'Closures of more than 1.5 million schools and other learning spaces have been impacted. Even when the schools reopen, providing a safe environment to the students will remain a priority to the management.'
The Edtech sector is expanding at a blistering pace. It broke new grounds and spread across tier-3 and 4 towns of India. This trend in online education was also there before the Pandemic, but the education sector was slow and reluctant on many accounts. They preferred the traditional method of teaching and learning. However, Covid-19 changed everything and became an instigator in bringing a transformation in the field of education. Thus emerged a new way of teaching and learning – online education. In an exclusive conversation with Financial Express Online Swati Ganguly, Co-founder of Edufiq talked about online education, emerging EdTech tools and more. Excerpts:
How have evolving EdTech tools enabled the seamless shift from offline to online classrooms?
Education and technology, which is also known as EduTech, has impacted millions of lives. It has been in existence for almost two decades now, but it’s relevance took precedence during pandemic in the past few months. The process of imparting education online remained untouched for years. It now seems to be evolving with the help of EdTech companies. The center and state governments are also making educational policies that favour the application of new ideas and innovative technologies in the education sector. Today, many schools have started integrating advanced technologies such as smart boards, online learning apps, curriculum management softwares, e-textbooks with their systems. As a result, communication and administration platforms are gaining momentum. This transformation is further supported by the steep fall in the tariffs of internet data and the costs of communication devices, due to which everyone now has access to cutting-edge education technology. Classrooms are becoming accustomed to game-based and adaptive learning techniques which students and teachers are using willingly. Lastly, remote learning tools offered by EdTech have dramatically augmented the learning experiences of millions of students and lowered the cost of acquisition of new technology in schools.
As we know, the Delhi government has introduced the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and game-based techniques for continuous assessment of students under its new state school education board. Do you think is it the right decision to introduce AI at such an early stage when a child is just in school
In light of the current developments such as, recognition of AI by the government and introduction of AI as a skill subject in schools by CBSE have provided ample opportunities to give children a head start by introducing them to the subject (AI) in the most interactive ways. These students are not only adopting the online form of education but are also embracing a new routine that prevents them from outdoor activities for precautionary reasons. As AI is a new subject we want to make it enjoyable, collaborative and experience-based with Edufiq’s unique pedagogy. We truly believe that introduction of this subject packaged and presented with the right teaching methods can generate a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity in children and give them something new to look forward to.
Tell us something about Edufiq?
Edufiq is an outcome of our relentless efforts to carefully develop a specialized and engaging Artificial Intelligence courseware for class 5 to class 10. Edufiq, uses game-based and experiential learning techniques to teach AI to children in the age group of 8-16 years. Our courseware ensures the learning process is exciting and fun-filled for the students. Our skilled instructors are from high-performing academic backgrounds and our teaching methods include the utilization of best-practice theories of gamified learning which is supported by our courseware and experiential kit. We have developed an age-sensitive courseware to ensure a stress-free environment for children. While our game-based learning approach is focused on students of grade 5th, 6th and 7th; for 8th, 9th and 10th graders, our focus is to provide hands-on experience through experiential-based learning methods.
Where does the education sector stand in the Covid era?
Coronavirus has temporarily halted the education system and has affected more than 250 million students. Closures of more than 1.5 million schools and other learning spaces have been impacted. Even when the schools reopen, providing a safe environment to the students will remain a priority to the management. A pandemic at this scale is bound to bring a revolution, even in the education systems. Under such unprecedented times, today’s education system needs policies that make learning possible even during a crisis. Modern technology, innovative devices and the internet have made it possible for schools to impart education to students even during a pandemic. Digital technology enables communication, collaboration and learning across distance, making it an essential tool in the contemporary scenario. We can now confidently say that a shift to remote online learning is here to stay.
Looking at the current scenario where virtual learning is the only option, do you think it’s the right time to reshape the education system?
Of course! Our education system does require an upgrade. When schools and colleges are closed due to the Pandemic, virtual learning is the only option for children to continue with their education. The teacher can impart knowledge and students can also clarify their doubts through online learning platforms.
In this changed scenario, where children are spending more time in front of the screen it is imperative that this new-age learning becomes a constructive, productive and yet a fun activity. Children should be taught how to adapt to the changing times and prepare for the future with the assistance of trusted specialists.
Tell us about your team and the idea behind Edufiq?
The idea behind the creation of Edufiq is to provide children with an innovative AI courseware that makes their learning experience engaging and exciting through a game-based learning and experiential approach.
To bring this idea to life, Tech expert, Osborne Dsouza (Co-Founder and Director) and, Veteran educationist, and I came together to create Edufiq.