Now A Stationery Firm Launches Education Tablet!

Tablet makers appear to see a big market for selling devices to students. After Datawind’s blockbuster launch of the world’s cheapest Tablet Aakash and the more recent launch of Classpad, it is the turn of E-class Education System Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of public listed stationery products maker Sundaram Multi Pap Ltd to launch an education Tablet.

The company has launched a new Tablet PC called ‘e-class Tablet’. The Tablet comes inbuilt with e-class content and has been developed by Sundaram Group for Maharashtra State Board students. The Tablet has the entire syllabus of a selected standard preloaded inside it in a video format that includes animations, audio and visuals.

There are two models of the Tablet, a basic and a premium one. The basic model comes with a resistive touchscreen and is priced at Rs 8,000, while the capacitive touchscreen model is priced at Rs 12,000.

(Via Now A Stationery Firm Launches Education Tablet! « Consumer Tech « Techcircle.in – India Internet, mobile, consumer tech, business tech)

 

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Health & Education lose out in the 11th Plan

11thPlanAllocation

India did not spent enough for the poor despite a commitment being made in the 11th five year plan. […] In the information shared with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, the commission admitted that infrastructure sectors ate into the funds meant for the social sector, except rural development.

Both, health and education got just 60% of the funds projected for these sectors in the 11th plan, which the PM had described as a total health and education plan. The plan ends in March 2012.

(Via India did not spent enough for health and education in 11th plan – Hindustan Times)

The Indian Tablet Triangle

Three Indian tablet devices are gathering newsworthiness.

Triangles @ Base

“At least three different gadgets — all tablet PCs — have captured the imagination of geeks across the globe in the past few weeks. Two of the devices are staking claims to becoming the lowest-priced tablet PCs, while the other is a stunner that promises to take on the best in the game.” (Via The Hindu : Sci-Tech / Gadgets : Indian hardware market abuzz with tablet PCs)

Sakshat: The much talked about and debated $35 device announced by the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development, recently. There has been significant debate on this device – primarily concerning the ability of the government to keep the cost within the limits of what was announced.

Adam: The iPad killer (but then, which device isn’t). The website (under construction is at http://www.notionink.in/, but you will find more information on their blog. With a price range of $399 to $498, it seems targeted to the retail segment, and the news is that it may not be launched in India, to begin with.

Stamp: Relatively unknown, so far, the i.MX233 based STAMP (Specs and Video) platform from AllGo is the third platform that is in the low cost segment. Pegged in the $50 range, this device is expected to make its debut, primarily in the B2B segment and they are not ruling out education.

I hope I am soon able to write a similar post about folks who are thinking right about creating content and services around the platform.

A Sane Voice in the Noise

Someone seems to have understood it!

When the laptop goes to the head – Views – livemint.com: “What we want from advanced technology is that it should enhance educational productivity. But just as often, if these studies are any indication, they enhance procrastination and delay. In this way, technology is no panacea and can actually be a distraction. A student’s character is what really counts.

And that’s what should worry us about the techno-boosterism. It distracts us from the real obstacles to educational achievement.

(Emphasis, mine)

This is one sane voice in the $35 noise.

The most interesting questions being asked about the $35 tablet are the ones that are the most difficult to find. So far, I’ve found only one pertinent question, to which I added a few of my own thoughts.

It amuses me to an extent that all the arguments, counter-arguments for this low-cost device are only about how this device will come to market, about how the government is making a PR exercise of it all, and how impractical it is. What’s more interesting is, no one from the education field is questioning the educational raison d’être for the device.

We seem to be in a hurry to build the hardware with no concern for the software.

PPP in Indian Education

Rather than a simple listing of models — currently there are over 30 variants within the broader literature on PPPs in infrastructure — what would be timely and helpful is for the MHRD to set out how the investment of the private sector in schools would operate in relation to the current flow of government educational funds from the level of district, to block- and cluster-level institutions. The implications for ownership of schools in the note on PPP aren’t clear — and this when we already have the categories of government, government-aided private and unaided private schools in usage. Under the new models being proposed by the MHRD, would it be the case that if a private organisation takes over the entire educational operation of a school, it’d change its status from a government school to a private school (through an opting out of the state system for new academies, as is being suggested by David Cameron’s government)? Also, if private finance was only for the upkeep of the building, would it create a new category of private-aided government schools? Via Let’s go by the book – Hindustan Times

The MHRD is really in a fix trying to decide the manner in which they would like private participation in education. The article lists the three “broad” ways in which private enterprises may choose to participate, however, the government is stuck hard on the premise that education needs to be run by the state.