Technical and Vocational Education

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Registration Name : eINDIA2011/AN/215
Project Category : digitalLEARNING::Best Technology Solutions for Education Institutes
Project Name : Technical and Vocational Education

Details of Applicant
Name : Pawan Gupta
Address : 5/A,The Pentagon, Shahu College Road,
City : Pune
State : Maharashtra
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 411009

Details of Project/Implementing Agency
Name of Organisation : SoftTech Engineers Pvt. Ltd.
Address : 5/A,The Pentagon,,Shahu College Road,,
City : Pune
State : Maharashtra
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 411009
Name of the head of Organisation : Mr. Vijay Gupta
Website : www.elearning-softtech.com

Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :
SoftTech offers an innovative digital learning library covering more than 225 subjects in Technical and Vocational education streams. The technical education library covers Electrical, Electronics, Civil, Mechanical, IT and First Year Engineering branches. The vocational education covers several skills (as recommended by National Vocational Training under Director General of Employment & Training) like electrical drawing for electricians, mobile repairing etc. These can be used by institutes and students to further their education objectives.

Why was the project started :
In Technical Education and in Vocational Education in India, the product coming out from the institutions depends upon many factors. The key factors are the availability of the experienced – expert faculties and gap between the theoretical knowledge and practical requirements of the industrial field. The project was started, For creating knowledgeable, industry employable students / for creating entrepreneur abilities in the students. In order to help the nation to change this scenario with the way of eLearning, SoftTech pioneered eLearning in Technical and Vocational Education. For enhancing the capabilities of the teacher to teach in a logical sequence so that the students grasp the complex concepts immediately. These eLearning solutions are teaching aids and not for substituting / replacing teachers. For standardizing education platform, and for bringing uniformity in education delivery. For reducing the teaching-learning time, reducing drop-out rate.

Objective :
1. To bridge the gap between academic curricula and industry expectations.

2. To provide a digital library for various subjects in technical and vocational education in India.

3. Compliment faculty led training as well standardize and reinforce important concepts in technical and vocational streams.

4. To bridge the gap in availability of qualified faculty in remote institutions and scale the availability and reach of quality training to rural areas.
Target group : Technical and Vocational Institutes / Students.
Geographical reach : India and abroad
Date from which the project became operational : 10 August 2001

Is the Project still operational : YES10 points that make the programme/project innovative?

  1. Effectively bridges the industry-academia divide by complimenting theoretical content with a practitioner’s view which is embedded in the learning programs.
  2. Difficult theories are explained using multimedia technologies (text, 3D animations, video and audio)and pedagogy enabling contextual learning.
  3. Conceptual theory with voice-over audio to reinforce learning through sight and sound
  4. Supportive graphics, photographs, video clips wherever required in line with the principles of adult learning model.
  5. Various tools for teaching-learning like screen highlighter, notes, page-wise notes, etc. makes learning more experiential.
  6. Facility to record in user’s voice in his own language which engages the learner in the learning process and increases retention.
  7. Bookmark facility which navigates the user to the page left in previous learning session.
  8. Search option to search the text. It is also useful to navigate to the searched word on various pages.
  9. Navigation is also possible by inputting page number.
  10. Numerical modules built into help students solve examples enabling them to learn by doing.

List the 5 achievements of the programme/project?

  1. We have successfully brought the practical industry knowledge to the institutes generating more employable resources for the industry.
  2. Successfully implemented in more than 200 Government and Private Polytechnic Colleges in Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya. Technical Education Boards of TamilNadu, Haryana, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir
  3. ITIs from Himachal Pradesh adopted e-learning using our software.
  4. Renowned IITs/ NITs from India are using our software.
  5. Technical Training Institutes from Kenya are using software for vocational training.

List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative

  1. Teachers from institutes were not ready to adopt the new technology. SoftTech invested significant efforts to create awareness on its value as an effective learning and reinforcement tool which complements the role of teachers
  2. Support to remote clients about installation was a big task due to lack of basic computer knowledge. Company has taken local support to overcome this issue. Later on remote applications are used to solve the problems.
  3. Due to variation in the syllabi throughout India there are difficulties in marketing of the digital library. Many a times, company has to customize the digital library as per the needs of the institutes. Customization requires huge investment and which increases cost of the product and there are allotted funds problems with the institutes also. Hence company is deciding to market the product as standard libraries which are compliant to prescribed syllabi of leading universities.
  4. Software piracy was a major problem to overcome that company has developed hardware lock supported sets of digital library subjects.
  5. There is huge demand from the students to have our digital library for online learning. Due to low internet speed the multimedia learning with heavy graphics was a big difficulty. Now with new light weight graphics technology and high speed internet the challenge seems to be over.

List the 5 points how can the programme serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?

  1. There is a huge void in the availability of facilities and faculty resources at Technical and Vocational training institutes. Our packages can help to bridge this capability gap by complimenting the faculty and available resources
  2. The expertise of different professors from disbursed institutes in different subjects can be consolidated to provide the best to learner.
  3. The packages lend themselves to uniformity in delivery of concepts and learning as prescribed in the technical and vocational stream.
  4. Digital delivery of learning can overcome the issues related to slow learners who can learn at their own pace with little help from faculty which also addresses the issue of poor teacher-student ratio in many remote institutions.
  5. It can effectively bridge the vernacular divide as it enables students to record their understanding in their native tongue.

List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative

  1. Since the content is intrinsically digital it can be provisioned on the Cloud (SaaS/Hosted/Private/Public) which makes it scalable and available to masses.
  2.  The scalability can also be multiplied several times by making it available at retail outlets e.g. branded/small bookstores, electronic goods stores, rural computer centers and e-choupals.
  3.  It can also compliment small entrepreneurship by enabling housewives, single women and differently abled people, self-help groups to market these using direct and internet channels providing meaningful livelihoods.
  4.  By involving participants and faculty members we can effectively crowd-source content for continuous upgrade and scaling of our products without having to scale our team and resources
  5.  The digital packages when combined with experienced faculty and other adjunct material like e-books, discussion forums, chat sessions and open source VOIP based video conferencing, in a social learning (community) setting can make way for very rich, thematic and scalable learning environments at very low cost.

SoftTech 7th eIndia Award 2011

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One Response to Technical and Vocational Education

  1. Kirit Joshi says:

    This is an excellent initiative. I vote for this.