Spoken Tutorial: Free Resource for IT literacy through Open Source Software

Spoken Tutorial: Free Resource for IT literacy through Open Source Software
Spoken Tutorial is an initiative by the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) launched by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD), Government of India and is being developed by IIT Bombay.

Principal Investigator, Prof. Kannan Moudgalya spearheads the project at IIT Bombay to promote IT literacy, improve employment and to help bridge the digital divide and through this he has already trained many students across many schools and colleges on FOSS technologies through workshops in the last year, across the country. It is an audio-video tutorial tool that helps you learn and use Open Source Software (OSS ). The working of a software is explained by an expert, by its demonstrations on the screen aided by running commentary. A movie of both these audio and video activities is made by a screencast software, and this movie is called the Spoken Tutorial. The essence of Spoken Tutorial is such that, it is the recording of the actual session because it captures every step required to elaborate an activity. This makes it a comprehensive solution to document and explain a software or any computer-based activity.

Spoken Tutorial methodology is used to create a series of OSS tutorials of LateX, Scilab, Linux, Python and more. The duration of a typical tutorial is about 10 minutes and many such tutorial videos can be compiled to form entire study plans capable of advanced teaching as well. The basic approach is the creation of a script which is the basis for creating the actual video; this script can be translated into other languages for the audio part, though the visualizations remain in English. It provides tutorials in various Indian regional languages as well. Spoken Tutorial makes learning more effective with simultaneous animation and narration and its demonstrations are highly clear.

The objective of Spoken Tutorial is to spread the knowledge of technology and Free Open Source Software (FOSS) across the country to the ones who lack access and opportunities to learn any software. It is instructional material developed through collaborative means and is a scalable solution. Spoken Tutorial can help you in a number of ways, and through this you can:

  • Learn any software, all by yourself.
  • Get help to conduct workshops in schools and colleges.
  • Contribute to the community by creating your own tutorials or even dubbing the existing ones into other languages.
  • Provide your expertise in a particular FOSS, as a Reviewer or Domain Expert.
  • Spread awareness about its significance and use and become a promoter.

Another significant aspect of Spoken Tutorials is that, using it you can conduct SELF (Spoken Tutorial based Education and Learning through Free FOSS study) workshops. Some features of SELF workshops are:

  • The learning method is highly beneficial for self-learning.
  • It helps amateurs achieve expertise in FOSS.
  • UG, PG or research students and even teachers of Science, IT, Engineering, Commerce, Management and other disciplines can learn any of the FOSS easily and on their own without any additional guidance.
  • These workshops are conducted remotely via. Video Conferencing Tool, such as Skype.
  • The first workshop is usually of the duration of 2 hours at a stretch.
  • A school or college which is organizing the workshop, needs to have a computer lab arranged with equipment that support sound and have Internet connectivity.
  • Any number of participants can participate in the workshops, as long as computers are available for them and even laptops can be used for other participants.
  • The computer or device of the main organizer should have a webcam which is required by the Spoken Tutorial team to monitor the workshops.
  • The workshops are concluded when participants take an assessment test, which if they clear, are rewarded with certificates from the Spoken Tutorial project, IIT Bombay.

Spoken Tutorial strives to eliminate gaps in achieving of software literacy. These gaps arise due to lack of knowledge about accessibility of resources for software learning, lack of proper guidance, lack of infrastructure, difficulty in understanding English. Spoken Tutorial comes to the aid by making tutorials on FOSS available in several Regional Indian languages, so that the learner is most comfortable in learning. The tutorials are available at different levels of expertise such as Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

This project is developed for the community and its portal aims to reach out to individuals interested in collaborating with it and each other as well to create Spoken Tutorials. This project constantly thrives for betterment and improvement and its next goal is to get its tutorials dubbed into as many Indian languages as possible. This will spread its presence across larger parts of the country and in this way, it could be of help to a lot more people. The tutorials whether they are original or dubbed are of the highest possible quality since they go through a strict review procedure before any uploads. The target group of this project is the community including schools, colleges, professionals, educators, trainers, researchers, software users and developers and anyone else with the slightest interest in learning about software can try their hands at it.

It is evident that the knowledge of software is been increasingly desired by huge masses of people, due to the ever increasing careers in the field, moreover, its basic knowledge comes handy. I encourage all to avail of the services of this tool and be a part of this exciting new venture. Share your knowledge and views with us. The Comment Box awaits you.

About the Author
Author: Saomya Saxena
Educational technology blogger, loves to research and write about tools and tips for educators on how to integrate technology into everyday instruction creatively and effectively. Fond of reading and writing.

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