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Thursday, September 13, 2001

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A gateway to learning

LEARNING SHOULD be fun and technology is making that happen. Students, be it juniors or seniors, never had it so good. They are flooded with informative and interactive CDs and software helping them prepare better.

The latest to arrive on the scene is Gateway, a CD- based software from Ones and Zeroes Technologies (OZT), the Indian arm of the US-based Ventech Solutions. Specifically meant for 11 and 12th classes, the software is meant to orient the students to perform better in their examination and hone their skills for the competitive engineering and medical examinations.

``Gateway brings all the entities of teaching and learning - students, teachers, schools and parents - into one environment where the focus is one improving the performance,'' says Mr. Ravi Kunduru, CEO, Ventech Solutions.

Making a location-less classroom a reality, Gateway features is a mix of both the traditional and modern form of learning - two-way communication, a bank of questions, time-based tests with instant evaluation report and flexible timing of work.

Catering to a different segment in the same league is Sherston India.

The U.K. headquartered company creates educational CDs for primary and middle school students.

Using animation and multimedia, the CDs provide teachers with indispensable aid for literacy lessons. Using a story format with animated characters, interactive lessons and clear narration, the CDs bring information to life.

Sherston says the activities are incorporated into the lessons to capture and retain the student's interest while developing their essential skills. There is also provision for the teachers to keep track of the student's performance.

The interesting thing about the UK discs is the range that seeks to cover the kindergarten kids: it calls the group ``infants'' (age 4 to 7) and provides them literacy and ``numeracy''.

Cartoon characters and the TV model ``shows'' for Grammar and Punctuation also make for interesting teaching models, using the power of interactivity.

While software has a big variety, coming from various companies, even leading schools often get into a contract with a single vendor, providing little choice for the youngsters who pay high fees for the opportunity for computer education on campus.

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