Empowering Education through Information Management

Today, we fondly call our era as the age of Information Technology. Getting information on something is just a matter of knowing the right keywords and the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, or Alta Vista and information starts flowing to us via internet like a river.  This unlimited resource of information has been made available to us less than 20 years ago.  Before that, such search engines were available only to the privileged scientists, analysts, government agencies, and businessmen. Getting access to such information source itself was a challenge. Today, it has become easily available to most of us, making it a commodity.

This has shifted the challenge from information availability to applicable knowledge creation. Along with all sectors, Indian education system is also facing this challenge. For example, having text books and classroom sessions on ‘what is Pythagoras Theorem or plant reproduction’ is availability of information; but knowing why we need to learn it and how to apply it in our lives is creation of applicable knowledge. Such knowledge creation as a part of teaching is crucial outcome to make our students successful in their lives and more employable in today’s competitive job market.

In most of the best cases where teachers and students have access to facilities such as internet, libraries, reference material, and so on, teachers and students get same level of information. But what happens later in a typical classroom is a one-way information delivery. This creates a need to exchange and manage information between teacher and students to cultivate knowledge.

You would ask how to manage information to cultivate knowledge. This can be done by using creative teaching approaches that are application-based and not information-based.  After a classroom session, student should be able to explore, discuss, imagine, think, visualize, and apply the information.  And for this, we should constantly seek to evolve our teaching methods. This is one of the sustainable and the promising ways to empower our teachers, students, and the education system.

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