly minimised, we are experiencing a revolution of communication and access and an explosion of information. With the new technology, teaching-learning systems all over the globe are going through challenging times; for, it also demands that the infrastructure exist in functional form and trained teachers incorporate the techniques as naturally as they do the blackboard.

ICT in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges

Ajit Mondal, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, West Bengal

&

Dr. Jayanta Mete, University of Kalyani, Kalyani, West Bengal


Abstract

Since time immemorial, education has been an important instrument for social and economic transformation. Presently higher education in India is experiencing a major transformation in terms of access, equity and quality. This transition is highly influenced by the swift developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) all over the world. The introduction of ICTs in the higher education has profound implications for the whole education process especially in dealing with key issues of access, equity, management, efficiency, pedagogy and quality. At the same time the optimal utilization of opportunities arising due to diffusion of ICTs in higher education system presents a profound challenge for higher educational institutions. In this backdrop, the paper addresses the opportunities and challenges posed by integration of ICTs in various aspects of higher education in the present scenario.

Virtual Effects with Virtuous Personality: A Sufi Approach to the Ethical Aspects of ICT in Education

Mohammad Shaheer Siddiqui,Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, India

 

Abstract

Three discoveries of man gave revolutionary dimension to human race viz. fire, wheel and language but fourth one has changed the global face i.e. ICT. No doubt ICT played much important part in almost all the arenas for national development but its role in education should not be confined to the use of CAI or other technology to make learning mechanical process. Student is not just a ‘brain’ of flash and blood; he has a heart, a soul and waves of dynamic ever fresh emotions unlike the rigid computer software. Education of heart and soul is much required today. Take an extract from the paper on ‘Education for Peace’ by NCERT (2006). A teacher had a dream in which she saw one of her students fifty years ahead. The student was angry and asked a number of questions complaining of the irresponsible teaching and unripe education. What pinches more is the following extract. “With ever greater anger, the student shouted, ‘You helped me extend my hands with incredible machines, my eyes with telescope and microscopes, my ears with telephones, radios and sonar, my brain with computers, but you did not help me extend my heart, love and concern for the human family. Teacher you gave me half a loaf.” The role of new technology becomes more responsible and serious because it works sometimes as dummy teachers. There requires a collaboration of ICT and value based education, collaboration of technology and tradition and collaboration of virtual effects and virtuous personality. Increasing scenario of ‘educated and technological crime’ is the outcome of such disintegrated education system. This paper is a little effort to identify the need of ethical aspects of ICT in Education.

Integrating ICT in Teaching Learning Framework in India: Initiatives and Challenges

Rumpa Das, Mahestala College, West Bengal, India

Abstract

Acknowledging education as a tool for social change necessitates incorporating changes in the methods of dissemination of knowledge to synchronise with emerging trends in all sectors of life. According to a World Bank report, disparities in the levels of ICT readiness and use could translate into disparities in level of productivities and hence could influence a country’s rate of economic growth. Understanding and leveraging ICT is therefore critical for countries striving for continued social and economic progress. Hence, the necessity for Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based resources to be embedded in educational systems to facilitate students to be acquainted, familiarised and skilled in such tools and environments. But this is a mammoth task and policies, programmes and initiatives are to be taken for this. This paper discusses some of the initiative and tries to mark out certain key areas which pose a great challenge to all the stake holders in higher education.

The Advent of ICT in Higher Education and Its Implications

Anupama Singh, Sibpur Ambika Hindi High School, Howrah, India

 Abstract

The introduction of ICT in the last two decades or so in India has brought about enormous changes in every sphere of life and especially in the field of education. This new digital technology has become inevitable and essential and it promises revolutionary benefits for the present and future. But along the way it also poses certain challenges which need to be addressed holistically in effective ways in order to keep pace with the rest of the world and ensure a robust system. This paper takes an overview of the present state of ICT in India and discusses the core issues relating to planning and implementation.

Mobile Communication Devices as a Tool of Educational Process: a Brief Reference to Indian Scenario

Abhijit Mitra, Bhairab Ganguly College, Belgharia, Kolkata  

 Abstract

Mobile technology has opened various avenues for education. M-learning is a new way of learning, in which mobile devices including handheld tablets, PDA, mobile phones, symbian and smart phones are used for teaching-learning purposes. It makes learning portable, spontaneous, effective and exciting. We can record the lectures, read E-books, provide feedback, access internet, multimedia materials, and practical exercises and use software for educational purpose. This paper discusses the concept of M-learning and examines its significance in education. The paper explores the challenges of M-learning and examines the present trends of M-learning in India.

ICT as an Aid in Teaching English Literature and Bridging the Digital Divide

Manali Jain,Gauhati University, Assam, India

 Abstract

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in higher education can revolutionise the education sector in India, thereby making its impact felt in other areas like governance, economy and administration. The National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT),  launched in 2009 by the Central government, seeks to provide connectivity across the country. It is a project under which various schemes have been undertaken. One such scheme has been undertaken by University Grants Commission (UGC) to develop e-content for around 77 subjects at the postgraduate level, which would be put up on the web portal of the Ministry of Human Resource Development – “Sakshat”. Today in the fast pacing world where everything is digitized, the education sector should not lag behind, because it is education which ensures the future of the citizens and the progress of the country. Use of ICT in higher education in the field of engineering, medical science, accountancy, management, business administration, computer science, information technology can be easily thought of. But what about the use of ICT tools in the so called ‘traditional’ subjects of history, literature, political science, economics and other areas of humanities? In this paper, I would focus on how use of ICT in the teaching of English literature can make it interesting for students, teachers, research scholars and how the dynamics of the subject can come alive, for study of literature is, in fact, is studying a number of subjects in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary modes and ICT can provide a fitting platform of convergence for that.

Digitalizing Learning Contents in Cameroon’s Higher Education: Toward Standardizing a Critical Theory Course Site in the University of Yaounde I

Charles Ngiewih Teke, University of Munich, Germany

Abstract

This paper examines the digitalization of teaching, learning and research content in Cameroon’s higher education, paying distinctive attention to the construction of a course site on Critical Theory and Practical Criticism in literary studies which would enhance flexible online and offline activities. The inadequacy of print resource material, the non-documentation and updating of libraries, the necessity of following modern technological trends in providing quality contents and the desire to improve and sustain capacity building and performance, the move towards efficient and flexible time management, are the motivating factors of this new and rapidly advancing techno-pedagogical approach. After having briefly discussed the ICT situation in Cameroon and the Ministry of Higher Education, the essay focuses on the University of Yaounde I’s ambition to practically institute an elearning platform on which a diversity of teaching contents is made available to its students. The Critical Theory course site is modeled on the Moodle learning management system and tailored to suit the needs of Master 2 students. Dominantly student-centred, but at the same time requiring teacher presence in classroom interaction, it provides digital resource material, web links and a variety of activities that engage effective involvement and competence in elearning and the use of ICT in this domain of research in literary studies. The essay views some of the stakes and challenges and situates future perspectives with regard to the relevance of ICT in literary studies and theoretical criticism.