DIGITAL MEDIA AND LEARNING COMPETITION

Alexandria / Nalanda
Sivasubramanian Muthusamy Chapter President Internet Society (ISOC) India Chennai Isoc India Chennai, Whitefield, 389/1&2 Perundurai Road Erode, Unapplicable 638011 India isocindiachennai@gmail.com Oct 14, 2008

Award Category. Innovation in Participatory Learning Award

Title of your project. Max 15 words. Alexandria / Nalanda

Briefly summarize your proposed project in one sentence. Max 50 Words. to Create a Digital Bridge to cover the 'fundamental divide' in quality of education between underprivileged students of low budget schools and the fortunate students of renowned educational institutions by innovatively establishing a participatory digital learning environment to percolate the global technological advances down to the bottom of the pyramid.

Provide a one paragraph description of your project. Max 200 Words. This Digital Participatory Learning Project will have as infrastructure, a connected learning atmosphere to benefit approximately 1000 low income group students of age group 15-21 from insufficiently funded schools. The idea is to Create a Digital Bridge to cover the 'fundamental divide' in quality of education between underprivileged students of low budget schools and the fortunate students of renowned educational institutions. Carefully selected Teachers are to guide the participants in using the wealth of online multimedia tools and content, continuously bibliograph suitable resources, organize and facilitate expert interactions The facility will operate in a cost effective buildings with a scientific design, with digital facilities, connected classrooms, a Digital Internet Auditorium and a library of books, all to be created by learning and collaborating with MacArthur's ongoing projects such as Arizona State University's 21st Century Classroom, Consortium for School Networking, Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design, with inputs from other MacArthur projects and external projects. The project would percolate down the technical advances down to a rural India setting. The dual objectives are 1) raise the 1000 beneficiaries to the level of students of an affluent school. 2) create a Digital Design for the Government to emulate.

List up to 5 tags that best describe your project. Max 15 words. Participatory Learning, Collaborative Learning, Interactive Learning, Digital Bridge, Classroom21, Internet Classroom, percolative progress.

Is your project targeted for use primarily by youth under 18? No

Describe your project. Max 600 words. The space between Chennai and Arizona / Illinois is zero. In Illinois a 21st Centrury Classroom is being designed. Elesewhere in America and Europe Advanced Digitial Learning environments, modules and methods and lessons exist. These are technologies and trends that are equally applicable with transformatory effect in a rual Indian Classroom. Alexandria would bring in these technologies to enable an initial group of 1000 studnets to learn participatorily and share experience with the rest of the world. The project would collarborate with other groups by taking and providing intputs to create a model to bridge the gaps in quality of education in schools around the world. Alexandria / Nalanda will have as infrastructure, a connected learning atmosphere, visualized as built 'around' a 21st Century Participatory Learning Library as Physical Space at Chennai. This 'library' would admit 1000 underprivileged students studying at insufficiently funded schools after a careful admission process to assess their commitment to learn. These students would be a heterogeneous group from different schools, different grades, of age group 15-21 and would include some well connected students from Premier Educational Institutions who are committed to the purpose of participative learning Carefully selected Teachers are to guide the participants in using the wealth of online multimedia tools and content, continuously bibliograph suitable resources, organize and facilitate expert interactions The facility will operate in a cost effective building with a scientific design, with digital facilities, connected classrooms, a Digital Internet Auditorium and a library of books.

The design of the facilities would be by learning and collaborating with MacArthur's ongoing projects such as Arizona State University's 21st Century Classroom ( http://learning.asu.edu/proposal.html#Anchor-Solution-35326 ) and its Colloborative Learning Project ( design.asu.edu/sala/infoliopdfs/infolio/08_spring/ADE%20622%20Petrucci%20SP08.pdf â 2008-08-28 ), take inputs from the Consortium for School Networking, and from the Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design's Schools in the Digital Age project ( http://www.id.iit.edu/635/# ), with inputs from other MacArthur projects and external projects. These are initial leads found at the proposal stage and the project would devle deeper for resources such as listed at http://learning.asu.edu/application.html The idea is to Create a Digital Bridge to cover the 'fundamental divide' in quality of education between underprivileged students of low budget schools and the fortunate students of renowned educational institutions. The project would work to percolate the technical advances down to a rural India setting. The dual objectives are 1) raise the 1000 beneficiaries to the level of students of an affluent school. 2) create a Digital Design for the Government to emulate. The goals of the project in the first twelve months is to physically establish the learning center, admit 1000 participants, place people in required teaching/ assisting positions, draw up a list of International Resource persons for Internet Classes, begin work on bibliographing available online courses and websites that are suitable for participative learning for the given target participants, ensure that each of them are scheduled for 100 course sessions, review, report and share. During the first year, elaborate work would be carried out to expose the project to inspire others to follow this model, as also to explore further funding and support to continue / scale up this project, possibly with Government participantion in the form of land allocation and other support.

