I had the occasion to put some thoughts into what a national policy for Education Technology/ICT for the XIIth Plan (2012-17) should look like. This is purely a personal effort at visioning, planning, putting an operational plan and budgets in place. I am hoping that the EdTech community will want to contribute to these ideas (or suggest alternate approaches).
In summary, the main areas of the document are as follows.
The approach to any policy on EdTech should, IMHO, embrace the following key principles.
- Democratization of Education: In addition to thinking of Education as for the people, a democratic view of education also considers education to also be by the people and of the people
- Leverage Scale to meet Scale: Rather than trying to impose more structure, we should invert the challenge and allow our very large and diverse scale to meet its own challenges through the power and scale of a very large number of intersecting networks.
- Dis-aggregation and Decentralization: The need of the hour is to unbundle the formal constraints of the educational system by dis-aggregating its tightly packed structure. The need of the hour is also to decentralize, in a manner that is integrative – aligns to local, regional and national goals – and in a manner that respects autonomy and individual creativity.
- Capability not just Capacity: At the root of any system lies capability, not just capacity.
- Glocalization – Go Local, Go Global: Our educational system must understand and adapt to local conditions while staying connected with global networks.
The Vision Statement
Educational technology must enable in every Indian who wants or needs to learn or teach the capability to shape and be shaped by the Education System. This education system must be democratic, equitable, scalably networked, dis-aggregated, decentralized and glocalized.
The achievement of this Vision will require:
- Infrastructure: Provide energy, network and computing infrastructure, access and support at scale to all stakeholders
- Community: Enable every stakeholder with the capability to build their network of people, information and resources
- Content: Strategic identification of content and digital formats to be developed, instead of a blanket approach to content development (all courses, all subjects).
- Education Technology and R&D: Create the technology systems for extremely efficient creation, integration and deployment of learning resources
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Engender the growth of micro to large scale entrepreneurs and NGOs to support the mission and generate employment opportunities
- Policy: Create structures and accountability mechanisms to support this vision
Goals, Outcomes and Budgets
The rest of this document outlines the major goals, expected outcomes, an operational structure and a summary of possible budgets for the XIIth plan. It is important to call out my recommendation to set up a National Learning Corporation head by a Chief Learning Officer for India.
If you are interested in contributing, please let me know and I will provide access to the Google Doc for your comments. Thanks!