The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Facebook have partnered to launch curriculum on “digital safety and online well-being” and “Augmented Reality” for students and educators, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ announced. “I congratulate CBSE and Facebook on its partnership to introduce certified programmes in Augmented Reality for teachers and Digital Safety and online-wellbeing for students. I encourage the teachers and students to apply for the programmes commencing on July 6,” Nishank tweeted.
According to CBSE officials, the comprehensive curriculum is aimed at ensuring online well-being of students and preparing them for the future of work. “The modules are for secondary school students. The curriculum is now available on the CBSE website. This partnership is led by Facebook for Education, a global initiative by Facebook, to build diverse learning communities and bring the world closer together," a senior board official said. "As more and more young users get online, it becomes important to educate young adults, and students on making well informed choices online and also help them develop skills they need to safely navigate the internet," the official explained.
The curriculum will cover aspects such as safety, privacy, mental health and Instagram’s guide for building healthy digital habits. The module has been designed to guide students become responsible digital users, identify and report threats and harassment as well as report misinformation.
At least 10,000 students will be covered in the training which will be imparted by the Centre for Social Research (CSR), the officials said.
“Also, as part of the collaboration, Facebook will support CBSE in its first-ever initiative to introduce Artificial Reality (AR) as a curriculum. In the first phase, 10,000 teachers will be trained while 30,000 students will undergo the same in the second phase. The three-week training, to be conducted in batches, will cover fundamentals of AR and ways to utilise Facebook’s software, Spark AR Studio in order to create augmented reality experiences," the official said.
"The objective is to give the learners an opportunity and platform to conceptualise, create and brand their own AR experiences. The hands-on learning experience of AR will help in preparing the students for a career in the digital economy. The teachers who successfully complete the training in the first phase will train 30,000 students in the second phase,” the official added.
According to Ankhi Das, Director, Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia, "the current global pandemic is the most severe health and humanitarian crisis that the country has seen, with far-reaching impact on our lives. We recognise the disruption it has caused to traditional pedagogical methods necessitating a shift to virtual modes of learning the most”.
"Through our Facebook for Education programme in India, we wish to support the educational agencies in the country in enabling lessons on fostering safe online experiences, addressing online well-being as well as sharing easy toolkit for parents, educators and students to promote resilience and learning in the current environment, "Das said.
"Besides, the AR curriculum offers an opportunity for young learners to explore emerging technology for the first time as part of their curriculum," Das added.