There’s no denying that the Internet has dramatically changed the state of education over the past 20 years or so. It brings primary sources into every classroom and allows for more open and rapid communication between teachers and students, among other things. But we’ve only seen the beginning. The way to reach out to a great future still has to be thought about. Our challenge is to find ways to change our education system so that the students as well as the educators can take advantage of this rapidly moving digital present, consciously and reflectively. How we meet this challenge depends on how the educators address the fundamentals of delivering education in their schools and how the students react to this change.
This digital age demands a changed mindset about schooling, learning, teaching, and assessment. Presently, a number of our schools suffer from a low quality education delivery, primarily due to inefficient infrastructure, tiny classrooms and lack of teachers. There exist many activities and processes that schools invest a lot of time and resources in, for example, time-table generation, fee collection, student information management and result generation to name a few. Digital age is gradually helping overcome the challenges students had been facing from centuries. All these activities have become much easier to be accessed through digitalization. All these activities can be now automated using the ERP software. An ERP automates all such activities and drive efficiencies higher by allowing the schools to divert the resources previously being wasted on repetitive and mundane activities. With this, students can easily access their daily timetables, and daily activities. Moreover, it has increased the level of transparency between, teachers, parents and their children. Now parents can easily access the daily activities of their children and report cards.
In the Indian education landscape, technology is often considered as an invitation to huge investments in computer peripherals and their maintenance. Schools and institutions are making great efforts to keep up with the new technologies available. However, cloud based services have made the path relatively easier than to spend a bomb on technical machines. With having cloud technology, educational institutions don’t have to invest in any server or other peripherals. All they need is a computer with a web browser and an internet connection. This enables them to upload relevant data on the website and students can easily access the same being at home and while travelling during vacations. Could computing is a permanent aid to all the problems and precisely it has added extreme convenience to students, teachers and parents.
The most useful thing teachers can do to engage students in this digital ecosystem is to provide them a technology enhanced learning experience. This can be done through online lesson planning tools, online homework submission, online assessment, e-books etc. Traditionally, lesson planning is done on paper in the form of teacher’s diaries. It also required the teachers to either carry the diaries around or be present at the school premises. With e- lesson planning facility, teachers can define lesson plans for various subjects along with the number of periods required to complete the course material – from anywhere and at any time. On-demand access to lesson plans for parents can lead to better communication and well-managed education delivery.
Cloud computing usefulness and efficiency is beyond our imagination. Working on homework assignments has become extremely convenient for students. The teachers just need to upload the homework assignments on an online portal from anywhere, anytime. The students can work online, cooperate with team members and share knowledge, and be sure that they won’t leave behind their homework assignments when they go to school. Since they are on the web, they can access them anywhere, be it home or school.
Since technology has been a constant part of our lives, online educational tools are a great way to teach a generation that has been raised on computers. It can ensure that the present ‘factory’ model of education disappears from the systems. This new generation can learn new things and in new ways that those of us who are now adults could never have dreamed of. Cloud technology has indefinitely created a hassle free environment for everyone which will keep enhancing every day.
By Yogesh Agarwal, CEO, Applane Solutions