In the case of formal education, the main determining factor about the quality of education is the quality of the teaching material, curriculum and course contents. In a conventional system, the teaching material is designed and developed by the expert resources available in a particular academic institution or University.
In e-education scenario the contents of various courses can be prepared by a virtual bank of experts. The experts from all over the world can participate through Internet meetings and discussions. The contents created can be stored on servers and be made available to any University anywhere in the world.
The second prerequisite of good education system is the expert teachers. In countries like India, there is tremendous shortage of teachers particularly in remote areas. The students are deprived of good education for want of both material and teachers. The Integrated Internet Education System of e-education delivers the courses to the students directly at their door step using various tools like multimedia and virtual reality. The local teachers have to act only as facilitator.
The expert resources of the virtual bank of experts are also available to the students through Internet, E- mail, chat sessions, video-conferences and video phones. In a very simple system one can use MSN messenger’s service or Yahoo messenger service and can get into a conference with the expert teacher and instantaneously exchange typed messages. The student can ask questions, clarifications and the teachers can send replies from their respective PCs at their homes.
Memory Technology—The growth of Internet has accelerated the growth of many technologies. One of them is the memory of technology. Compact Disk Read only memory (CD-ROM) and Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) are two popular media used in the e-education system. Enormous amount of data 640 mb on CD-ROM on a DVD can be stored and this compact disk can be physically transported to any school.
The multimedia contents of these CDs can then be presented to the students thereby giving them the benefit of best education. Another advantage of the virtual school is that it caters to the requirements of the not so well gifted” or the under achievers. The basic concept is that all pupils in the same age group are capable of reaching the same academic achievements, if provided appropriate education.
E-education systems are being implemented in schools all over the world. As early as in 1996. The then President of U.S.A. Bill Clinton wanted every class room in America to be connected to the information super highway thus creating world class room. In England 10,000 schools have been linked to internet on the “National Grid for Learning”.
In India the government has announced “Operation Knowledge” “Bidyarti Computer Scheme” “Shikshak Computer Scheme” and School Computer Scheme. They are the schemes for penetration of computers in schools. Internet connectivity in all schools will convert them into smart school which has been conceptualized as places where the emphasis is not only on 77 but also use of skills and values that will be important in the new millennium.
E-education at higher institutions has become an entirely different phenomenon. Unfathomable oceans of knowledge are being generated and are becoming accessible through innumerable servers of the Internet. The Internet systems permit students to acquire qualifications without moving out from his house. There are universities adopting distance education system.
Students can apply for a course through e-mail, receive instructions material on Internet receive consultation, receive question paper, send the answer sheets and finally get a degree certificate through e-mail. It will be only necessary to take a print out if hard copy is necessary for compilation of the process. Digital libraries have appeared on the scene, which are very useful in the areas of research. Unlike the conventional libraries digital library provides multiple accesses to the same material at the same time.
Researchers have instances access to any reference material from any of these libraries all over the world. The information about patents and intellectual property rights in digital form has helped the knowledge development process.
Knowledge People—Information technology has created a new class of professionals. There are knowledge workers and knowledge managers in the society today then there are the knowledge users. To derive benefit of the technology in his day-to-day life, every person should be able to operate the spacing computer and the Internet.
In addition to this the knowledge workers and knowledge managers are to be prepared by the education system. One more class of students created by e-education system is the technicians and technologists, who can develop the technology, realise it and then operate the systems for the user. The Internet technology has thus made the best teaching material and best education technology available to all students irrespective of their geographical location and political affiliations.