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India’s Schools Strive for Universal Computer Technology Teaching

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The Indian government now believes that providing tablets for all of its children, both rich and poor, will greatly improve educational standards throughout the country.

Currently, the Indian government is trying to provide 220 million young students with a tablet, as well as increase the amount of IT learned in schools. The goal now seems more achievable as subsidized Aakash tablets have been reduced to a price of only $20. Datawind, a company providing India with the tablets, has sent 100,000 of these to India’s government. Also, Tablet-PCs would be given to 350,000 students, according to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan.

Adults are on both sides of the table for all students eventually using tables. At one end critics are concerned about the age at which students would receive a tablet saying that” the adoption of tablets has been unfolding in a largely haphazard manner — there hasn’t been much thinking, for instance, about the age at which children should be exposed to this technology or to what extent it should replace more traditional ways of learning.” One expert in technology, Prasanto K. Roy, even notes the lack of studies conducted in India that prove that multimedia devices make a positive difference in education.

On the other hand, there are many that are excited about the idea of bringing in the widespread use of tablets. Making the argument that students are given a more interactive interface with tablets, as well as being less bored and retaining more information, tablets could help make education more fun.

Parents, understandably, may have mixed thoughts, partly based on practicality and cost.

Although the government is pushing an agenda, school administrators will have the final say because schools in India have the right to decide their own policy on technology.

Creative Commons Love: World Bank Photo Collection on Flickr.com

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