Two weeks ago I traveled to India for a series of meetings with potential resellers, and to visit different schools to get a feel for how technology is used to support teaching and learning there. We have a version of Clicker 6 for India, which uses an Indian English rather than the American English voice, and I wanted to see what reaction teachers had to the software.
I visited a private school and an international school where the medium of instruction is English and the curricula include the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the International General Certificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE). Both schools are K-12 and are well equipped, with every classroom having an interactive whiteboard and computer, and every student in the upper schools using their own laptop in lessons. Students at the elementary school age have access to one or two computers in the classroom, but also visit a computer lab twice a week where the work they do is linked to what they are learning in class (technology integration).
I also visited a public school, where the medium of instruction is English but the school is situated in an area that is a Hindi-speaking belt. This school is well equipped, but the Principal told me that the challenge she has is how to support English language learning in school (children start to learn English in first grade). At the moment they use a language lab and a speaking and listening syllabus, but they are looking for other resources to extend what the students are doing.
There has been a lot of information in the media about low-cost tablets for education in India, but the schools I spoke to have no plans to introduce them in their teaching and learning. However, I also met with the founder of an organization with over 100 learning centers across south India that works with children across the economic spectrum. They have not used much technology in the centers because not having a stable power supply is often an issue in large parts of India, but as tablet devices run on battery power, they are looking to pilot Android tablets in 40 centers to see how they can engage learners.