The Indian ICT market in education is estimated to be Rs 2,85,000 crore and is slated to grow to Rs 5,70,000 crore in 2014. Almost 70,000 plus private schools have made investment in some form of digital infrastructure. The 11th Plan has set aside nearly Rs 6,000 crore for National Mission on Education through ICT for primary and secondary education. As a result of this thrust on introducing ICT in school education, there has been a considerable attention on training the teachers in the use of various tools and software. After the initial resistance, teachers are now coming around to accepting the use of ICT in education and the administrators have started considering ICT as an essential investment.
Parents take huge satisfaction with the fact that their children are exposed to ICT from the early days of schooling and unlike many of their generation who lack digital literacy; their children would not have this disadvantage. However, the big question to be asked is whether all this investment is aimed at creating digital literacy and making schools better or enabling the children to become better citizens of tomorrow. The reason for this concern is on
account of the focus of ICT today which is seen as a tool mostly aimed at supplementing their functioning and in some cases aiding in their education delivery process. The investment being made warrants careful attention as it has a significantly higher potential for transformational outcomes with the education process. Such a transformational
impact can be realised only when there is a fundamental rethink on the pedagogy being followed in our schools.
The traditional pedagogy at schools is instructivism which makes the teacher central to all learning and the teacher is expected to provide information and instruct students on how and what to learn. All processes and conditions for success are determined by the education policy planners and the administrators and teachers by and large adhere to them with the belief that standardisation of content, delivery methods and assessment will lead to predictable output. Of late, proponents of ICT in technology have been advocating constructivism and many schools are attempting to deploy this approach in their schools.
The constructivist approach enables the students to build their own learning pathways by being paired with peers with the view to co construct knowledge and experience according to their needs. Students are encouraged to share their ideas and understanding with one another