Browsing by Author "Balaji, Venkataraman"
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- ItemOpen AccessAgricultural Higher Education in the 21st Century: Non-traditional educational models(2015-06-16) Kanwar, Asha; Balasubramanian, K; Balaji, VenkataramanSpeech delivered by Professor Asha Kanwar at 'Agricultural Higher Education in the 21st Century: A global challenge in knowledge transfer to meet world demands for food security and sustainability'. Zaragoza, Spain June 2015.
- ItemOpen AccessCapacity-building of Teachers and Parents in Cyber Safety and Security: The COL Experience(2022-11-23) Kanwar, Asha; Balaji, Venkataraman; Ogange, BettyPresented by Professor Asha Kanwar, COL President & CEO at the International Conference on Cyberlaw, Cybercrime and Cybersecurity in India, on 23 November 2022. Co-written with Dr V Balaji, Vice President, COL, and Dr Betty Ogange, Education Specialist: Teacher Education, COL.
- ItemOpen AccessChanging Roles of Agricultural Extension: Harnessing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Adapting to Stresses Envisaged Under Climate Change(2011) Meera, Shaik N; Balaji, Venkataraman; Muthuraman, P; Sailaja, B; Dixit, SThe linkages between agriculture and climate are pronounced and often complex. Agricultural systems are most sensitive to extreme climatic events such as droughts, floods and hailstorms, and to seasonal variability and changing rainfall patterns. The role of inadequate institutional support is frequently cited in the literature as a hindrance to adaptation. In context of climate change, extension will increasingly face challenges of addressing vulnerability. The effectiveness of extension will be influenced by the factors such as identifying vulnerable regions, vulnerable groups, farmers having multiple stressors, areas which will be doubly exposed, for assessing and strengthening the coping strategies among vulnerable regions/groups and improve the ability for adaptive measures. Effective and timely provision of information will play a crucial role in future extension. Despite the need for timely and well-targeted information on climatic risks, there are currently a number of gaps and challenges in providing climate information to the farmers. Of late, organisations in agriculture realised the importance of managing the Knowledge (Implicit & Explicit; Internal & External) for the dissemination purposes. In this chapter, we have discussed at length the cases for developing insights into the contemporary initiatives of integrating ICTs and climate information in extension. In order to promote the development of appropriate community-based ICT endeavors for sharing climate change information and technology options at grassroots level, it is important that we also understand the attributes that must be considered for building more practical and broad based approaches. For the benefit of the readers, a comprehensive framework involving various components of climate change vis a vis Extension is provided. In the context of climate change, information needs assessment and strategies for strengthening Research-Extension-Farmers linkages are discussed in this chapter. Further looking at the complexities of climate change scenario, it is proposed that ICT enabled extension framework may be tested, refined and adapted in future extension endeavours.
- ItemOpen AccessChanging the Tune: MOOCs for Human Development? A Case Study (Pre-print)(2015-06) Balaji, Venkataraman; Kanwar, AshaThe Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is covered in critical analysis as well as in popular media as a development exclusively bearing on the Higher Education sector (The Economist, 2014). This term has also acquired an informal brand connotation – it refers to a package of course offerings, platforms, and processes identified with three pioneering organizations, namely edX, Coursera, and Udacity who tend to offer lecture and content-based MOOCs or “xMOOCs.” A thoroughly informed analysis of MOOCs has tended to focus on their role and impact in higher education in North America (Hollands & Tirthali, 2014). In contrast, proponents of connectivist MOOCs or “cMOOCs” have focused on pedagogy and style (for example, see Siemens, 2014).
- ItemOpen AccessThe Commonwealth of Learning(2013-04-11) Kanwar, Asha; Naidoo, Vis; Ferreira, Frances; Umar, Abdurrahman; Kaushik, Madhulika; Lesperance, John; Mead Richardson, Alison; Balasubramanian, K; Pringle, Ian; Bullen, Mark; Balaji, Venkataraman; McEachern, DorisThe Commonwealth of Learning’s presentation to the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, Canada, 11 April 2013, Vancouver, Canada // It gives me great pleasure to formally welcome, for the first time at COL, a Minister of International Cooperation. It is perhaps appropriate that the visit is happening this year, when COL celebrates its 25th anniversary. Thank you, Minister for your time and for your interest in our work.
