Imagine schools without classroom , without books , without attendance sheet and the cold stare of teacher . School in a completely paperless environment . Sounds incredible and even Utopian but is very much within the realm of feasibility and possibility .
Having school in the cloud is indeed a very fascinating and innovative idea . The rapidly changing technology has revolutionised our concept, our approach and our thought process . It has brought about a paradigm shift in the way we live. Cyberspace is the not only the favourite playground of modern day kids only but also the hot spot where many adults prefer to spend most of their quality time . The uniqueness of digital world thrills, entertains and transports everyone to the world of fantasy, away from the dull, dry and dreary daily routines of their lives. No wonder, we find kids glued to iPads, smartphones , X-boxes et al . Tech savvy families now don’t need to go to grocery stores, book stalls ,shopping malls, vegetable vendors etc. All they need is a Smartphone, relevant mobile apps, robust internet connectivity and of course, a credit/debit card . This technology -driven -ease in daily affairs of life has forced one to think why can’t schools also be brought within the confines of the comforts of the household . And why not ? Who would have imagined a few decades ago about online courses , online tests, google hangouts, video-conferencing …. Trust , the future of education lies in the cloud technology .
The concept of schools in the cloud can save billions of dollars for poor and developing nations that would otherwise be required on creating huge infrastructure for schools ( The traditional school infrastructure may not be needed . Children of a particular locality can get together at a community centre and access cloud through their individual devices . In fact.variety of permutations and combinations can be tried and experimented with ) .
This will also tremendously ease the classroom pressure on teaching community and enable best possible faculty available for online tutorials. It would also bring in the unique opportunity of “Anywhere and Everywhere Learning“
Cloud schools will amount to”mobile digital library ” equipped with all the best possible e-books , videos and the storehouse of the digital information from across the continents.
It will also pave the way for eliminating disparities in access to education and learning and will put all peers at par with each other , thereby removing the inequity element –the biggest bane of modern day education system . Everyone will have the access to “nothing but the best “ . The quality will dramatically improve .
There will be common curriculum , common syllabus, common tests and the education will get internationalised in true sense of the term .
The only impediment could be poor internet penetration in a country like India ( Internet penetration in India till 2014 has only been 19.2 % as against 46% in China and 86% each in Japan & USA ) , which can and must be resolved sooner rather than later with bold initiatives like Digital India
About the Author: Shri Mithileshwar Thakur is presently posted as Additional Director General with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry , Govt of India and the views expressed are his own. Shri Thakur is a Gold Medallist in B. Tech (Mechanical Engineering) and recipient of merit scholarship and topper of university /board at all levels.
Prior to joining Indian Civil Service, he has worked as member of IRS in Indian Railways and as Engineer in well reputed companies like NTPC, Tata Motors and Tata Steel. He has served as visiting faculty to many reputed institutions like IIT, Kharagpur; National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics; Indian Institute of Foreign Trade; RBI officers ‘Training Institute ; Narsee Monjee Institute of Management to name a few. . His areas of interest also include Intellectual Property Right issues, Cyber laws , regularly contributes to the reputed magazines and newspapers. He has presided over many functions and seminars organised by reputed Chambers of Commerce & Industry like FICCI, CII, FIEO, Indian Chamber of Commerce etc. He had been Government nominated member of the working group set up by the Govt for Local Currency Trade. He has also been a Key Speaker and panellist in many important forums and has also represented the Government outside India on important platforms.