Libraries hold a candle to the growth of society and the progress of a nation. Ancient civilizations flourished where learning and libraries were valued. Look back at ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, central and southern India; they all had universities of repute and libraries and rulers who appreciated the arts and literature. Now let us look at dark times in history, wherein wars were fought; invading armies would burn down libraries and loot palaces and museums. The purpose, to plunder anything of monetary value and remove all traces of cultural and spiritual growth. During the tumultuous times of World War II – the burning of books in public by the Nazis is one of the stand-out images of a long and painful war that changed the course of modern world history. In recent years, the wars in Iraq and Syria have once again seen the large-scale destruction of museums and libraries.
Today, technology has changed immensely in a positive sense to offer a whole new aspect of disseminating knowledge in the form of ‘ebooks’. From books in the form of PDF files and epubs are quite popular. Comic books and graphic novels are stored as CBR files (Comic Book Reader) and the all-powerful Amazon Kindle Reader has made buying and reading ebooks extremely easy and popular. The Amazon juggernaut has basically steamrolled the competition, be it the Nook or Kobo Reader or Sony’s ebook reader; today the Kindle is synonymous with the term ebook. Just imagine the amount of information and the books in one device that is lighter than a regular paperback! Yes, that is the power of the ‘ebook revolution’ that’s changing the way the current generation is reading and acquiring knowledge.
Introducing the India Grid for Learning’s Library
One of the key features that we have noticed in our travels across India is the absence of a proper library in even some of the private schools spread across the length and breadth of the country. Most of them manage with just some shelves in the staff-room with some random books and magazines. Imagine the plight of students in the smaller government-run schools. A lot of children are losing out on the fascinating world of books and stories. Remember that a significant student population of India still studies in rural schools run by the government and small charitable groups that source funds from the local community to pay the teachers and offer basic infrastructure.
The IGfL Library offers over two million unique pieces of content from 50 different global academic publishers. This library is used in over 50,000 schools around the world under the Global Grid for Learning brand. With IGfL – even one simple tablet device is sufficient to open a gateway of knowledge and information to ignite young minds in a remote school. Just imagine the kind of impact this will create in the minds of a young child living in an urban set-up! The possibilities are limitless.
IGfL Augments the Role of Teachers
One thing that we continue to stress on when we meet educationists is that no technology can replace a human teacher. A teacher as an individual person is needed to inspire, guide and direct children to achieve their goals. IGfL is designed to augment and support the role of the teacher in the classroom. The in-built library the key feature of IGfL allows teachers to explain tough and complicated concepts through interactive animated videos and digital resources with ease and in an interesting manner. This allows students to learn in an efficient manner and also improves their ability to score better in exams.
In addition to the library, there are numerous other resources that can help students and teachers significantly. Be it Revisely that works as an assessment management and correction tool to uTalk that helps one learn over 140 languages with ease or Plotagon – an animated storytelling tool; we have chosen tools with great care to make the process of teaching and learning easier and effective.