The Education Publication Department (EPD) has been given the mandate of drafting the Text Books for Sri Lankan school children, print those and dispatch to the schools in time. This cycle is activated annually as amendments to the new books and new versions of text books should be printed to meet the huge demand. The department is working closely with the National Institute of Education for drafting and finalizing the text books.
EPD has found that at times the carrying out the tasks for achieving its objectives is difficult due to many reasons. EPD has also realized that it can adopt an alternative approaches such as electronic text books to produce the text book material to increase the accessibility of the text books and add value to the output and to the entire teaching and learning experiences.
With the advent of the information and communication technology, EPD with collaboration with ICT Agency of Sri Lanka investigated feasible ways in achieving Technology Enhanced Learning (or TEL); where technology is used to support the learning process.
Though there are a number of initiatives being implemented where solution providers are focusing on web based eLearning solutions, this exact focus on this endeavor was different.
The target groups were teachers and students in the rural community. The intention was to produce a software solution having a feasible delivery medium, which will allow EPD to publish the text books accessible even to students in remote villages.
The following were the key considerations to develop the software solution;
1.The solution has to be platform independent – the application should function on both MS Windows and Linux based Operating systems. And it should support different versions of MS Windows, to allow backward compatibility.
The e-Text Books solution was an internet browser based solution to meet the above requirement.
2.Student / teacher in a remote village should be able to make use of the solution
A Student / teacher in rural community having even the bare minimum ICT infrastructure in place will be able to make use of the solution by playing the CD. Required third party applications were also included in the CD.