Kerala education sector goes e-way, plans digital textbooks

By Pti

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 29: In a major initiative that may revolutionise the general education sector, Kerala is all set to introduce multi-media "Digital Collaborative Textbooks" (DCT), the first of its kind in the country, in government schools.

This digital textbook will comprise information contributed by persons around the globe in audio or video formats, besides the scanned soft-copy of regular books.

The state government has decided to launch the DCTs in government schools on an experimental basis from next academic year starting in June; A Shahjahan, Secretary, Department of General Education. [Using free software in education can save Rs.8,000 crore]


Students and teachers can access the DCTs with the support of tablets and e-learning centres setup at schools. IT@School, under the state General Education Department, is planning to launch the "digital collaborative textbooks formally" early next month.

Kerala education sector plans digital textbooks

"The digital collaborative textbooks are a significant step in the education sector of the country. We are planning to launch the DCTs next month formally," Shahjahan said. A senior official of IT@School said Kerala is the first state to introduce this kind of multi-media textbooks.

"At the average level, the DCTs are e-books in which ordinary textbooks are and uploaded. But, a plethora of information, contributed by different people including experts on various subjects make them unique," IT@School Executive Director K P Noufal told PTI. [School students to get free travel in public buses in Kerala]

He said over 3.7 million students and about more than two lakh teachers in the state-run schools are expected to benefit from an ambitious project. The department was also ready to share digital textbook model with private schools also which follow the state syllabus.

But, they should provide hardware and other supporting facilities to get the access, he said. In the Digital Textbook, which would be published in a format open to all. Anybody in the world can add their explanations in these Hard Spots in audio or video formats. The audio and video files can be sent to the 'Academic Centre' of IT@School, where experts will verify them.

"After scrutiny, if found acceptable, this will be uploaded and attached under the Hard Spot. Hence, there will be thousands of different explanations under each Hard Spot," he said. "I think this new concept will enable ISRO Chairman K Radakrishnan to explain about moon or the celebrated Mars mission to our children through a video or audio clip," he said.

"The identified Hard Spot can become a part of the school textbook," he said, adding, they had already received over 3,000 contents on different topics to add to a digital text.

The official said not only students, but teachers would also benefit from these innovative textbooks. A total of Rs 50 crore is outlayed for the project, planned to be implemented with the technical support of the state-run Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT), he said.


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