- ItemOpen AccessCommunication and capacity building to advance adaptation strategies in agriculture in the context of climate change in India(2015-04) Balaji, Venkataraman; Ganapuram, Sreedhar; Devakumar, CClimate change is perhaps the most serious issue that affects food security of a very large number of human beings and animals. Impacts of climate change will be particularly significant in South Asia where most of food production comes from smallholder farms. Vulnerability in this region is two-fold: production of important food crop varieties may be affected by developments such as rise in temperature; smallholder farmers have low economic resilience when large variations in crop outputs occur. Both adaptive and anticipatory measures based on research in agricultural sciences are being proposed. What is important is also to build the capacity of smallholder farmers to cope with the impact of climate change-induced phenomena. Key guides to large scale action such as the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change propose integrated action for capacity building involving both top-down and bottom-up inputs. In this paper, we provide an overview of accepted impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security in South Asia, and the proposed and ongoing agronomic adaptation strategies in India. Our focus is on capacity building at a micro-level which can augment adaptation efforts. We offer two case studies that provide pointers for integrating novel communication and capacity building processes for smallholder farmers that can considerably improve their ability to engage in action for adaptation.
- ItemOpen AccessConnected Learning and Ag Extension: Shall the twain meet?(2016-01-05) Balaji, VenkataramanPresented by Dr. V. Balaji at the 8th Global Communications Research Association in Bangalore, India, 5-7 January 2016.
- ItemOpen AccessContemporary information and knowledge management: impact on farming in India(2011) Kumar, R Ajith; Balaji, Venkataraman; Guntuku, Dileepkumar; Prabhakar, T V; Yaduraju, N TFarming is an important part of Indian economy and it involves a wide range of stakeholders, of whom the small holder farmers are the largest group. Information sharing on new production processes with farmers was prominent in the ‘sixties which was key to the success of the Green Revolution. Agricultural extension, the process of enabling farmers and experts to exchange information with each other, has since been institutionalized to a high degree and is assessed to be not as effective as it had been a generation back. The advent of digital, technology-mediated information and knowledge management was thought to offer significant new opportunities for knowledge exchange in Indian farming as a whole. These hopes led to the launching of a number of initiatives in different parts of India, which has emerged as the host of the largest number of rural development projects where contemporary information and communication technology (ICT) play a pivotal role. While analyzing the outputs of such initiatives, many studies have pointed out that farming is not a priority concern of most of them. On the other hand, we can notice a noncomplimentary strand of ICT in agriculture projects operated by a number of institutions with ICT resources playing a key role in some of them. These efforts, generally speaking, do not promote user participation in information flows quite unlike the contemporary trends. Almost two decades later, the original hope remains unfulfilled. The nation-wide availability of digital content in relation to the farming sector is small when compared to equally important development sectors such as public health. This has considerably limited the opportunities for various stakeholders to build viable online services on production, marketing and meteorology for farmers and other stakeholders. What we now have is a collection of projectized activities that are fragmented in their overall understanding and approaches. What we need is an approach that can bring together the two strands, namely, of ICT in rural development and ICT in agriculture. Such an effort, however, needs a new IT architecture to be developed for aggregation of content and to make services available in multiple modes. Two groups of projects in India, namely, the Agropedia and the KISSANKerala, have built large prototypes and human capacities using unprecedented innovations in web technology areas and in integrated services delivery (including mobile telephony). With their advent, a wider range of solutions to the challenge of developing a novel architecture for information services for farming in India are now feasible and need to be researched upon. Countries that offered extension models for India in in an earlier generation do not require innovations for mass outreach for prosperity through farming and are thus in position to offer models for the present India needs to build solutions, processes and structures of its own so that the advantages accruing from its rapidly advancing ICT and mobile telephony infrastructure and export-oriented IT sector can flow to the benefit of its farmers. Formation of synergies with non-traditional partners such as those in ICT sector will be essential. There is a task to be accomplished, and it is contrary to the prevalent understanding in the leadership of farm education, research and extension sector that all the ICT solutions needed are available.
- ItemOpen AccessDELIVERING APTUS - OER IN OFF-GRID, OFF-LINE SITUATIONS: REACHING THE UNREACHED(2015-02-24) Balaji, Venkataraman; Cheng, Ricky; Gruda, MichellePresented at Mobile Learning Week 2015, UNESCO (24 February 2015) held in Paris, France by Dr. Venkataraman Balaji (co-written with Mr. Ricky Cheng and Ms. Michelle Gruda), Commonwealth of Learning.
- ItemOpen AccessEducation and Blockchain(2022-12) Grech, Alex; Balaji, Venkataraman; Miao, FengchunBlockchain is a verification infrastructure that offers a solution to the problem of how to verify digital identity. This publication is aimed at policy-makers in education who have an interest in understanding the affordances of blockchain technology to the education sector. Exploratory exercises with blockchain demonstrate that it is already possible to deploy the technology to cover credentialing and certification in both formal and non-formal learning. This publication presents the essential concepts and uses in a style accessible to policy-makers and experts who are not necessarily specialists in the area but need a quick introduction into the subject.
