Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Indian Edu-blogger - Wither Art Thou?

Indian educators are conspicuous by their absence in the blogosphere! It struck me about a year or so ago when I was going through the wiki for a blogger meet (barcamp or some such) somewhere in India (Delhi/Chennai/Bangalore), and 'education' did not even exist as a category for Indian bloggers! Several moons, and millions more new blogs in the blogosphere later, the India edu-blogger still remains a non-existent entity in the blogosphere.

This has been borne out in recent weeks by a couple of other stark indicators. One, the International Edubloggers Directory which now has hundreds of edu-bloggers listed from around the world, has only 3 from India! Second - a google search on "Indian bloggers" took me to a list of the "Best Indian Blogs". The list, which has hundreds of bloggers divided into about 35 categories did not have an 'education' category (surprise, surprise!) until I suggested my blog and urged them to create this category. [This blog has now been listed - thanks Amit! - and more importantly, an 'education' category has been given its due place at the bottom of that long list!] Two other blogs, besides mine showed up in the education category, but my hopes were dashed when a cursory scan through both revealed that they concern themselves only with guiding students applying abroad for higher studies - helping them navigate issues like visas and financial aid! Not edu-bloggers per my definition.]

I enjoy reading and participating in discussions and debates that rage on issues of education, in general, and 21st century learning, in particular, on the blogs of edubloggers like Will Richardson, David Warlick, Karl Fisch, Wes Fryer, Ewan Macintosh and many others, most of who are based in the US. I believe such communication and discussion benefits any community that is working towards a common goal.

I reckon that there are several (read hundreds of thousands) educators - teachers, school leaders, policy makers - who surf the Internet, especially in urban centers in India. I reckon that many (read thousands) of them are fairly comfortable with written communication in English. I reckon, no, hope, that they have views and opinions that relate directly, or even tangentially, to education. What then is keeping them away from expressing and sharing their views with other educators?

My guess is that the answer lies somewhere in anthropology and HCI and information science.

More on this, and educatorslog.in (an attempt to create an open group blog for educators in India), later...

[This issue has been bothering me for a while now, so even though this post is only half-baked, I decided to get it out there. I'm quite sure this is only the beginning of a lot of questioning/conjecturing/researching on the subject!]


Ewan McIntosh said...

I'm hoping to unlock a few Indian bloggers in Delhi in three weeks' time when I come over for a week of workshops there. I'm sure, too, that there are teachers blogging their views. The trick is finding them and connecting them with others. If there aren't any, then your questions about why they're not sharing would be reflected in Scotland, England... plenty of other countries. A global phenomenon to get to the bottom of!

Sheetal said...

Shuchi, I guess you should try BlogAdda.com as well, that's where I found interesting Indian blogs. I agree to your opinion that there are very few educators who blog except some of the IIT professors. I need to check out your blog in detail!

Sheetal said...

Shuchi, you should visit blogadda.com as well to find Indian blogs. I have found so many from there. I agree that there are very few Indian educators blogs except some of the IIT professors. I will need to browse your blog in detail!

Shuchi Grover said...

Will do, Sheetal. Thanks for the tip. I am in the process of compiling a list of Indian educator blogs and posting it here. If you know of any, please do point them this way. Thanks :)

Shuchi Grover said...

@Ewan - Look forward to your findings. Good Luck :) It sure makes for an interesting cultural study - a "culture of educators" that transcends national boundaries and cultures.

poonam said...

Dear Suchi,
This is poonam k, i appear as pooteacher on educatorslog.in and as poonam in alt-ed-india. U r the only Indian i have come across as Technology Educationist.

I have sent u couple of emails frm my end....but ther's been no reply.

I am a computer faculty in a private school of my own. I hold no Technology Degrees....have made it here all on my own and thanks to the net.

I jumped with joy when first i came across ur blog....but its been a long wait since then.

I want u to be my MENTOR...have i unknowingly asked for too much.

I want to attend ur workshops...and learn more and interact with u.

awaiting ur reply...pls! email me on kidsdomain@yahoo.com

poonam said...

Dear Suchi,
This is poonam Kurani. I appear as pooteacher on educatorslog.in and as poonam in alt-ed-india.

I am a computer teacher in a private school of my own called KIDS DOMAIN.

I have sent u couple of emails since i came across ur blog a month ago. I have felt very lonely here in INDIA....and jumped with joy when i found a qualified Technology Educationist.

I want to be Mentored by u, attend ur workshops and be guided.

I have no gr8 qualification, and my journey to this day has been on my own and the net.

Pls awaiting an early reply
email me at kidsdomain@yahoo.com

regard poonam

poonam said...

OOPS! i think i have published the same comment more than once....


Shuchi Grover said...

Poonam, I am touched, humbled and flattered. I am sorry for not replying to your emails - I think I was traveling at the time, and only just dug them up and read them after reading this comment.

I understand your predicament, and I do realize that as an educational technologist actively working with schools and teachers (among other projects), I am in a serious minority here in India. It was with a view to reaching more teachers than I possibly could (face-to-face) that I took to sharing my views and ideas on this blog, in articles in education magazines in India (links to these on the blog), and finally, creating educatorslog.in for helping teachers connect, not just with me, but with others around the country as well.

I am really glad that you have found your way to educatorslog.in. [I do recall posting some thoughts on what/how new technologies could be used in schools, in response to your query recently.] We need more passionate parents and teachers like you :)

I will continue this dialogue via email.

Thanks for reaching out,