To begin, the world is currently in the midst of the fourth Industrial Revolution, whose pacesetter is the digital technologies that command the world
To begin, the world is currently in the midst of the fourth Industrial Revolution, whose pacesetter is the digital technologies that command the world. With this in mind, the international economy is heavily dependent on the boost that accompanies digitalization, and almost all sectors of society, be it educational, health, finance, religious, or business sectors are flourishing owing to the same.
Talking about education, while it has persisted as the most traditional methodology throughout the decades, it has now transitioned to remote mechanisms thereby acquiring unprecedented flexibility and adaptability to the individual capabilities and needs of every last student. Further, the future of education is combining the power of great teachers and great technologies to provide the best possible educational outcome for every student. Essentially speaking, EdTech is an amalgamation of employing hardware and software, educational theory, and practice to facilitate learning and teaching processes. This comprises online and mobile learning, learning theory, and computer-based training.
Moreover, there exist multifaceted ways to incorporate technology into education, some more future-oriented than others. Namely, integrating VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) to allow students to be placed within simulated realities to understand the premise of concepts by using the 3D graphic design is extremely popular in the West. However, Edtech is relatively new to a developing country such as India and despite education accounting for a vast chunk of our country’s economy, the diffusion of innovation in this sector is comparatively lesser. Owing to this, Edtech here is limited to startup websites such as BYJU’S, Upgrad, Unacademy, Coursera, Vedantu, and other online forums that provide supplemental learning mechanisms remotely.
Furthermore, the success of such learning platforms can be attributed to several factors, the biggest one being its remote feature. To explain, such forums are easily accessible to all round-the-clock with stable internet connections and are the most suitable for long-distance learning. Similarly, online learning allows students to apply for unique or specialized courses that certain universities might not offer. Moreover, the aforementioned platforms and additional ones such as MyCaptain allow students to partake in sundry courses from various domains and develop their skills further. Ultimately, this acts as a huge profile booster on apps such as LinkedIn, thereby adding weight to a person’s resume. Besides this, they constitute the most cost-effective way of learning due to eliminating expenses such as rent, electricity, and other costs that have to be borne in traditional education practice.
Moving forward, these apps provide options for multiple learning styles to adapt to the needs of the learner and constitute a much more learner-friendly practice than other mediums. Additionally, these apps make use of innovative technologies and distinctive features such as practice tests, chat with mentors, fun quizzes, live sessions, point building, and much more to satiate the learning desires of all. Lastly, such forums provide an opportunity for students to participate as much in the learning process and foster collaboration and communication.
Another significant benefit of online learning was especially manifest during the testing times of the pandemic when students couldn’t even leave their homes, let alone travel to school. It was during such times that applications such as Zoom and MsTeams enabled easy transitions to control the entire learning and assessment system.
In like manner, the online video lecture platform is gaining immense popularity among students as a revision forum or an alternative to traditional learning platforms. To facilitate the same, there have been tutorial channels such as GATE ACADEMY and NESO ACADEMY provide students access to lectures. Besides this, crash courses on several topics help students out during peak times by providing a layman’s portrayal of concepts.
In contrast, traditional education systems despite being impactful are now regarded as outdated and causing an information overload. For instance, students are simultaneously exposed to multiple different subjects and random information about them without being given a chance to corroborate whether they’ve assimilated the information or not. Furthermore, traditional classrooms host an average of 30-40 students, thereby preventing anyone from getting individual speaking time and eliminating essentials such as direct feedback. Hence, interactivity is extremely limited and the entire education process is passive. Lastly, assessment formats used are boring and futile due to their predictability and lack of substance, which further prevents a proper evaluation of students.
However, remote learning is accompanied by its drawbacks, namely the absence of interactions and a physical environment. To explain, this interferes with a student’s holistic development by eliminating their spirit of communication and a traditional school environment. Besides this, online learning significantly reduces the positive spirits of competitiveness and friendliness by preventing student-to-student interactions. Additionally, it also disables the practical application that traditional schools provide by not allowing students to physically partake in experiments and activities. Furthermore, students studying through online forums require additional motivation and suffer from procrastination owing to the all-around accessibility of such courses and platforms.
Nonetheless, the diversification of education and the process of introducing students to the future modus operandi is facilitated easily through edtech, thereby allowing its benefits to outweigh its costs.