Category Archives: Education

TCS iON launches Life Long Learning

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Published by – The Hindu Business Line
Mumbai, 19 June

TCS iON, a unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has launched ‘Life Long Learning, a series of digital learning products of continuous learning across age groups. The aim is to inculcate a continuous learning mind-set amongst students and professionals by augmenting their knowledge with clear, impactful analytics.

TCS iON in association with schools, higher education institutions and industry experts will empower learners with access to these learning products on the cloud, the company said in a release.

“Our intent is to make learning addictive. These innovatively structured learning products opens up new possibilities and also augments new age practices to the current class-room learning to create an engaging experience,” Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head of TCS iON said.

TCS iON ‘Life Long Learning’s’ digital products will help Kindergarten to Std XII, higher education and working professionals to consume content in a self-paced, engaging, multi-dimensional format with deep focus on the outcome delivery. The personalised diagnostic analytics provides feedback on specific areas for improvement.

The products are designed with a series of community based learning content and assessments facilitated by assisted analytics. The integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine helps to deliver contextual analytics for continuous self-improvement. The industry SME participation makes the entire process of learning more relevant, it added.

“We are living in a fast-paced world where learners are digital natives and are exposed to manifold content enabling them to meet their needs at the tap of their fingers. While India is still at a very nascent stage at adapting digital learning technologies, TCS iON’s ‘Life Long Learning’ platform will act as a key enabler. Phygital access to appropriate content is the need of the hour to meet demands of Gen’Z’ and be relevant at every stage of life,” Ramaswamy added.

 

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Ethical hacking turning into guiltless profession

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When a tech enthusiast sitting behind a computer screen cracks through the security systems without being noticed – it is hacking. And if s/he, after breaking into the digital entity, informs the owners about the flaw(s) in their systems – it becomes ethical hacking.

Ethical hacking has landed well-paid jobs for many young techies. Though many youngsters look at it as a glamorous profession, corporate are divided over the emerging field.

Venguswamy Ramaswamy, global head, TCS iON, a strategic unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), focused in the education sector, says, “The jobs involving software testing has changed dramatically. Ethical hacking is a mission-critical job in the same domain. Companies hire hackers to find loopholes in their systems. One has to think as thieves to stay ahead of them. It is an important role specially for sensitive programmes.”

While most of the ethical hacking is done on a freelance basis, but according to Ramaswamy, it is important to properly train those who have a knack for it. “With several mission-critical online systems growing every day, this would be an important career stream and to maintain the sanctity of it, we need to train people for the same,” he said.

Since there are no mainstream courses available, communities can play a good role in teaching ethical hacking. “We offer ‘Blaze – Cyber Security’, a community-driven learning system, where we encourage students to be practitioners of security and learn the trends with an expert. We intend to create a large number of skilled people in the market on this,” he added.

However, Dennis Kwok, vice president, Asia Pacific, CompTIA (The Computing Technology Industry Association) – a non-profit trade association, issuing professional certifications for the information technology industry believes that the country needs more protectors than hackers.

“India is one of the top 10 countries under risk, but does not hold the same stature when it comes to data protection. We still teach the same topics in the security domain that we used to, a decade back. There is a need to upgrade curriculum in tech-schools and train the teachers to acquire newer skills so that they can teach budding developers to build better security systems rather than training our children to hack,” said Kwok. “We do not want to create hackers but detectives,” he added.

Kwok informed that most of the breaches happen because of human error instead of high-end hacking. “It is more important to spread awareness about cybersecurity among employees as most breaches happen because of failures at the human end such as putting a weak password or using compromised pen drives for sensitive systems. We need a proactive testing system for the increasing vulnerabilities. The young minds can penetrate systems for testing to understand threats instead of thinking from a criminal mind-set,” said Kwok. Interestingly, CompTIA also provides PenTest (penetrative testing) online courses.

– by Education Times
Monday, June 11, 2018

NSDC Partners with TCS to boost Skill India Mission

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New Delhi: National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has announced its association with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, to leverage the Learning and Assessment platform of TCS iON to provide speed and scale in skilling initiatives.

NSDC and TCS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance NSDC’s skill development and capacity building initiatives such as National Occupation Standards (NOS), Qualification Packs and Curriculum. With an objective to strengthen skilling outcomes through digital technology, TCS iON, through its Learning and Assessment platform, will help in developing a framework and integrating these resources. TCS will bring iON platform – the ‘Phygital’ (Physical Assets integrated with Digital platforms) delivery model and its large partner ecosystem to the engagement.

