With increasing digitisation and the rapid evolution of technology, the education system is undergoing a sea change. Online classes seem to have become the new norm in India, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts say the novel coronavirus has accelerated the transition to online education which would have otherwise taken at least half a decade. Several schools are adopting remote connectivity tools and partnering with education companies to provide uninterrupted learning but they believe organisations should build on all the tools and platforms available to make the learning process more engaging for the learners. In a webinar conducted by EducationWorld, Vikas Malhotra, head – enterprise business, LogMeIn that provides cloud-based remote connectivity services and Bimaljeet Singh Bhasin, president – skills and career businesses, NIIT Ltd that offers learning management and training delivery solutions. The webinar hosted by Bhavin Shah, CEO, EducationWorld saw discussions around how online learning is shaping the education system and how education can be imparted in a safe and secure manner while also engaging the learners.
Accordingly to Malhotra, the Internet penetration has increased and it has been noted that there are 564 million Internet users in 2020 and the numbers are growing significantly. With several short duration courses and long distance coaching, many young aspirants are also switching to online learning to upskill themselves. “With the influx of mobile phones and tab devices, education can be provided and consumed in a large scale. The integrated audio facility can help in areas which has low bandwidth. The online tools enable simple invitations to the sessions and full service registration including detailed list of attendance, test evaluations and other activities. Payment processing can also be included in same online platform for seamless transaction for the paid courses. The online platform also provide for a content library where the institutions can provide study material to the students,” he said adding that the tools being used for online learning should be simple for learners and trainers and also engaging. Bhasin shared how the online learning can be made more engaging for the learners. “Online learning should be more than just video conferencing and sharing of assignments via e-mail. The online platforms provide several features for personalised learning, breakout sessions, discussion forums and networking community. The organisations should take the first bold step towards the revolution of online learning and keep building on it. They can partner with education companies for different tools and features so that learning can be made more exciting and engaging for the learners,” he said.
They added that polls and whiteboard sharing can make class more engaging and provide similar experience of that of a physical classroom. There would definitely be several changes once the lockdown is over and institutions are allowed to open. There could be changes in the number of sessions that can be conducted per day and number of children in a classroom, said Bhasin. He added, “This is a great opportunity for education companies to transform and innovate. They can look for some ways to keep their students engaged even after the school or college hours as the duration that they would spend in the campus would reduce.”
“Schools are already thinking about the transformation way ahead. One of the principals I interacted with recently shared why can’t teacher and parent interactions be done online as well as that would reduce the carbon footprint and why should students stay back at school for extra classes. They can go home and study the balance online,” Malhotra said.
Polls were also conducted during the webinar. Question was raised if people think education technology is the new normal and 76 per cent agreed. 74 per cent of the participants also said that their organisations are ready for the remote learning technology.
Akhila DamodaranPosted in International, News