A new project has recently been taken up by UK-India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI) to work with the digital literacy sector of both the countries. Funded by UKIERI, the project is called Digital Literacy and Innovation for Tomorrow’s Education (D-LITE).
The two institutions who have been worthy enough to receive the funding are Edinburgh College, Scotland, UK and University of Delhi, India. D-LITE is working with the objective of engaging employers, teachers and students in both UK and India. The whole project consists of 8 activities that are bound to be completed in 2 years. The collaboratively developed programme will position digital literacy – along with digital life skills and digital inclusion, as an essential skill to drive digital participation.
In India, the project is being led by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Dubey, Director, Campus of Open Learning, University of Delhi and Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Delhi and Dr. Mamta Bhatia, who is the OSD, Campus of Open Learning, Keshav Puram, University of Delhi.
Under the DU chapter, in the first phase 35 teachers of the University have been trained in digital literacy. The 4 day programme that was conducted at Delhi University’s Campus of Open Learning Centre in Keshav Puram, included training in Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, as well as Web 2.0 tools such as WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Teachers have also been provided Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) training by providing a familiarity with Moodle, a web-based application. Ms. Bhatia told us that the next step involves students of the University to be trained by the teachers who attended the programme, forming a continuous cycle. As the number of teachers that are trained increase, more and more students will be trained as well.
Mamta Bhatia, OSD, Campus of Open Learning says, “In the present day, everything is digitalised. Hence, the teaching learning process also needs to be digitalised. Using tools such as Powerpoint, Facebook and Twitter can help in making the teaching learning process easier and more interesting.”
She told us, that out of the 35 teachers that were trained, four teachers will be selected as ‘champions’. These teachers will when undergo further training in Edinburgh College, Scotland.
The project curriculum is being headed by Mr. David Hiddleston of Edinburgh College. He believes D-LITE is an important forum to enhance scope for employment. He says, “The D-LITE programme will support the expansion of emerging and developed markets; digital skills acquisition is becoming increasingly more important into all aspects of daily life, such as social participation and economic advancement for individuals and employers. It will also provide the opportunity to enhance learning and preparation for future employment.”
The initiative is being partnered by UKIERI, University of Delhi, Edinburgh College, British Council and Microsoft. The next set of activities under the programme have been scheduled for March 2014.