Age of flash drives demands we learn things in a flash.
By Beas Dev Ralhan
Virtual reality, AI and the like are transforming the way knowledge is shared, viewed, learned and assimilated. With unprecedented access to digital content, delivery of lessons on smart devices, new methods of assessment, big data analytics and interaction with peers from across the world, students have choices that were unavailable a decade or so ago.
Today, mere proficiency in academics isn’t enough; learners need to master a variety of disciplines. This makes it imperative for institutions to adapt, to fulfil future employment needs. That’s where the role of edtech companies is crucial—to help develop products/solutions that can deliver quality education on a wide scale in a short span, and facilitate uninterrupted knowledge flow, making it possible for students to learn beyond the classroom.
New age, new skills
Modern education has come a long way from a system that was primed to cater to the industrial revolution, to the current knowledge-based one. The age of flash drives demands that we learn things in a flash, and employ that knowledge in a productive way. Technologies like big data, cloud computing and AI are proving to be extremely useful in the deployment of personalised education on a mass scale.
Also, IoT, self-driving cars, quantum computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, etc, are contributing to the emergence of new fields that require a whole new set of skills. Jobs that didn’t exist a few years are the rage today. These jobs require problem-solving, critical-thinking, people-management, decision-making, conflict-resolution, communication, coordination, cognitive, analytical and negotiation skills. The development of such skills requires a rich learning environment, where students have the opportunity to understand, apply, assess and practise them.
MOOCs, learning management systems, and open educational resources are changing both teaching and learning. New demands of knowledge-based economy, societal changes, student expectations and requirements of modern workplace have resulted in development of pedagogies like blended learning, where classroom teaching is integrated with online teaching to increase learning efficiency. Flipped learning is becoming popular—access to recorded lectures is provided to students with the classroom time wholly dedicated to interaction. Active, hands-on learning, learning by doing, and visual and group learning are also being employed.
The future of education
New technologies and pedagogies are transforming the acquisition of 21st century skills and improving overall quality of education. These are helping identify competencies students need to develop, and changing the role and function of teachers, helping them build the learning capacity of students and turn them into lifelong learners. With all these breakthroughs, it would be interesting to witness what the future brings to the education sector.
The author is co-founder & CEO, Next Education India Pvt Ltd