Announcing the association, Mr. Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, NSDC said, “Today’s skilling environment needs digital impetus to achieve volume and speed. Our partnership with reputed organisations such as TCS is a step towards accelerating the Skill India Mission. TCS, with its proven expertise in creating growth and transformation by leveraging technology, will support us to deliver impact at scale, which is directed towards making skilling progressive and inclusive for the country.”

Mr. V. Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON said, “TCS is proud to partner with NSDC and participate in the mission of skill development of youth in the country. We have heavily invested in large-scale platforms, content, process and infrastructure to deliver value to the youth of this country in a unique ‘Phygital’ delivery model. We believe, this will help to redefine the country’s skill mission for scale at speed.”

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), working under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, has been driving the national skill development mission – the Skill India Mission. NSDC is mandated to fulfil the growing need in India for skilled manpower across sectors and narrow the existing gap between the demand and supply of skills.

Over the last few years, TCS iON – a strategic business unit of TCS has invested in high scale robust learning, assessment and certification platform along with a countrywide infrastructure to deliver learning and computer-based tests at scale. A large partner eco-system with last mile training partners along with corporates from the industry provides a unique ability to deliver skills in a “Phygital Model”.

Enabling employment for the skilled youth is another area of focus for this partnership. TCSiON’s skill assessment products – #Cert-n-Edge (https://learning.tcsionhub.in/LLL/he/certnedge) powered by the LLL (Learning Life Long) initiative will help a large number of youth gainfully employed in several companies across the country. Youth can demonstrate their knowledge and their skills in a 2-part assessment program offered by #Cert-n-Edge. This assessment report will be jointly issued by TCS and NSDC and will be aligned to the National Occupational Standards (NOS).

Embrace Life Long Learning to stay relevant

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Franklin D Roosevelt once rightly quoted, “A lifetime of learning can be a success in itself.” This holds true in our day-to-day life as well. An individual’s life can be broadly classified into three phases – education, professional and retirement.  Every phase of life introduces an individual to new opportunities, which involves coping up with new challenges and circumstances through continual learning. There is a crucial need for a mind-shift from the current trend that limits learning only to the education phase of an individual, to making learning as a lifelong continuous process. Learning should not be confined to first twenty years of an individual but should be practiced as a lifelong habit.

In the first phase, the education phase, the individual as a student learns the fundamental of various subjects, which grooms the overall personality in a way that fulfills the present job requirements. In this phase, the children explore their interests through continuous learning and gets exposed to various subjects. Eventually they develops a liking towards a particular field, which they learn further by exploring it in their higher education. The children today learn beyond the walls of classrooms and are constantly exposed to multimedia formats and dynamic online content. Thus, learning is maximum in this phase and conscious efforts should be taken to provide the right direction and learning environment for the budding talents of the future.

The next phase, an individual moves on to, is the profession phase. It is in this phase that an individual constantly struggles because the skill set and theories learnt in the education phase may not have complete relevance in the rapidly changing work environment. There is a gap between what the individual has learnt over the years in the education phase and the requirements in the professional phase. Thus, one has to continuously upgrade to new skill sets, be aware of the prevailing trends and re-educate oneself in order to thrive in the present competitive market.

In the retirement phase, an individual seeks self-actualization. An individual seeks to understand their optimal potential in this phase. Lifelong learning acts as a vent that they require for fulfilling their respective goals. In the present busy world, the saying, “No country, for old men” falls flat. In order to be self-independent, one has to keep themselves updated by learning the newer policies and adapting to digital technologies.

Hence, to make learning a lifelong experience, explore the varied range of learning products for every phase of an individual’s life with TCS iON’s Life Long Learning (LLL).

Educational solutions and digitized examinations are expected to change the scenario in India

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How your cloud-based educational solutions and digitized examinations are expected to change the scenario in India?

In case of digital examination and assessment, the value is very clear. We have a predefined field with which the examinations can be conducted and the results can be deployed. We are eliminating the chances of question paper and other information being compromised, we are ensuring harnessing evaluation and selection. We are also ensuring that enormous amount of transparency is brought in every aspect of the platform. These are some of the distinct keys by which we can ensure the cloud-based platforms.

In each one of the platforms, the approach we will take in order to change the scenario will be very different. We can look at various digital learning platforms and ensure that they are able to make learning ultra-modern by different modes of learning brought together. We will make and blend as learning is not just a single mode, we will bring in modern day learning to make the journey very personal based on the capabilities of the learner.

How TCS iON will impact the digital industry arena and consumers as an IT-as-a-service platform?

