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Updated: October 4, 2013 10:53 IST

Cloud computing to enrich learning in govt. schools

Asha Sridhar
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Students at the computer lab at Government Higher Secondary School, MGR Nagar. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan
The Hindu Students at the computer lab at Government Higher Secondary School, MGR Nagar. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

On Thursday, S. Meena and K. Lokesh, students at the Government Higher Secondary School in M.G.R. Nagar got to ‘look into’ the human heart in a singular manner. Unlike students in most other government schools who see hearts presented as flat illustrations in their textbooks, they saw one through a 3-D figure on a huge screen.

As a result of an MoU between the School Education department and an NGO, Learning Links Foundation (LLF), their school has become one of two government schools in the State where technology will drive learning in a major way.

The school has been given 11 laptops, 13 tablets, one interactive board, a projector and a wi-fi connection. However, the major advantage is the introduction of cloud computing solution, which provides the school access to a digitised version of Samacheer Kalvi syllabus for classes VI to XII in Tamil and English.

The facility at M.G.R. Nagar was inaugurated by P. Palaniappan, Minister for Higher Education on Thursday. The other school to benefit from the project is the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Sriperumbudur. For students such as S. Gajalakshmi, who have no computer or internet at home, the school is the only place where she can access technology. “My mother is a cook and we cannot afford a computer. I am excited that I will get to handle a tablet in school,” said the class X student.

Usha Bhaskar, project head, LLF said the initiative, ‘Project Aasman’, is being carried out by LLF with support from Dell, which has provided the hardware. “The cloud has a vast repository of teaching-learning resources. This programme will cover eight schools in the country for now,” she said.

G. Shanmugavel, headmaster of the school, said the new facility offered vast opportunities. “Students can revise lessons taught in class. If the teacher is going on planned leave, she can make a recording and upload it,” he said.

@ Varinder - Thank you so much for your comments we appreciate it. The reason to explore this pilot is in-fact to look at a more cost effective model. The future of education is big data analytic and hence a centralized system, 'cloud', helps stakeholders in an in-depth understanding of learning patters of students. Traditional methods would mean providing the CD's and 1 TB Hard-drives which is not a practical solution. The ICT infrastructure provided in the school can very much be utilized and a usage model is exactly what we hope to achieve. I really appreciate your comments and discourses such as this is extremely helpful to us. @Ambi - Dear Ambi - The Foundation will be recruiting a resource to effectively utilize this infrastructure and the repository. We will also reach out to teachers and the community. Thank you for you concerns. @Tuppalrangaswamy Kothandaraman - We are truly humbled by the support we have received.

from:  Kayhan Sanyal
Posted on: Oct 5, 2013 at 14:31 IST

Why are we stressing cloud computing here? Why do we even need cloud computing for the facilities provided to students when the traditional computing infrastruture already available in most of the schools if utilised properly can accomplish the same task? I dont know if its thhe fancy name or the corporates running clouds that people after listening "Cloud Computing" in a conversation simply get excited thinking that its some divine power which can solve all our problems. Cloud computing is just a different model where hardware and software r not bound to each other as tightly as in normal computing. Country like india with lack of proper networking infrastruture shud for the time being focus of computerisation by the simple less costlier methods n later we can move to clouds wen they actually show sm promise of cost efectiveness..

from:  varinder singh
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 05:42 IST

Good news... Hope they have plans to maintain the systems in full working condition so that these systems continue to provide the excitement and education for these kids in years to come.

from:  ambi
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 03:16 IST

Great effort

from:  Kumar Janakiraman
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 01:05 IST

Fantastic. Why not all the schools ? Now studying will be different and cramming will find the way out. Time we catch them young and you g Indians will contribute to the world

from:  Pn
Posted on: Oct 4, 2013 at 01:02 IST

honorable Chief Minister of Tamilnadu deserves all praise for providing these latest advances to school children.

from:  Tuppalrangaswamy Kothandaraman
Posted on: Oct 3, 2013 at 20:21 IST
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