Customised learning is win-win for everyone

Technology allows easy accessibility and greater understanding of learning

Customised learning is win-win for everyone

“I know what I have given you...
I do not know what you have received.”
— Antonio Porchia
 

There are so many ways in which this thought is interpreted, but when it comes to knowledge transfer and learning, it echoes the present education scenario where One-to-Many teaching and learning prevails. Although it is a proven fact that maximum learning happens when students get personal attention from teachers, the present offline mode of learning is generalised, and oddly, based on the belief that there is uniform learning among students.

The advantages of the current system cannot be overlooked, but the one-size-fits-all approach surely has many inadequacies that limit learning and do little good to students. The offline model, especially in the secondary vertical-education space, is highly structured and institutionalised and needs to be disrupted.

There are many questions that loom large: What about students who can’t access the best of teachers due to geographical boundaries, budget constraints and time limitations? The ones who cannot cope with the pace of others in the class? and Institutes that cannot afford to accommodate more students due to lack of infrastructure?

Overcome with technology

Online education comprises an extensive range of digitisation tools and methodologies — from emails, instant message, discussion forums and social networks, to video conferences, screen sharing tools, whiteboards, and gamification. Online education makes good use of data analytics, and content and learning management systems.
All these systems offer educators the option to tailor lessons to students’ needs, which was earlier unimaginable. It also allows collecting data effortlessly for each student and tracking performance and engagement levels.

 Precisely for all these reasons, concepts like smart classrooms, MOOCs (massive open online courses) and live online tutoring are gaining significant popularity, especially in the K–12 (kindergarten to 12th standard) segment.

 In addition to K–12, online learning has entered higher education and corporate training too. From the basic online subject-specific courses to complete degree/diploma programmes in several fields, online education has come a long way in shaping an individual’s career according to his/her needs and pace of learning. This model also allows individuals to choose from full-time, part-time or hourly online assistance or courses, which in itself is a great boon in today’s world.

One can now pursue learning while keeping busy in various full-time engagements. There are no geographical boundaries stopping anyone to learn from the best in breed. That is not all, there is flexibility, safety and convenience in addition to all the other benefits.
Gartner predicts global education sector technology spending to exceed $67.8 billion in 2015, reflecting the need and acceptance of online education.

Why Digital India matters

With more than 300 million internet users, India is among the top three countries in terms of internet user base in the world. But internet penetration, along with low and fluctuating bandwidths, still remain a big challenge nationwide.

 However, now with the government’s focus on Digital India, the dream of connected India is not a distant reality. Technology has the power to connect the learner and learned from the farthest and remotest of areas to enhance learning. A digitally empowered society with the right infrastructure in place can go a long way in providing the right tools and techniques for personalised digital learning.

India also faces a huge challenge in terms of how teaching is perceived as a profession. Only technology can make it possible for truly passionate quality teachers to explore the profession and change the perception by connecting with students, remotely, anytime-anywhere. This will also solve the problem of inaccessibility of quality teachers in far-flung areas.

With so many offerings, online learning is steadily evolving into something that is socially benefiting its users and economically aiding the country. The shift is more from traditional to digital and from teacher-centred to student- centred. The use of technology can only catalyse the much-needed change in the education sector. Personalised and technology-driven education would meet the demands of a diverse student population and bring better times ahead for education in India.

(Vamsi Krishna is the Co-founder and CEO of Vedantu Innovations, a live, 1-to-1 online tutoring platform.)

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