Sustainable solutions for the evolving K-12 landscape

Disruptions were earlier looked upon as disturbances and had a negative connotation attached to them. However, in current times, where we are a part of the industrial revolution 4.0, disruption is here to stay and has gained new meaning. Disruptions are viewed as catalysts to drive innovation, create new markets, influence consumer behavior and change the way we work.

The mandate of the current digital interventions goes beyond developing mere viable, alternate, technology solutions, to promote and consume products. Instead, the core focus is on building sustainable and resilient solutions that benefit all stakeholders with a reduced carbon footprint. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide guidelines to facilitate innovation around this mandate. The UN SDG 4.0 of providing Quality Education will have a lasting, tangible impact on the other 16 SDGs for our future generations.  Managing Director, Macmillan Education India, Rajesh Pasari recently defined our commitment to SDGs in his statement ‘Macmillan Education takes pride in spearheading research and design for new-age Edtech products, in line with the UN SDG goals. We strive to develop sustainable and inclusive learning solutions which go a long way in development of empathy, environmental awareness, resilience and curiosity in young learners.’

The unprecedented COVID-19 situation this year has brought into sharp focus the need for education technology interventions for all stakeholders. It is noteworthy that the entire teaching fraternity has embraced this ‘forced change’ and accepted it as a challenge to quickly come up the learning curve, while making learners comfortable with this ‘new normal’. However, challenges like uninterrupted access to the Internet is yet to become a reality in Tier 3 and remote cities in India.

Today, schools and universities globally are conducting their classes online – be it daily lectures, cross sharing of content between students and teachers, assessments, or assignments. Teachers are putting together slide shows, videos and using Microsoft Teams or Google Meet, to conduct virtual classes. They are sharing quizzes on platforms like Kahoot, Quizit and others. Recently, a teacher from AEM AUP School at Moorkanad in Kerala made headlines when she used Augmented Reality to pop-up an elephant in her class. These are indicators of how technology has swiftly entered classrooms in the last six months.

Will this disruption and adoption of technology in the education sector continue and evolve in the post-COVID era? Will technology substitute or supplement traditional schooling?  The growth of the Edtech sector in the last few years gives us some of the answers. According to a recent study by Datalabs by Inc42, there are close to 4500 Edtech startups in India – including companies likes Byjus, Vedantu, Toppr and Gradeup.

Shared knowledge and technological expertise at Macmillan Education, coupled with over a century of deep understanding of teaching-learning transactions, puts us in an enviable position as we strive to develop solutions integrating the best pedagogical practices with the power of technology. We believe that a harmonious blend of the new and old, adoption and adaptation will shape the future citizens of the world.

To meet these emerging needs , Macmillan Education has created an Integrated Learning Solution, called ALTURAAdvancing Learning and Teaching Using Resources and Assessments. It focusses on building 21st century skills by leveraging Project-based learning, Cross-curricular connections, Activity-based learning methodology, Gamification, Augmented Reality and analytics. The need for these interventions in our existing educational system has also been validated in the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 laid out by the MHRD, Government of India.

ALTURA is an integrated blended learning platform available in offline and online modes. Altura utilizes a mix of digital and print resources, the power of robust assessment and remediation, gamification and experiential learning pedagogy to deliver value. Altura is a product created after careful research and analysis of the requirement for a solution which advances teaching needs of educators and learning needs of learner, together.

Endorsed by FITT (Foundation of Innovation and Technology Transfer, IIT-Delhi), the roadmap for Altura is extensive and future phases will see design interventions in content and tech to further use technologies such as AR/ VR, Chatbots, high-end Labs, etc.Prof Aditya Mittal, IIT Delhi says, ALTURA, by Macmillan Education India, is a solid step in modern primary education… towards igniting curiosity and innovation in young minds who will take the world forward in the 21st century.

While COVID-19 continues to negatively impact everyone at a global level, there has never been a better time to bring about a change to ensure that the world moved towards a more sustainable future.

Macmillan Education is using this opportunity to collaborate with the global education fraternity and industry partners to build a resilient product portfolio for 21st century citizens.

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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