Collaborative Learning – Utilizing the power of Internet

Its been almost a month since I posted and my inherent procrastination is largely accountable for this. But even this being the case, I was fortunate enough to meet some amazing individuals, discuss the future of ICT in schools and understand the general challenges in this field.I am not going to elaborate any of these right now, but two different websites suddenly popped in during this month long research on ICT.

The first one is developed by a School Teacher in England and is named ICTMagic. This is a Wikispace, which means that the idea of collaboration is very much existing in this. This wiki was awarded the best Educational Wiki for 2011 which will give you an idea on how good this is to practitioners. The site, from an initial look, is a repository of several such resources which has been contributed by both teachers and children.

The second one is a TED site named Conversations. Its functioning is also based on the idea of collaborative learning with a person starting a conversation where others can chip in with their ideas. The duration of the conversation can be set by the individual and the comments are visible to the whole public[or atleast many are] and if you go through the conversations you can see that an entire range of issues on the topic get discussed under it.

The broad idea behind sharing these two websites is that these are among the many which is powered on the idea of collaborative learning. At a time when such ideas are being pushed by general scientific community, success of these websites provide enough evidence for implementation of ICT for education. But the burning question which I have in my mind is how can this idea be promoted within India? If mass education or public education has to be revolutionized, it is essential that power of technology be provided to public. But how will we ensure that it is being harnessed in the right way? Are there enough institutionalized support within this realm? I am aware of a National ICT Policy on School Education and ICT @ School Central Scheme. But as is the case with numerous public interventions, there seems to be several malpractices and disorientation among these too.

The first part of my research is aimed at focusing on the governance part of this question. But I am yet to finalize a design and methodology for this. In the coming days I am hopeful of developing it completely and putting it in this forum and try to get in more ideas [provided this site still have visitors ;-)]. In any case, I am hopeful that this can act as a journal for my research activity.