Cyber Education, Not Cyber Crime...
Patricia Mukhim the noted columnist, recently writing on the Assam carnage, and its sad fall out in different parts of the country, I think made a very crucial and interesting point, which seeks special edification. She said that SMS ands MSSs were being used for propaganda and canards, which is an ominous sign, because it is an indicator of how new and emerging technologies are being grossly abused to instil fear, lies, the myth of propaganda, and the culture of dissemblance. Nothing could be truer than this.
We have had examples of mobiles being used by children to blackmail, and now social networking sites are used for 'stalking' and even resulting in suicides. A couple of years back a lady from Shillong got married to a person from the Southern part of the country through a social networking site and found herself viciously trapped in a world of lies.
It is a pity that we have made ourselves the slave of technology, not that we should be its master, but certainly we should emancipate ourselves from this servility, which is spreading abjectly the culture of lies and falsehood.
I have been arguing in my articles that the special import of technology is missing in India, to be used for literacy and education. No one is denying the entertainment value of technology, but education is in its right context, because education can be made more exciting, creative and interesting with the help of technology, in fact it will be 'edutainment' in special terms.
But what we do, we fall prey to circumstances of immediacy and gratification. Adults if they take the lead, then the young will follow. The young, the impressionable must be sensitized on the right and constructivist usage of new media. For example the mobile can be see as a compendium of other technologies, apart from telephony, that of the radio and the internet. It is a mini computer. The computer again is a broader classification of such contention. Such contention should start from the school, where such facilities are available, and anyway the mobile has become accessible to the masses.
We must move away from cyber crime to cyber education. Even the Skype can be used for serious academic interaction, in a one to many situation, using the web cam for visuals. I have used it once to lecture to students in East Carolina University, sitting here in Shillong. Cyber education will be our new paradigm of education, where audio video, radio, telephony, text discussion components are integrated. The banalities of technology must be traduced if we are attempting to evolve any value based systemic applications out of it.
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Ananya S Guha
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||In India, we jumped into the world of technology straight from the Windows desktop. Not even 1% of our schools know about Edubuntu which is freely available and the IT guys remain smug in their MNC cubicles just because they have earned it after slogging in dingy engg colleges.|
The challenge is in SIFTING through the overload of information and making concerted efforts to curb emotions.
NorthEast ppl need to feel with their brains..