Ms. Fatema Agarkar
Educationist and Founder of ACE
Fatema is a State and University topper as part of the prestigious Mumbai based Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics at graduation, holds a degree of Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Birmingham (UK), apart from her B. ED and ECCE degrees.
Barclays Investment Bank industry report published in April 2020 Heralds education technology as a game-changer and speaks about the potential and the sheer pace of growth of this industry world over but especially in South East Asia that have capacity scale-up requirements and in particular skilling and optimizing the EdTech power.
The numbers are staggering, and for once looking at graphs other than the spike in numbers is encouraging and demonstrates the sheer power of technology when immersed in education.
For someone who has always believed that in India our approach to EdTech was one of resistance, lack of research and understanding and this desire to work with ‘what has previously worked’. This need to embrace was considered rocking the boat and I dare say this has largely to do with the fact that the decision-makers are caught in no man’s land. Not ones to have grown up with technology, the resistance is almost this lack of desire to now ‘take on something new’.
So, the mindset has a lot to do with the fact that change has not happened in a manner that is productive and effective.
Shall we leave the past alone and focus on what the future holds for us?
Well, for starters this exponential growth in the EdTech space - the new form of learning architecture will no longer be the disruption but become a part of creation with unimaginable consequences. Let’s begin by giving it the respect it needs and allowing it to become the core around which learning transforms itself to become more active, immersive, participative, creative, adaptive, personalized and more ‘gamified’. With the pros, will come in the cons, and that’s when we set the etiquettes for usage in a way that is smart and preventive in nature.
So, what education technology does is create this platform or a series of platforms to make learning completely 3 dimensional.
Some obvious advantages:
- Impacting the modern-day student who was born in a world where tech was not a novel thing, and therefore its usage, adds a lot of credibility to the teacher and makes it ‘unified’
- Quick access to information in a manner that is centralized and easy to search, textbooks, handouts that enable efficient ways to answer and therefore enhance learning
- the boredom is reduced, and the mundane tasks for a teacher that was time-consuming now can be replaced and the focus on discussions which means efficiency improves
- collaborative learning - a goal of every school is possible now thanks to EdTech which enhances performances upto 95 percent, while the one-dimensional lecture format restricts it to 5 percent!
- developing life skills seamlessly - you build-up on research skills, authenticating information, have to present in different formats, multi-tasking, decision making, etc
- it not only traces the past quickly but with AI, the peek into the future is a huge shift to learning
- learning can be personalized, customized and also matches the pace of the student and not simply instructional
- the global drives as data collated help with predictions and eliminations
- learning happens in so many ways and focuses on a child’s MI and importantly customizes to suit the attitude of every learner
- as a child learning more efficiently builds on his/her motivational level, self-confidence and essentially creates more success stories for them. No child is left behind
Unlike what most people tend to associate, EdTech can become a cost-effective solution that provides a means to track quality, self-correct and address challenges given its power to capture and store, and use that data in ways that help generate feasible options.
The assumed improvement in the GDP of most countries according to Barclay’s report is close to 30 percent - well those that embrace this revolution and make it a top-down strategic investment.
And this is a far cry from discussing if online learning causes mental stress on parents and students. We need to quickly change our narrative to optimize and create solutions that we so desperately need in a country that has many challenges with its 1.3 billion people already.