Education in Geo-informatics has undergone remarkable development with the introduction of a number of related courses at graduate and postgraduate level in India. By 2004 one may even find it being named as at least one of the many papers in different undergraduate colleges teaching Geography, Geology, Planning or other Geo-Sciences. However, the curriculum leaves something to be desired particularly in the relatively non-professional colleges. In many cases, the lack of required infrastructure, combined with partially trained teachers, indicates that the curriculum is still at a nascent stage. Introduction of information and communication technology (ICT) can provide solutions with inputs from both within and outside.
Execution of ICT requires new competencies of faculty members. The burden of integrating e-learning lies mainly on the shoulders of the teachers, therefore, any planned process should take into account the capabilities and limitations of the teachers and should be directed as steps and manner that suit each teacher. Teachers can get more and more creative in integrating all possible interaction as the experience with the course evolves and as the overall experience of the college teacher evolves. Undoubtedly, digital learning resources have the power, if developed and deployed appropriately, to significantly enhance the learning experience in Geo-informatics. Teachers will, however, always be needed.
ICT and teaching faculty in higher education
On a college campus there are constant reminders that knowledge acquisition is the main focus. In that sense the campus of an institution of higher education may be viewed as a “safe haven”. Higher education focuses on how to maintain the “trusting environment” image where students can be stimulated to acquire knowledge on certain subjects, evaluate their level of learning, and in the process enhance their own value proposition through existing faculty. Therefore, somewhere ICT have to create surrounding environment trustworthy enough to build confidence to fall in the category of ‘sure learning’. In ignoring this, the crevice between conflicting agendas of University and techno-industry will widen.
However, it may be basically assumed that a higher education teacher already has a viewpoint on the subject matter s/he teaches and an opinion on how it should be taught. A teacher usually has some teaching material he had already accumulated, prepared and used. Different branches have different terminology, different learning objectives, different emphasizes, etc. For example in remote sensing evaluating the patterns emerging from spectral signature can be one learning objective, while in GIS