Digital classrooms in the digital age

Updated: Oct 15 2012, 08:19am hrs
Srikanth B Iyer

Indias education sector is one of the largest in the world, providing to a population of 600 million people. The size of the formal education market in India is estimated to be $45 billion. The 2011 KPMG report on the education sector in India says that education is one of the largest service sector industries in India and is characterised by a unique set of attributes. Technology being one of its greatest attributes is playing a crucial role in the spread of education, and in making learning more interesting and fast-paced. For a digital native generation, which deals with tablets, smartphones and other digital products, ICT in classrooms is the next step for the gen-next. The ICT in education market in India is estimated at R2,85,000 crore ($50 billion) and expected to grow to R5,70,000 crore ($100 billion) by 2014. There is no denying that educational institutions are waking up to the opportunity of technology in education.

The popularity of digital classrooms is on the rise. A digital classroom is basically an ICT-based classroom solution that aims at converting traditional classrooms into interactive sessions by combining state-of-the-art hardware with syllabus-compliant, multimedia content.

For students, a digital classroom creates new opportunities and innovative ways to learn, while at the same time providing a platform to overcome the relatively less interesting parts of education and learning. Through digital content, teachers are able to simplify complex concepts, providing better understanding and making learning more engaging, and gradually the modern day schools are becoming fully digitised. By making use of interactive teaching tools, teachers are able to move away from the traditional blackboard-and-chalk method, making learning a real-life experience. The ICT tools helps teachers customise their teaching sessions, keeping the learners pace in mind.

At different levels in the Indian education system, students can now begin to use ICT tools to get an interactive experience in subjects such as mathematics, biology, chemistry, science and more. The digital classroom can make the traditional Indian school globally competitive and nurture a generation of future-ready students who can confidently take on the challenges of the world.

ICT not only will bridge gaps between in and out of school but also help reducing the home-school divide, thus improving communication with parents. ICT also has a positive impact on students with special education needs. With its ability to incorporate modern technologies like digital video and photography, it can help students with special needs or disabilities learn faster and better.

The future of the current generation will be vested in technology, and the use of ICT in classrooms will enable the students to get familiarised with the latest technologies, thus gaining a competitive edge for the future.

It is evident that there will be new ways of learning for both the student and the teacher; there will be shared working space and resources, better access to information, promotion of collaborative learning and new discoveries. Thus it is time to embrace the digital classroom in this digital age.

The author is COO of Pearson Education Services