Digitally-driven education is every educator’s business

We live in an age where we no longer have to scramble for information. Our gadgets are getting smarter by the day, and our lives are increasingly being driven by a plethora of accessible digital tools. Our work efficiency has improved because of access to innovative solutions on business issues. An IBM survey on a section of working professionals across the world indicated that 60% of those surveyed used their time during the pandemic to accelerate their businesses through upskilling. This has been made possible by technology alone, which has the power to shape individuals, organisations and nations.

Education is a human right, and if applied universally, can transform our world. Today, education and technology go hand in hand. The Global Education Meeting Paris Declaration reinforced a direct link between technological advancement and economic progress, making the UNESCO member states acknowledge the importance of harnessing digital tools. Consequently, there has been a marked shift in the education space worldwide. Governments are recalibrating their policies to stay in tune with the times.

Recognising the need to harness technology in learning and employment, the Union Budget 2023-24 has reiterated the government’s commitment to digitising India and skilling our youth as part of the seven priorities or Saptarshi proposed for inclusive development during Amrit kaal. Make AI in India and Make AI Work for India goals will soon see AI, ML and robotics integrated learning. Smart classrooms at grassroots level can be a reality in the 5G era. Policies such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana efforts will skill India’s youth and induct them into the employment ecosystems across the globe.

Given the scenario, all those engaged in the education sector have a lot to look forward to. The most powerful impact of technology on education is that it improves engagement rate among learners and facilitates greater teacher-student interaction. This assumes the greatest significance at a time when there is increased emphasis on doing away from ‘traditional’ education and progressing towards holistic learning. Learning thus becomes joyful, stress-free and a lifelong process. It also creates a path to inculcate critical thinking, confidence to share ideas and innovative spirit.

Also, educators can increasingly personalise instructions to better meet individual needs of their students. With ongoing access to data on students, immediate feedback can be provided, enabling adjustments and improvements in real time. Additionally, use of digital tools help can save time and increase productivity by automating certain tasks and streamlining workflows.

Another win-win scenario is while technology allows educators to create collaborative learning environments, it enables learners to participate by allowing them free time with certain specialised automation tools taking care of the routine tasks. For example: chatbots and NLP (Natural Language Processing) technologies help research students in drafting while they interact with their professors and fellows. Online forums, blogs, and social media platforms also allow learners to engage in discussions, share ideas and collaborate.

With internet, one can really never stop learning. And, thanks to our smart devices, we can access a vast array of resources, including videos, articles, and interactive simulations. This not only enhances learning experience but also equips with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. The best part is the knowledge repository is permanent and universally accessible.

As technology continues to evolve and shape the way we live and learn, educators must adapt and make the best of the opportunities it presents. By embracing the changes, educators can create more personalised and interactive learning experiences for their learners, collaborate with one another and access a wealth of resources and information. Therefore, it is crucial for educators to stay informed about the latest developments in technology and to continue to develop their skills and knowledge in this field.

Our collective goal, as educators, has to be to help create generations of thinkers and innovators. Every learner needs to be empowered to contribute in a way that they are able to make constructive contributions to the society and the world by being strong leaders. As Steve Jobs rightly said – innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

(Authored by Dr Brijesh Karia, COO of Singhania Quest+, an education  initiative promoted by Mr. Gautam Singhania, Chariman and Managing Director, Raymond Group)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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