DIAL is an open source framework for codifying (providing IDs) and linking physical learning resources such as textbooks with online resources in a dynamic and extensible manner using QR codes, augmented reality, voice navigation among others.
In countries like India, mainstream learning is heavily based on printed textbooks and materials. To provide digital learning experiences to children, it is essential that the physical to digital transition be made seamless and relevant. The current approach is to hard code specific video or learning material link to textbooks through QR codes. This assumes that the content online is not changing and also the content is provided only by that specific provider. This framework solves that problem by decoupling the identity/code of physical items with its metadata and by allowing different applications to respond differently based on the metadata (e.g. when scanning, one application may show related videos while other show practice material).
- Flexible codification for easy printing by publishers
- Online code/ID registry with metadata
- Create one or more curated playlists against each code
- Codes can be organised in a hierarchical fashion for better linked content discoverability
- Apps can fetch content from different repositories to allow decoupling of codification to content
Energised Textbooks (ETBs) is one initiative that has emerged out of following the co-creation and iterative process. ETBs enable access wider content for the teacher and learner by bridging their physical world (textbook) with the digital world (curated, relevant digital content). The bridging happens through QR codes in relevant pages of the textbook, which is linked to the relevant digital content, accessible through the DIKHSA app or web interface.
In India, textbooks used in government schools are published by the Government. ETB is emerging as an acceptable platform across multiple actors in the ecosystem, for the delivery of digital teaching and learning content, assessment as well as lesson plans and teacher development content. The ETB use case leverages the DIAL framework (among several others) from the Sunbird infrastructure.
Energised Textbook is created by the States implementing the program, the end to end cycle of creation and use of the Energised Textbook is as follows:
- QR Codes are printed in textbooks: The choice of textbooks and the placement of QR codes (each QR code has a unique identification number) on the textbook is done by expert teachers selected by the respective government. The printing process is handled as it is usually done by the relevant government department, as textbooks are generally published by the respective State Governments. Clear instructions and specifications for printing are provided - for printing both the QR code and its unique identification number in the textbooks.
- Content linked to QR codes:
- Relevant digital content is created and/or curated.
- This content and/or a collection of content is linked to a unique QR code on the DIKSHA platform.
- The unique number of each QR code allows the linkage between digital content and the printed matter next to the QR code.
- This task is done by an expert body of teachers based on guidelines for curation and creation developed by education administrators of the education department of every State.
- Content is sourced from for profit and not for profit content creators as well, subject to the content policy of the State.
- Content can be of various types (lesson plans, explanation, worksheets, etc) and formats (video, interactive digital content, documents - pdf, powerpoint, etc).
- Use across 5 device interface modes: Books are distributed per normal channels, instructions on use of QR codes is printed on the textbooks and the States also run social media communication campaigns. The end users use the digital content linked to QR codes across 5 different device interface modes - mobile, tablet, computer, television and projector. The content can be be consumed online, or can be downloaded where connectivity permits, and then used offline.
- Data: Usage data on the content is available to the state education administrators as well as content creators and curators, this is used to improve quality and quantity of content and generate best practices of usage and habits emerging in and outside classrooms.