Hyper Links: The Symmetrical trade off and the FOSS projects


The book titled, On the Internet: Thinking in Action by Dreyfus (2009) address the difficult trade-offs with the use of Internet technology in human life. As a professor of philosophy at University of California at Berkeley and the author of What Computers Still Can’t Do and Being in the World. Dreyfus questions the outrageous prediction of Internet technology.

We are told that, given its new way of linking and accessing information, the internet will bring a new era of economic prosperity, lead to the development of intelligent search engines that will deliver to us just the information we desire, solve the problems of mass education, put us in touch with all of actual reality, enable us to explore virtual worlds that enable us to have even more flexible identities than we have in the real world and thereby add new dimensions of meaning to our lives. (Dreyfus, 2009, p. 2)

Continue reading Hyper Links: The Symmetrical trade off and the FOSS projects

Landscape of FOSS in Indian Education

The term, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), is a convergence of two movements, Free Software Foundation (FSF) and Open Source Initiative (OSI). Though these two movements are different ideologically, functionally both are the same. FSF stands for the moral and ethical side of software development, while OSI focuses on the economic and practical side.

EDUBUNTU a FOSS example in India
EDUBUNTU a FOSS example in India

The advocates of FOSS-based technology believe that India is going to witness another revolution called the gold revolution by automating industry, government, and affordable education through FOSS. In India, majority of secondary school curricula oriented toward proprietary products (e.g., Microsoft Office). FOSS-based education is still in its infancy. However, the Government of India and corporations are taking different steps to improve quality of education by adopting FOSS projects. Continue reading Landscape of FOSS in Indian Education

Educational Technology Standards in India

ISTE's Teacher Standards
ISTE’s Teacher Standards

Educational Technology Standards could be used to evaluate teachers’ knowledge and ability to teach in an information society, as well as their behavior. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a premier non-profit organization, creates technology standards for teachers. In the United States and other developed countries  ISTE standards are the benchmark for teacher training and professional development. So far, however, there has been little discussion about educational technology standards in Indian context.

Chapter title from ICT 10th standard text book, Department of General Education, Government of Kerala.
Chapter title from ICT 10th standard text-book, Department of General Education, Government of Kerala.

Continue reading Educational Technology Standards in India

ICT in Indian Education: A Brief History

In India, use of ICT in education goes back to the colonial era of the British government.  India aired its first radio broadcast in June 1923 by Radio Club of Mumbai In the 1930s, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) aired educational and cultural programs in India through broadcast radio.  In 1937, All India Radio (AIR) broadcasted educational programs for school children (Agrawal, 2005).  Since 2002, India’s first educational radio station called Gyan Vani (Voice of Knowledge) has been on the air.  This full-fledged educational radio station provides programs for different types of learners including adult learners (Agrawal, 2005).

In 1959 India acquired its first television set for an experimental televison service in Delhi.  Television gradually expanded to the urban rich.  In 1961 Educational Television (ETV) was introduced in the secondary schools in Delhi. This was a pilot project by UNESCO and the Ford Foundations.  As part of the project, lessons for physics, chemistry and English were televised to secondary school students (Mohanty, 1984).  To develop the rural community through education, in 1975 an experimental project was implemented called Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) with the help of the USA (Agrawal & Sinha, 1981).  In 2000, a 24-hour educational channel was launched known as DD-Gyan Darshan.  In 2003, in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), a technology education channel was launched targeted to 1.5 million engineering and technology students (Agrawal, 2005).

In India, using computers related to education first started in 1984.  The project was called Computer Literacy and Studies in School (CLASS).  As part of the project, computers were introduced to 250 higher secondary schools.  An evaluation study of the CLASS project finds that students had a positive attitude towards computer learning regardless of the type of school (Agrawal, 1996, 2005).  To facilitate the computer based education, the first degree in computer education was offered in 1989 in Indore, India (Goel, 2000).


Agrawal, B. C. (1996). Pedagogy of Computer Literacy: An Indian Experience. Concept Publishing Company.

Agrawal, B. C. (2005). Educational media in India. In U. V. Reddi & S. Mishra (Eds.), Perspectives on distance education : educational media in Asia. Vancouver, B.C.: Commonwealth of Learning.

Agrawal, B. C., & Sinha, A. K. (1981). Satellite television in a Bihar village : a case study of SITE. Ahmedabad: Govt. of India, Space Applications Centre, Software Systems Group, Research and Evaluation Cell, Indian Space Research Organisation.

Goel, D. R. (2000). Educational media in India. Delhi: Bharatiya Kala Prakashan.

Mohanty, J. (1984). Educational broadcasting : radio and television in education. New Delhi: Sterling.


Lessons of openness

According to Lessig (2010) “Openness is a commitment to certain set of values …the values of freedom, it is a value of community, it is a value of limits and regulation, it is a value of respecting the creator”

Lessig, L (February, 2010). TEDxNYED – Lawrence Lessig – 03/06/10. Retrieved from


About IT@School

The IT@School is a project under the Directorate of Public Instruction of the Government of Kerala, India. This project integrates ICT, as part of the curriculum and educational system particularly in High School Education for qualitative improvement of conventional teaching/learning system. IT@school is one of the largest deployments of free open source software (FOSS)-based ICT education in the world. The main activities of the project are: Capacity building, infrastructure development, content development, and E-government initiative.