Describe the participatory learning you are trying to achieve. Max 450 words. The project plans to significantly bring up the knowledge levels of about 1000 students who would otherwise complete

their school education as inadequate school graduates, passed out, but way below in knowledge levels / comprehension / self-confidence from the levels of a school of International School standards. The group would be a heterogeneous group of students from different schools, different school grades, a mix of 90 : 10 underprivileged average students to privileged bright students committed to the idea of sharing their knowledge. Alexandria would offer them a world class school atmosphere with built in exposure to proper methods of learning, Internet, Online Content and participative tools as also to high quality instruction / guidance. The project would achieve results by offering an uncompromising participative learning atmosphere complete with computers with broadband connectivity, adequate guidance to expose them to well organized online multimedia lessons, specially organized Web sessions handled by teachers from around the world, local participative learning sessions to interact and understand the context of the school syllabus ( Students are taught programming languages or theories in physics without first making them understand the context on which this knowledge is to be used. This is one of the reasons why there is a wide spread tendency to memorise the lessons without understanding and take exams India has Institutions as renowned as that of the best of European and American Institutions. But in a developing country with a population of 1.13 billion, not all institutions are so fortunate, so the majority of students, especially in a rural setting do not get good educaation. The larger portion of the student population do not continue education beyond school level. Statistics indicate that only seven per cent of the countryâ s youth, in the age group of 14 to 25, had access to higher education. This is true of almost all states in India. In the State of Tamilnadu, in the southern region which has a total population of 62, 405, 679 . There are 13, 702 urban schools and 34,658 rural schools. The proposed Participatory Learning project is to be implemented in a limited geographical region in this State.

Project Timeline. Max 350 Words. 15 Nov - 15-Dec 31 Open discussions to further fine tune the project plan, identify supplementary supportive sponsors, explore the possibilities of Government Contribution in the form of allocation of land, explore the possibilities of leveraging this project to make it even more resourceful. Draw up a detailed plan for implementation, invite resource persons to join the think tank to arrive at solutions and call for volunteers to join the project implementation. 1 Jan â 31 March: Construct a building, set up the network and other infrastructure, consult teachers, identify and engage full time faculty and part time faculty, guest speakers, guest international teachers for online classes, identify beneficiary institutions, invite applications and select students with the primary criteria of commitment to participatory learning. 1 April â 31 Dec: First batch of 1000 beneficiaries provided facilities and classes; Schedules are drawn up to spread their sessions to maximize the use of facilities. Gradually connect them to relevant participatory learning groups worldwide and orient them towards interaction with the other groups. the Constantly explore ways of continuing the project on to the next two years, scale up the project, expose the project to inspire other organizations / corporations / Government.

Project URL http://alexandrianalanda.blogspot.com

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Primary Applicant: Briefly describe the role of the Primary Applicant. Max 50 words. The primary Applicant is Sivsubramanian Muthusamy, President of ISOC India Chennai, a graduate in business management (MBA) a well traveled entrepreneur now engaged in giving shape to a start up to make Mobile Internet Devices and Personal Computers with a Unix operating system. He would serve as the CEO of this project., CV

Describe the most innovative learning environment in which you have participated. Max 200 words. Though not a futuristic setting, the Diplo Foundation online program on Internet Governance Capacity Building Program that I am undergoing at the moment provides an innovative participatory learning environment. The class comprises sixteen participants from diverse backgrounds, some from Government, some from the National Internet Exchange, some from Industry and me from ISOC going through lessons grouped into "learning activities" spread over 10 weeks. The course content is online and participants contribute to the course by making annotations on a certain passage or phrase and by creating hypertexts for further resources online. The portion of the course content so supplemented is digitally highlighted for visibility by the group. The annotation interface also makes it possible to offer a counter opinion or to answer another participant's questions. The course also provides an interface for participants to blog on the topics from which other participants learn. In addition there is a weekly chat on the week's topic for participants to share their exposure and ideas. This Diplo Foundation course is an well designed as a simple participatory learning program. My other exposures include a week at Berlitz, Buenos Aires for a highly effective basic spoken Spanish and partially a participatory learning program,

Project Collaborators and Roles (if applicable) DML Winners engaged in related projects, yet to initiate contact Other ISOC Chapters, to be included post-funding Post-proposal, after an indication of an inclination to fund this project by the Foundation, extensive discussions are to be taken up with ISOC Chapters worldwide, especially with those with a background in education. Local collaborations are to be explored with renowned Institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management and with one major university to seek their help in-kind to fine tune the project and draw up a detailed plan of action.

