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The product at a classroom
The product at a classroom

Dell comes up with Connected Classroom, an IT tool to modern education

Growing up in the digital age, youth today have greater access to technology and information than the previous generation. They have the whole world at their fingertips, literally. To better equip both students and teachers with the 21st Century skills required in today's global economy, computer hardware brand Dell recently launched in New Delhi ‘Purpose-built Latitude-2100 notebook', which features optional touch-screen that can be used with Web2.0 tools. It is a new range of solutions in India, christened “Connected Classroom”, targeted at the education sector. It will help schools hold classes using the latest technology.

“The idea behind the Dell Connected Classroom is simple yet innovative. Through its versatility, it helps in handling the most robust applications, thereby enhancing the ability to stimulate learning on multiple levels,” said the director of Solutions Marketing, Public Sector (APJ), Kriti Kapoor.

The product is already available in the U.S., the U.K., Mexico, Brazil, China, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It focuses on sectors like education, defence, healthcare and government administration through the company's public division, created in November, 2009.

Marmar Mukhopadhyay (a moderator, policy maker, author, researcher), present on the occasion, addressed the media highlighting the use of the product. He said, “The agenda is to generate thinking-based learning as it is crucial to bring about a positive turmoil in emerging India. Introducing technology in classrooms will certainly take away the fear factor and generate confidence. But we have to be extremely cautious about introducing any technology that encourages spoon-feeding, as it will make our next generation incompetent.”

M. M. Pant, member, Board of Management, IIT, Delhi, said, “Thinking and computing are complementary components that have helped in growing from an agricultural economy to a knowledge economy. It enhances the ability to formulate new problems by thinking and then finding new solutions for them.”

The company is in discussion with schools, both private and public, for the deployment of the product. The cost of the solution would start at about Rs.3 lakh per classroom for a 24-student set-up.

“The education vertical is going to be a key area of focus for Dell in the current financial year. Through this solution, we are increasingly focusing on providing mobility, and the education sector will look at strengthening that position. There are currently 1.3 million schools in India with computer facilities of approximately 14 per cent,” estimated Dell India general manager (public division), Neeraj Gupta. Gupta added that of India's netizen population (seven per cent of the country's population), about 44 per cent are students.

“Textual knowledge integrated with technology can become standardised global education. No one can replace the teacher, but technology can serve as an effective tool and an added advantage for a better learning and understanding process,” concluded Shyama Chona, well-known educationist present at the event.

PAROMITA SARKAR

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