TCS iON Digital Assessment is one of the world’s largest platform in terms of the number of candidates. Today, more than 80% of any competitive assessment and recruitment happens on TCS iON digital platform.

So, we will ensure that using the key characteristics that I explained, we will approach domain by domain. Similarly, we will transform it using digital technology like cloud, mobility, and artificial intelligence.

iON’s Digital Assessment has made significant digital impact in India by helping some of the most important high stakes recruitment and selection assessments in the country to become more transparent and efficient through leveraging digital technologies. Such transformations have wide-reaching social implications in terms of enhanced quality and integrity of selection and recruitment outcomes for some of the most important services and academic institutes in India.

Like iON Digital Assessment platform, today we are focused on building an innovative blended learning platform supported by deep last mile reach that will help make high quality learning more accessible and democratic even for the remotest areas in the country. Such platforms have high potentials to add strong impetus and catalyse flagship programmes such as Skill India.

As organizations, we remain focused on exploring continuous innovations that leverage our key strengths of IT-as-a-Service business model and robust last mile reach and accessibility towards creating a platform for high impact solutions such as high quality and convenient service delivery for citizens.

Till date how has TCS iON impacted the consumer?

Till date, we have completed more than 100 million candidate assessments. We have candidates in India as well as outside. We have also conducted the world’s largest single shift exam for one of our customers in India. Also, we have come up with many innovations and look forward to bring more significant transformations possibly impacting the IT and educational landscape in the country.

Source: Dataquest Magazine. www.dqindia.com

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Interactive teaching methodologies for Gen-Z

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In any sector, change and transformation are driven by customer expectations. The education sector is no different, with the customer being the student. The student entering the portals of academia today is very different from a student of even five years ago.

Today’s young students are digital natives, with most of them accustomed to accessing information more instantaneously via search engines. They are also able to participate in collaborative studies via online forums or even group chats. This generation spends maximum time exposed to screens (like TV and smartphones) and consume dynamic content (like YouTube). They are more engaged with multimedia than with textbooks and would expect the same kind of interaction in the classrooms.

Informed curiosity

The freedom of the internet means learning can be unstructured. This generation is driven by ‘informed curiosity’ and are happy to source information on topics outside of their curriculum. Moreover, many students are already comfortable with non-classroom-based learning, that is, distance and online education.

Enrolment in distance learning has grown steadily over the last five years in India. From around 1.8 million students enrolled for distance learning Bachelor’s degrees in Arts, Commerce and Science in 2011-2012, the number has grown to around 2.3 million in 2015-2016.

In recent years, the education landscape has transformed immensely with the entry of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Some of the biggest MOOCs already have thousands of courses and millions of users enrolled in many of the courses they offer. The reason for the popularity is not difficult to find: online courses are often seen as a more affordable and convenient route to education.

In the midst of this shifting landscape, how will Indian universities meet the changing expectations of Gen Z? When this tech-savvy generation sets foot in colleges, they expect dynamic content and interactive teaching methodologies. They also expect connected campuses, instant services like mail or text communication for important notifications, and the facility to download mark sheets and certificates.

What they face is vastly different. Most university campuses in India are still burdened with legacy structures and facilities. One-way communication with professors, and assignments to be done on paper are just some aspects that still continue despite immense growth that the sector has seen technologically.

Clearly, the gap between what Gen Z expects and the infrastructure available in universities is huge. Apart from the need to meet customer expectations, there’s another strategic reason for universities and colleges to move to digital platforms — the huge opportunity offered by India’s young demographic.

The untapped market in education is huge. Currently about 34.6 million Indian students enrol annually for an undergraduate degree. Yet, in 2015-2016, India’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) stood at 24.5%. It means that 75% of our youth are not able to gain access to undergraduate education. The 2011 census data shows that around 41% of India’s population is below the age of 20 years. As India grows younger, the demand for educational facilities will increase.

There is a huge demand-supply gap in India’s educational infrastructure. Meeting this demand will require immense funding and other resources. India does not have the physical infrastructure to handle millions of new students. But digital platforms have no such constraints. If India’s universities could adopt a blend of brick-and-mortar methods and digital platforms, they will be able to grow their student base significantly.

Interestingly, the receiving mechanism is already in place. India has an estimated 300 million smartphone users and smartphones hold tremendous potential as a delivery platform for learning. It’s clearly time for Indian universities to build their digital wings. Going digital will allow universities to grow their student bases beyond the limits of their physical buildings.

Moreover, digital education can be easily customised and updated to ensure accuracy, transparency, and consistency. By transitioning, Indian universities will also be able to demonstrate their relevance in a digital India.