This project would require inputs from certain other MacArthur foundation beneficiaries such as Arizona State University's 21st Century Classroom and other projects as possibly guided by the Foundation's staff, and contacts with these institutions are to established to seek inputs, and to collaborate for synergy. Other possible collaborator would be the Government of Tamilnadu's Department of Education and the Government of India's Ministry of Education for support that could include an allocation of land / building in exchange for sharing project outputs in terms of course design, evaluation of effectiveness of the program and for assistance in helping the Government emulate the program in other cities.

Project Staff. Max 350 words. Project Staff to be recruited:

Academic Dean for the Participatory Learning Program: The Dean would head the Project and be overall Administrator of the facility. He or she would be in charge of recruitment in consultation with the CEO and the Bridge School Curriculum Chair. Bridge Curriculum Chair. He or she would be responsible for designing the participatory learning program based on a thorough assessment of the gaps between the beneficiary students and the top class students of the top institutions. Teachers. Teachers would offer classroom lessons on a specially designed syllabus that would prepare the students for learning on their own. The classroom syllabus would cover academic subjects as well as focus on aspects such as Spoken Language, comprehension, communication and overall personality development. Participatory Learning Guides. Guides will assist the students in discovering the required resources online. Librarian Maintain a library of books, journals, digital lessons as well as movies from which students could learn. librarian Online: An in house / remote librarian available to the participants for guidance on sources of learning Part Time Student Tutors / Participants Part Time Student Tutors are the privileged class of students of a slightly higher age group who would join a small group of students and qualitatively contribute to the participatory learning process of the group. Facilities Manager: would manage the assets. Internet Systems Manager: would manage the computer network and ensure that the required bandwidth is available for participants.

Budget Amount 250000

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Other Funding There is no other funding secured for this project as of now.

Other Potential Funding Universities / Colleges in the region are to be approached for donation of land for a limited period for use by the project. In the process it is to be explored if there is an institution willing to allow the use of a building for 3 or more years, in which case the project would have some flexibility in available funds. Government of India and the Government of Tamilnadu are to be approached for supplementary in-kind grants such as land / buildings. Business corporations and local foundations are to be approached to supplement resources.

Outcomes and Achievements. Max 250 Words. The proposal as sent can be taken as an initial outline in terms of details. Post funding, before taking up the project for implementation, the project is to be thoroughly detailed for feasible implementation. The details indicated in the proposal would be modified for optimal outcomes in consultation with the Foundation, various experts and possible collaborators like Arizona State University. The beneficiaries are typically those who have had little exposure to the Internet and Participatory learning. The project results will be seen phase by phase, as the project is implemented right from Week 1. For instance the basic skills taught at the beginning of the program to one batch of students would be reviewed for effectiveness by assessing the level of ease of these students with computers and the Internet after a week's learning. If the desired results are not achieved, methods would be re-evaluated and modified. The participation of the students is one major aspect that would determine the success of the project. This aspect would be attended to right at the time of selection of students and their commitment to adhere to class schedules would be closely monitored. Teachers and Student Tutors are by themselves to be a Participatory Discussion Group to discuss together and constantly review and improve methods. The indications to look for on an ongoing basis would be ongoing improvements on the ease of use of digital equipments, Internet Access and skills in finding and using online resources. Assessment would be an ongoing process.

Troubleshooting. Max 250 Words. Proficiency in English is likely to be an impeding factor for this class of students, so the learning program would be structured in such a way that the initial focus is on Language to improve participant confidence. Online multimedia language lessons are to be extensively used to help participants overcome this gap. The project would evolve techniques and methods akin to the Berlitz style of language teaching as also use creative ways of making the students become at ease with English- for instance by screening an English movie every evening or by causing the students to make it a habit to particiaptively listen to English news. Other challenge would relate to scheduling student batches to distribute limited available resources such as two classrooms, one auditorium and 50 computers. In consultation with experts we will arrive at an optimal number of beneficiaries for these resources based on the commitment of time by the typical participant. This would be a complex exercise but would be effectively handled. Another challenge would be related to the heterogeneous nature of the group. The curriculum to be so designed that a Student pursuing Science and another pursuing Arts, one in his first year at college and another in his third year would benefit alike. Based on expert opinion, if required, this diversity would also be narrowed.

Social Networking, Peer-to-Peer Mentoring, and Professional Guidance. Max 350 Words. The project would extensively network with winners and seek inputs in terms of advice draw from their achievements and experiences. This participatory Learning project as a project is to be further designed, refined and implemented participatively. The project would work formally and informally with other winners who have undertaken or are in the process of implementing Digital Media projects in an academic setting. There are several projects to combine synergies with. The project would contribute in return by sharing outcomes, experiences and where possible, by providing inputs to other projects.

