Dell India, the world’s fastest growing large integrated IT Company, today reiterated its belief that the Personal Computer can be a foundation device to equip the workforce of the future with skill and learning as well as the potential to excel in a knowledge economy like India. Dell believes the PC is the hub of creation, and is the ideal companion device in holistic growth for an individual. This declaration comes in the background of Dell’s PC Literacy Days campaign in commemoration of the annual World Computer Literacy Day on December 2nd, and is an initiative by the company to enhance knowledge across the country around PC adoption and the optimal use of PC technology. It strives to aid awareness around security, reliability and productivity as key parts of incorporating PC technology into everyday life.
Dell is keen on developing a comprehensive understanding of a diverse technology user base in a knowledge economy like India, with the intent to maximize the potential for PC usage for customers with unique technology needs. Earlier this year, Dell commissioned the ‘PC User Trends of Emerging India’ which revealed that youth and students would form the core user group which will fuel growth in pan India PC adoption, as aspiring young minds embrace technology as a key component of individual growth and development. The study revealed the existing attitudes of Indians towards the PC in Tier 1 to Tier 4 towns in the country, complementing the extensive customer engagement Dell has undertaken in its bid to bridge the digital divide in a country where household PC penetration stands at just under 10%.
Some key highlights of the survey that pointed towards the liberation of PC learning across the tiers and cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Vadodara and Meerut included:
- 52% parents in Tier 1 cities expose their children to a PC between the ages of 0-5 years; clearly displaying a commonality or a trend towards early orientation to PC technology
- Furthermore, the survey elucidates that Indian parents are trying to be more open-minded and are dedicating themselves to giving their children an all-round inclusive growth. Nearly 72% students are using their personal computer to learn beyond what is taught in the class room and not just to better manage homework and classwork.
- The survey highlighted that nearly 89% parents in India find it a struggle to enable their children to become smarter and to give them the right guidance. Here a PC is seen as a potential enabler to do more.
As part of this customer outreach program, Dell concluded its first ever parenting community outreach program in New Delhi with presence from a number of technologically inclined parents who believe that the PC has an important role to play in the overall development of their child. The event was designed in the form of a panel discussion such that the parenting community – constituting mothers who are also active online influencers – was offered a platform to come together and share their views on the use of technology in their child’s life. The panel included experts from the fields of both, technology and education offering practical and subjective perspective on the matter, based on their experience. The panel was moderated by Ritu Gupta, Director, Marketing, Consumer & Small Business, Dell India.
Keeping this in mind, the attendees at the panel discussion spoke around the theme, “The gateway to new age learning and overall development of young children – The Personal Computer” and shared their experiences and views on ‘new age’ parenting. A key take away from the conversation was on how Indian parents have to be open to move away from conventional routes of learning. The discussion concluded with the consensus that both parents and educators are cognizant of the scope for the PC to transform the way a student learns, and its potential to contribute to holistic growth for an individual. That said, the attendees and panel were also in agreement that despite this understanding, there is scope for a large audience to fully utilize PC technology and that platforms such as the one hosted by Dell, can prove to be instrumental in collaboration between various influencers in the lives of students.
Mr. Sanchit Vir Gogia Chief Analyst & CEO, Greyhound Research shared insights garnered while conducting research for the PC User Trends of Emerging India, “89% of parents in the country have a fear that they are not able to guide their children when helping them learn in an information age. In Tier 1 towns, 52% parents introduced a PC in some form to a child below the age of 5. While PC usage may be lesser in Tier 3 & 4 towns, there is a sense of seriousness and appreciation associated with computing due to limited access in these regions, and thus cognizance for the value of gaining that access. A key concern among parents today is not only providing access to PC technology, but to also control access and how to participate in technology use. The problem is not access or even finances given that vendors now have convenient financing schemes, it is providing context on how to best consume content, to learn from it and to customize it to everyday learning.”
Gayatri Singh, Founder, Team Explore – Think Stations further added that, 60% of the jobs that students will be pursuing in the near future, do not exist yet. “Even for these jobs, there are base skills that is a necessity for the development of children. In the 21st century, creativity and innovation is a basic prerequisite and has to be instilled at the right age. It is a very fast moving world and it is important for children to collaborate and develop information literacy. You need to know what to do with information, where to get it when it is required. Technology has a key role to play in information literacy, and allows children at a young age to think out of the box. Children are able to grasp new things easily. Using the PC as a tool instead of a form of entertainment, they start to enjoy their learning process.”
Harpreet Kaur Sapra, Serial Technology Entrepreneur & Co-Founder at MakersBox talked about the need for PC technology to be introduced to children at the right age. “Kids need to have access to holistic learning – something that is beyond school, and even the knowledge of a parent for that matter. As a country we have been ready for a very long time when it comes to digitization and the centrality of technology in everyday life. The barrier in adopting a PC has not been availability of knowledge or awareness, but is the hesitation on the parents’ part based on various factors. Parents need to understand that an INR 30,000 or 40,000 investment in a PC is just as important as a home loan, tuition fees, school fees or other expenses they are willing to incur for the growth of their child.”
Ritu Taneja, Teacher trainer; Educational, Editorial Consultant and Author talked about schools being very enthusiastic about technology. “It brings interesting and new ways to learning. However, while technology is being adopted conceptually, its potential is not being fully utilized. While smart class rooms are a reality, smart teaching methods is not. We are seeing that educationists and authors are making efforts to include online links and informational CDs in textbooks, and schools now have the resources to implement hands-on learning, however there is a wide gap that needs bridging. It is being used for better education processes but not as a teaching tool per se. Schools in India are heavily inclined towards the existing syllabus but technology can help enhance curriculum needs.” Ms. Taneja added that as a teacher trainer, she is promoting the concept of ‘flip classrooms’ in institutions wherein teachers act as curators, who expose students to content on a PC, and allow the student to observe, explore, and learn.
Ritu Gupta, Director, Marketing, Consumer & Small Business, Dell India said, “This discussion has been a valuable component of the ongoing Dell PC Literacy Days campaign which is a focused effort to enhance awareness around PC adoption and usage in the country. It was an insightful experience to be able to interact with the panel of experts from the education and technology domains. We also had the opportunity to hear from parents on where they place the PC in the life of their children. The learning from this discussion has been that the PC does indeed serve as a gateway to learning for our children. It is up to the influencers – be it brands, parents or teachers – to educate young minds about the potential which the PC can unleash for them, and to address fears and apprehensions that they have.”