With the fast-paced technological advancement in the education sector, the importance of traditional-classroom learning is slowly vanishing. Educationists believe that technology has a better hold over students than books but is this the right way to move forward? What will happen to all those teachers, peons, principals and staff members of schools once technology takes over? Is India’s education sector really the right place to experiment with technology?

Facts say that there has been a considerable progress in the growing number of virtual schools and colleges across India. However, it is insufficient to meet the needs of the 1.3 billion citizens of our country. Even though we have a number of people who are technologically challenged, educationists do believe that innovations in Information Communication Technology (ICT), is the best way to reach out to these people. India’s literacy rate currently stands at 74.4% which is comparatively lesser than a lot of other countries. Another obstacle which comes in the way of development is the attendance. Students who belong to the low-income group, often don’t end up coming to school and therefore don’t improve their learning outcomes. As per the last survey by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), an average of 326 out of 1,000 students in rural areas are dropping out, while the same number stands at 383 per 1,000 in urban areas. Also, most of the students who are enrolled in formal education are not learning the competencies and skills required to succeed in knowledge-based economies. Can technology make the situation better?

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When technology comes into play

Today, kids are using tablets and phones to watch their favorite cartoons and learn pictorial rhymes and education is being imparted through all forms of media in a flexible and non-intrusive way. A bane which comes in the way is the distraction which is caused by using these devices for education. Unfortunately, the internet has access to anything and everything in the world, so kids are often exposed to content which could be harmful to their over all development. However, there has been a gradual shift in the perception of parents and teachers towards digital learning too. Parents have started believing that technology is the future and can make education interesting. The Indian government aims to increase the digital literacy of the country to 50% from the current 15% by bringing out favorable policies to give impetus to technology-based learning. Today, institutions are making efforts to shift the focus back on students to reinvent the way they learn right throughout their life. India hasn’t fully adopted education technology and I personally think that it’ll take time, but at least the education sector is using technology as an enabler today.

Some of the factors which enable the growth of digital/technological education: –

Adaptive and personalized learning

Learning platforms and tech companies are creating numerous ways to merge technology with education and come up with new educational software. They are trying to create a space by which the aptitude, strengths & weakness, academic potential and pace of every student can be looked after. Moreover, mobile and computer applications are being created so that learning becomes more convenient and handy. Most of the private schools across India have also started to provide tablets and personal laptops to students which will make the schools paperless and also enhance the learning skills of students.

Two-way conversations in digital learning

Individual attention becomes a big issue while studying in a traditional classroom. Today, education has become mostly a commercial exercise with schools having up to 50 students in one class and in such a situation, it’s almost impossible for a teacher to give individual attention to students. In contrast, the one-to-one model of e-learning makes it much easier, convenient and less time-consuming while ensuring students get to interact with different mentors and experts who are facilitating the course online. This, apart from imparting longer lasting educational values will also make students more technologically skilled and equipped for modern workplaces.

Video-based learning

Video-based learning has also gradually gained popularity mainly because students can relate to it and it mirrors the traditional classroom teaching style. One can even go on YouTube for educational content. Websites like ‘Khan Academy’ and ‘Coursera’ have already established themselves and have more than 50 thousand students logging in on a daily basis. Experts also claim that video-based learning has brought in a significant change in the students’ grades. The biggest merit of video-based learning is that students can repeatedly watch these videos at their own pace and dedicate their time spent in class towards interaction with the teacher. Tech-educationists are also bringing in the concept of Holography whereby students will be able to see 5D videos of the course content and live the classroom experience.

Open Education resources

There are many open digital-educational resources which have come into existence, mainly applied for distance-learning courses. These contain freely accessible media and content for educational purposes and are licensed to be revised and re-edited by teachers and students across the globe. This makes it easier for students to get varied opinions and also give them different types of content. On these portals, teachers can also conduct individual sessions with students whereby they can edit and save the content too. Subjects like Mathematics, Applied Sciences, Business Studies and different languages are taught here.

Use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in digital education

These two terms are already buzzwords in the technology space and with their introduction in the education sector, it has deeply impacted the way students learn on these platforms. VR allows students to have a direct contact with the study material online. This is really a motivating tool for students as it engages them and also makes the learning more interesting. AR, on the other hand, is a tool which is used to train teachers and educationists in performing tasks which have never been executed before.

We can see how technology has impacted the education sector throughout the globe. There are advancements being made on a daily basis just to make the system better. If you believe in unconventional learning, you should log on to www.projectmynt.com to know more. Shoot us a mail and tell us what you feel about this change!

 

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Mitali Verma

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