India/September 02, 2022/By: Rishabh Khanna/ Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
The convenience of electronics such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets, combined with the efficiency of technology, has made life considerably easier. Students nowadays (especially Generation Z) prefer to learn and absorb educational content through these devices rather than traditional textbooks. Given the extent to which technology has already penetrated our lives, it is no surprise that technology will become the fulcrum of education in India in the coming years.
Though the pandemic pushed technology to our doorstep, it’s not the only element at play. The mode of instruction, the changing role of teachers, government initiatives–all hold it together. With classes shifting to computer screens, teachers becoming the facilitators, & ascendance of EdTechs, the modalities have shifted drastically & will continue to do so in the near future.
With this trend going forward, the key stakeholders of the education system need to fundamentally change the way they look at education and its role in developing us as individuals.
For example, for teachers, it is not just about delivering lessons in a classroom, but also about invoking student curiosity and facilitating discussions. For students, it is not just about consuming educational content but also about collaborating with their peers in a classroom. Hence, the coming years would test the balance between the old & the new of the educational space.
Let’s look at how the roles of different stakeholders in the Indian educational sector are expected to function in the coming years.
Schools will go Hybrid
The pandemic let the genie of remote learning out of the bottle. And this genie is here to stay. However, as stated earlier, educational institutions would need to balance between remote learning & offline classes with much more use of the hybrid learning pedagogy. There would be an influx of flexible timetables, virtual collaborations and technology driven learning, where students would have access to on-demand learning as well the support of teachers beside them.
Schools need to ensure that students get hands-on guidance, emotional support & meaningful educational experiences equally in both offline & online classrooms. They would also need to ensure their teachers & students have requisite resources such as devices, internet access & parental support to learn in a hybrid model.
Deeper Involvement of EdTechs
To enable remote learning at such a level, many EdTech institutions have been playing and will continue to play a crucial role by collaborating with educational institution chains & other key stakeholders.
Ed-techs also track student data & make it simpler for teachers to design personalised lesson plans and educational experiences. Thus, they promote inclusion and improve the learning capabilities of all students, regardless of their academic aptitude.
However, the penetration of EdTechs to the remotest parts of the country is only possible with the expansion of technological infrastructure of the country. While the government has already been working on building such infrastructure, they can actually engage in strategic partnerships with EdTechs to catalyse the process.
Teacher Upskilling to become mainstream
While building infrastructure is one aspect of the equation, teacher capacity building is unquestionably the other. Adaptability of technology for teachers has been gradually gaining importance & will continue to do so. This is the case simply because teachers who are proficient in using technology themselves can encourage and inspire students to adopt it more readily and can better prepare them for the future.
Teacher upskilling will assume much greater importance in the next couple of years to build modern teachers who can stream educational videos, access digital textbooks, employ Edtech tools, and support personalised learning.
Now, have we covered all major stakeholders of the education sector? Well, not really.
360° Mindset Change in Parents
While you may find this a surprising one, this is actually going to be a very crucial part of the education sector henceforth.
We have already started seeing the world giving more importance to skills over degree and grades. It’ll be a fundamental change in the mindset of parents to not motivate their children to just get better grades but actually to encourage them to develop real-world skills and personality. Good grades need to be byproducts of effective learning, not the end goal. Daily, we see new unconventional roles come up in the corporate world and parents will have to support their children if and when they want to pursue these goals. Gone are the days when students had limited career options. With content at their fingertips, students can learn & evolve all while sitting at home.
Additionally, parents with kids in foundational years of learning will have to be more thoughtful about the experiences that the kids go through outside the classrooms as well to enable their holistic development.
It is fair to say that all stakeholders, the functioning gears of this mammoth of an education machinery, will act and interact in a much evolved manner than how they do now. Technology will play a pivotal role in this transformation, as the ones receiving education – the students will have more and more access to it.
These efforts, however, can only bear fruits if we empower our educators with necessary skills & resources to strike the right balance between old traditional teaching practices & a new revamped education system.