Dhenkanal: “The 21st-century teaching-learning environment has become more interactive, collaborative, and digitised. More importantly, technological advancements in the education sector have shown a way for student-centred learning. This will help improve the quality of education,” said Prof. Srikant Mohapatra, Vice-Chancellor of Odisha State Open University (OSOU) while delivering the 5th Prof KM Srivastava Memorial Lecture on “Technology-Enabled Learning: Is this the new normal!” at the Eastern Regional Campus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in Dhenkanal on Friday, 28 August 2020.
Discarding the apprehension that the teachers will be replaced by technology, Prof Mohapatra said, “Technology is just an interactive medium between the teacher and the learner but cannot replace the teachers. However, in order to facilitate a good learning environment, the 19th-century teachers are also migrating to digital technology for effective teaching to 21st-century digital native students.”
However, to answer the questions regarding the controversy over ‘digital divide’, he stressed on more government support to the poorer section of people and capacity building of the teachers. “Access to higher education and technology has been a problem. It is gradually going away with rates of smartphone and internet data going down, and we are aiming at universal higher education in our country. We need to have a permanent policy document for technology-enabled learning,” he said while citing the steps OSOU has taken by using digital technology over the last couple of years.
Dr Mrinal Chatterjee, Professor. and Regional Director of IIMC Dhenkanal, in his welcome address, reminded the role and efforts of late Prof. KM Srivastava, a former professor of the Institute and head of the Dhenkanal campus, in making the IIMC Dhenkanal a media knowledge centre. “The Eastern Regional campus of IIMC at Dhenkanal was facing a difficult time when Prof. Srivastava joined here as the director. Finally, overcoming all the hurdles, Prof. KM Srivastava resolved all the issues with laudable efforts,” he said.
One of the most renowned faces in the international media academia, Professor Srivastava passed away on 28 August 2015 at the age of 63 when he collapsed at the Nizamuddin Railway Station (South Delhi). He was rushed to AIIMS Trauma Centre where he was declared brought dead.
He was a professor at IIMC for more than 25 years and served as the Head of IIMC Dhenkanal for around two years. Prof Srivastava, besides teaching and training journalists, also authored several books including ‘News Reporting and Editing’, ‘Broadcast Journalism in 21st Century’, ‘News Agencies: from Pigeon to Internet’ and ‘Radio and TV Journalism’.
Every year IIMC Dhenkanal organises the memorial lecture in the name of Prof. KM Srivastava, since 2016.
The event was moderated by Assistant Professor Sambit Pal and ended with a vote of thanks by Assistant Professor Dr Jyoti Prakash Mohapatra.