Calcutta Business School organised a seminar on eLearning on Friday the 4th March
India has become the largest market for eLearning after the US and the sector is expected to receive a boost from the government’s Rs.1.13 trillion Digital India initiative. This was reported by the UK-India Business Council. The scope of e-learning is broad and covers school and college education as well as industrial and corporate training activities. To discuss and exchange views on eLearning, the Calcutta Business School organised a seminar on Friday the 4th March at their sprawling residential campus in Bishnupur, south 24 Parganas.
Chaired by Ms. Bratati Bhattacharya, Secretary General of Shikshayatan Foundation, the seminar provided a rare opportunity for the audience to hear about the different facets of eLearning from experts in the field. Presentations were made by Dr Badrul Khan, one of the most acknowledged e-learning experts in the world; Swami Divyasukhananda of Vivekanada University; and Ms Suchandra Laha of Future Foundation School. Dr. Ashok Banerji, an expert on eLearning and Professor at CBS had organised the seminar at Calcutta Business School.
After introducing the speakers Ms. Bhattacharyya went on to talk about how technology can be used for supporting education and for the benefit of students. She described how such system is used in Shree Shikshayatan school and college. Swami Divyasukhananda from Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Belur, spoke about the massive work undertaken at the University and that too at a very low cost, reaching out to students in many remote areas of the state of West Bengal and beyond. A lot of people use Internet technology but mostly for socializing and personal entertainment. He, on the other hand, started to use Google Talk for remote teaching when the Internet audio chat first arrived. Later he extended it to video and since 2007 he has been conducting vast live classroom with students at different locations. Over 10,000 students attend his eLearning sessions. He also went on to describe how telemedicine services are provided by the University.
Professor Badrul Khan is a Consultant/Advisor to distance education and eLearning related projects in USA, the World Bank, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He first coined the phrase Web based instruction which paved the way for the new field of e-learning. Known as the founder of modern e-learning, Dr. Khan has been honoured with many awards and worldwide including Hall of Fame of United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA). He lucidly explained that eLearning was to harmonise the key factors: Ethical, Intellectual and Pedagogical, Technological, Interface Design, Evaluation, Management and Resources support. The Prime Minister's office of Bangladesh published his book, the first book on eLearning in Bengali language promoted under the 'access to information' (a2i) initiative.
Ms. Suchandra Laha demonstrated how eLearning system at Future Foundation School is integrated whereby students can even study and submit assignments from their home. Parents can also check and keep track of the progress of their children. May be in the near future all the students in our country will be benefitted by eLearning. The seminar was attended by dignitary like Dr Smarajit Dey, Principal Advisor – Strategy and former VP of NIIT; Academic Coordinator from St. Lawrence High School, Shri sikshayatan School, Future Foundation School; staff from RKM Vivekanada University and staff and students of Calcutta Business School.
At the end Dr Banerji mentioned about the impressive work done at St. Lawrence High School that he has seen recently. Mr. Soumak Chatterjee discussed about the recent work undertaken at St. Lawrence High School like ERP Software for school management, Online Education services, Apple Labs for academic research related to school curriculum, Apple Seminars on E-Learning, Orientaion Programs, E-Learning Platforms, Tata Class Edge System(Smart Classroom), Since so many institutions in the state are using technology for education in their own innovative way, there is a need to share their experiences. Collaboration among all such institutions can create a synergy for the betterment of all. It will also lead to economics of scale. Professor S.N. Mukherjee of CBS concluded the seminar with vote of thanks to all. He wishes to see more such experience sharing sessions in near future.