The Indian education sector is poised at an interesting juncture. On one hand there is a growing focus on achieving learning outcomes, while on the other technology is being adopted quickly and content is being rewritten and redesigned to adapt to a variety of emerging media. The advent of digitally-enabled classroom, cloud-based content, e-books and online assessments, among others, has enabled our education system to reach an inflection point. This promises well for the present-day learner, as also for educators and others in the teaching-learning process. However, I strongly believe that the way forward lies in the focus being on ‘Ed’tech as much as on Ed‘tech’, because tech is only an enabler and product is only part of the story. A crucial element in learning is that children should not be told that their way of thinking is wrong, instead encourage them to build on further insights in a positive way. Here are four key trends that, according to me, will determine success in the education sector in 2018.
Personalisation of learning trajectory: As the dependence on rote learning is systematically dismantled, personalising the learning process has taken greater precedence. Integrating technology into this process allows teachers to analyse learning patterns in children. Based on this analysis, the learning path for every student can then be customised to ensure maximum engagement and ultimately better learning. Technology will also help set more relatable learning outcomes, thereby enriching the education process. Innovative gamification of education: Gamification as a trend has had a major influence across sectors in the recent past. In the education industry, gamification has taken the form of interactive story-building programs where the learner acquires new skills and hones learned practices. Firms must improve on these programs by integrating elements that allow learner to engage with them in a more relatable manner. Seeing personal experiences reflected in the story built by the program allows difficult concepts to be explained better, cuts down boredom, and makes the learning experience enjoyable.
Solving larger issues: The challenge being combated by most edtech firms today is the over-reliance on academic performance as an indicator of success. Learning goals must move beyond merely looking at marks as a benchmark, and look to evaluate changes in the learner’s fundamental perspective of the subject and the resulting personality gains. For example, being able to combat mathematics anxiety renders the learner more confident about the subject, a feeling that transfers over to every other aspect of the learner’s life and becomes a valuable life skill over time. This represents a more long-term form of success that will eventually lead to permanent changes in the future.
Teacher at the center: The integration of technology into the learning process has led to an evolution in the role of teachers in the classroom, rather than replacing them. Teachers are still central to the learning in the classroom, especially from kindergarten to the eighth grade. Their role, however, has undergone certain changes. Teachers will now act as guides to students, allowing them to discover concepts for themselves and acquire them at their own pace. The impact of technology in the learning process will be solely determined by its utilisation by the teacher, thus forming a symbiotic relationship that will help students learn more effectively and in an engaging manner.
By: Manan Khurma
The author is founder & CEO, Cuemath, the after-school maths learning program