(The author is global head –
TCS iON, Mumbai)

Credits : Deccan Herald

Edutech: The Future of Indian Education System

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By Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head of TCS iON, a Tata Consultancy Services unit focused on Education, Assessment Boards and SMBs. 

The Indian education sector is witnessing a continuous transformation brought about by technology and these variations are influencing its key stakeholders in multifarious ways. From helping students to learn more and better anytime anywhere, empowering teachers to develop innovative instructional aids and methods, to driving educational institutes to cross the digital divide – technology is underpinning the edutech revolution in India.

Let us see how this transformation is affecting key communities:

For students: A new world of learning

  • Web-based content consumption to get a boost: Laptop-based or mobile-based models will be the preferred gadget solutions for leveraging content even as the number of students using tablets will witness a downturn. Mobile, with the multiple advantages it offers, and desktops/laptops, with the ease of consumption it guarantees, will continue to rule the roost. The trend will gain further momentum in 2018.
  • Engaging content: With the change in content itself, India is set to see a trend of a mobile-ready, gamified, interactive and engaged content. This kind of content consumption will change the way students learn. Adaptive learning will gain traction as it will personalize learning material based on their learning speed, interest and problem areas.
  • English content still ruling the industry: English will not only be the preferred medium of coaching but we will also witness an upswing in the quantum and quality of content being offered in English. While the demand for content in vernacular languages will register an upswing, the offerings will remain negligible compared to English. To bridge the demand-availability gap, trainers / teachers will be forced to use English content but instruct in local languages.
  • Social learning: Learning with and from others either online or offline – will become a dominant trend in the coming years. 24×7 learning resources which go beyond classroom environment and enable students to learn anywhere, anytime will be mainstream.
  • User validated content to become mainstream: With content options set to increase exponentially, students and other users are likely to begin relying on user-validated content to find correct and meaningful information. Higher the validation, proportionate will be the relevance and accuracy of content for users searching for it. This year will also witness more R&D on applications that help users to navigate through the data overload; however, the trend will take another 3-4 years to become mainstream.
  • Impressive resumes: India is all set to become the world’s youngest country by 2020 with 64 per cent of its population in the working age group. With an increasing number of graduates entering the market every day and limited job opportunities, only those with value-added resumes will pass muster with businesses and employers. Resumes that boast of additional certifications, proficiency in international languages and other allied qualifications will have an edge over plain-vanilla ones.

For teachers: Digital natives to lead

  • Technology the need of the hour: Digital native teachers proficient with digital technologies and systems will be the mascots for the new-age teacher-facilitator. Digital immigrants will be forced to change and embrace technology to remain relevant.
  • Teachers to become facilitators: From teacher as the ‘sage on the stage’, their role will evolve into that of a ‘guide on the side’. Teachers will increasingly become facilitators who will help students to learn rather than tutor them as is the norm currently. While the trend is picking up, it will take some time to become ubiquitous.
  • Improving and developing curriculum with the use of technology: The teacher as an educational visionary will embrace technology to research and create lessons that complement / supplement the curriculum. However, this trend will take time to become mainstream phenomenon.

For administrators: Embracing a new digital era

  • Existing content to be digitized: Indian universities will step-up digitization efforts in 2018. In the near term, institutions will focus more on digitizing existing content to make it available to attract a wider reach of students in a cost-effective manner.
  • Different approach to way of learning & assessments: Flipped classrooms, combining online and offline modes of learning, will increasingly become the norm. Concurrently, institutions will also step up efforts to move from paper-pencil based assessments to digital assessments. The increasing thrust on digitization will also compel coaching institutes, which train students for competitive exams, to follow suit.
  • Digital campuses to gain ground: The ‘go digital’ campaign will spur educational institutions to digitally revamp existing business processes such as admission procedures, grading, library, accounts, etc. With most institutes of higher education having failed to meet the objectives of the Action Plan 17-by-17 for Digital Campuses enumerated by the Government of India, efforts to jumpstart the process will gain ground in 2018.
  • VR, AR and augmented reality set to get more potent: Virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence-based platforms are still 2-3 years away from becoming ubiquitous in learning. However, the trend will get more potent in 2018 as customers and companies will continue to invest in capabilities and systems which will in the future disrupt traditional methods and pedagogies.

With students, educators and administrators embracing the digital revolution, classrooms and learning are set to change for good.

Courtesy: THE AFTERNOON DESPATCH & COURIER
Original article: http://bit.ly/2FDnxn6
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