Copyrighted Material We will be careful about the copy right and IPR issues.

Profits It is to be explored if a charge of a nominal fee (about $ 100 for the year ) could be charged to the participants) as an indication of commitment / seriousness on the part of the aspiring participant. If this is advisable, the fee collected would be entirely used to enhance the facilities and improve the quality of the program. Essentially this is a not-for-profit activity and no "profits" are foreseen.

Letters of Recommendation (limit 2)

Anne Lord, lord@isoc.org Alejandro Pisanty, apisan@servidor.unam.mx

What is your conception of participatory learning? Participative learning is a process of collaborative, interactive and creative learning, which in the Internet era uses Digital technologies and remote collaboration and sharing. This is an innovative learning process by which people in a group share their experience, expertise and knowledge to enable others to learn and in the process improve their knowledge and expertise by learning from other members of the group. The process is based on interactive models and participants learn and collaborate on projects and share their findings and creations with other communities around the world.

Have you ever administered or contributed to a digital project? If yes, describe. Yes, as an entrepreneur I have been working on giving shape to a Start Up that I founded, for the past two years, to design, manufacture and market Desktops and Mobile PCs with the Solaris Operating system. In the process I have traveled to Taiwan and the United States to gain exposure to the current technologies, hardware sources and to discuss with potential project partners. Have also had discussions with the Government and worked on the conceptual and technical aspects of designing a low cost Internet Access device as part of my company's product line aimed at the next billion users. At ISOC I have taken part in a Digital project, titled the Sphere Project as a Team Leader to arrive at an integrated picture for ISOC as an organization. This project is to evolve a creative communication design for interaction between various constitutional elements of ISOC spread around the globe, namely its individual global members, Chapters and its members and the ISOC HQ executives and staff for greater participation. Another project that I have contributed to as a team member is to design an Association Management for ISOC as an organization. Also contributed and participating in the Internet Governance Caucus discussions and am due to take part in the Internet Governance process even more actively at the Internet Governance Forum to be hosted by India this year. On a conceptual level I have been working on the overall Internet architectural design improvements by exchanging ideas with members of the Internet Technical Community.

Has your work focused on learning, now or in the past? If yes, describe. All of the above work inherently involved learning. As a person without an academic background in Science and Technology, but with an entrepreneur's insight into the business opportunity for secure desktop and mobile Solaris PCs, my interactions with Technical experts and my travels were primarily to learn the overall technology, to gain exposure to the trends and with this attitude to constantly learn, I have been able to rise to a level of comfort in all my interactions with technical experts and product architects with advanced technical knowledge. On the ISOC projects I went online to forums such as Linked In to seek expert interactions that provided the required knowledge to be used as inputs for the projects. The same applies to my participation in Internet Governance related discussions with very senior Internet Community members - it has been a process of learning and as I learned more and more, was able to contribute more significantly.

What is your organization's purpose and when was it founded? ISOC India Chennai was founded on the principles on which ISOC is founded, and as a Chapter was chartered on August 13 2007. The Chapter advances ISOC's mission with its programs in the region as also by participating in ISOC's global

initiatives. At the global level, The Internet Society (ISOC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. With offices in Washington, USA, and Geneva, Switzerland, it is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. The Internet Society provides leadership in addressing issues that confront the future of the Internet, and is the organisational home for the groups responsible for Internet infrastructure standards, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). ISOC's main purpose is to maintain and extend the development and availability of the Internet and its associated technologies and applications. This is both an end in itself and a means of enabling organisations, professions, and individuals worldwide to more effectively collaborate, cooperate, and innovate in their respective fields and interests. ISOC's specific goals include: * Development, maintenance, evolution, and dissemination of standards for the Internet and its internetworking technologies and applications. * Growth and evolution of the Internet architecture. * Maintenance and evolution of effective administrative processes necessary for operation of the global Internet and internets. * Education and research related to the Internet and internetworking. * Harmonisation of actions and activities at international levels to facilitate the development and availability of the Internet. * Collection and dissemination of information related to the Internet and internetworking, including histories and archives. * Assisting technologically developing countries, areas, and peoples in implementing and evolving their Internet infrastructure and use. * Liaison with other organisations, governments and the general public for coordination, collaboration, and education in effecting the above purposes.

What is the amount of your organization's annual budget? ISOC on a global level has a budget of US $ 14 million a year ISOC India Chennai as a chapter depends entirely on sponsorships and grants.

Your organization's Tax ID or Registration Number 13082007 dateofcharter

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