- ItemOpen AccessFostering Community Preparedness to Cope with Drought: new initiatives and results from a study involving ODL and ICT from South Central India(2010-11) Kiran, Neelam L; Naresh, Kumar V R; Sreedhar, Ganapuram; Sylvester, Asil G; Balaji, VenkataramanDrought has emerged as a key concern in the context of climate variability induced by Climate Change processes and over a billion people are vulnerable, according to UN estimates. Drought preparedness is recognized as the preferred way to cope over relief, and information is the key. Improved access to contemporary ICT in the form of mobile phones and the Internet can help address the challenge of information deficiency in this matter. We have tried to develop an integrated approach for improving the capacity of rural communities by bringing together agricultural information with methods of ODL and effective exchange or delivery using videoconferencing. This has also enabled skill building among vulnerable rural communities in the use of color-coded maps derived from satellite imagery and GIS platforms. ICRISAT in partnership with a community based all- women micro-credit organization, the Adarsha Mahila Samaikhya (AMS), in South Central India has developed this blend of techniques to help the AMS and rural communities to anticipate how vulnerable their villages would be to drought in a season. This is an ongoing partnership, and we report here on joint studies carried out during March 2008-September 2009.
- ItemOpen AccessFuture of Education: Advances and Trends in AI, Blockchain And 5G(2020-01) Balaji, VenkataramanPresented at at the Focal Points Meeting for the Caribbean, St Lucia, 28 January 2020
- ItemOpen AccessHow to Run a MOOC: Management of a MOOC(2014-09) Balaji, VenkataramanWeek 5: How to Run a MOOC, module 4 of the MOOC on MOOC course offered by the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) & Commonwealth of Learning (COL), September 2014. This resource contains a video link, slides as well as a document of the transcript. // MOOC on MOOC explores key concepts, methods and practices in the MOOC paradigms. It is meant for both a non-technical and technical audience.
- ItemOpen AccessHow to Run a MOOC: Planning for a MOOC(2014-09) Balaji, VenkataramanWeek 5: How to Run a MOOC, module 3 of the MOOC on MOOC course offered by the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) & Commonwealth of Learning (COL), September 2014. This resource contains a video link, slides as well as a document of the transcript. // MOOC on MOOC explores key concepts, methods and practices in the MOOC paradigms. It is meant for both a non-technical and technical audience.
- ItemOpen AccessICT Capacity Building: Game Changers on the Horizon?(2012-09-24) Balaji, VenkataramanSlides from the Keynote Presentation of the 22nd IFIP World Computer Congress (WCC2012), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 24 September 2012. Presented by Balaji Venkataraman, Commonwealth of Learning.
- ItemOpen AccessLearning in the Era of Digital Transformation(2018-05-08) Kanwar, Asha; Balaji, VenkataramanPresented by Professor Asha Kanwar, President & CEO, Commonwealth of Learning, at a public lecture, Wawasan Open University, Malaysia, 8 May 2018. Co-written with Dr Venkataraman Balaji, COL.
- ItemOpen AccessLife After the World OER Congress?(2012-06-22) Kanwar, Asha; Balaji, VenkataramanAs we come to the close of the 2012 World OER Congress, the next question is: where do we go from here? The adoption of the Paris Declaration is an important outcome of this Congress as Member States move from action to commitment.//What role can the international organisations play to support this process? Let me outline five directions that have emerged from our discussions over the past two days.
- ItemOpen AccessMaking It Matter: Supporting Education in the Developing World Through Open and Linked Data(2014-05-16) Balaji, VenkataramanVideo presentation at the Making it Matter Workshop organised by the LinkedUp Project and the Commonwealth of Learning, London, United Kingdom, 16 May 2014. Duration: 17:03 // Resource contains link to video as well as a document of the presentation slides.
- ItemOpen AccessMaking Sense of MOOCs: A Guide for Policy-Makers in Developing Countries(2016-06) Patru, Mariana; Balaji, VenkataramanThe Guide is designed to raise general awareness amongst policy makers in developing countries as to how Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) might address their concerns and priorities, particularly in terms of access to affordable quality higher education and preparation of secondary school leavers for academic as well as vocational education and training. With very few exceptions, many of the reports on MOOCs already published do not refer to the interest and experience of developing countries, although we are witnessing important initiatives in more and more countries around the world.