How technology is blurring the boundaries between school and home

Suman Matcha, chief executive officer, Online Adaptive Knowledge System (OAKS)

The novel coronavirus has been more transformational than any other event that has transpired in decades. While the rise of technology was already exponential, Covid-19 has further accelerated it. Edtech has made its way into every home today, and it is here to stay. With schools being indefinitely closed, students and teachers are inevitably adopting virtual ways of learning.

Classrooms today are a stark contrast to the ones we were familiar with. Digital whiteboards have replaced blackboards and gadgets could soon replace notebooks. Education sure has come a long way and technology has a huge role to play in making learning not just possible but also convenient.

The learning curve has been harder on teachers than on students, but has increased tech-literacy by manifold. What seemed challenging at one point, has already been accomplished with ease because embracing edtech was no more an option. 

According to a study by KPMG and Google in May, 2017, “The elearning market is expected to witness an 8x growth from 1.57 million users to 9.6 million users by 2021.” These numbers were projected before the pandemic, which means, the wave that we are going to witness soon is going to be revolutionary.

However, one question that lingers is ‘Will learning online be as effective as learning in the classrooms?’

While the answer could be subjective and opinions varied, a number of edtech platforms are trying to make learning and teaching easier and fun. And while e-learning has its own challenges, it does help make education more seamless and unconstrained. We could soon witness the emergence of a hybrid model which could be one of the most effective ways of creating a better learning environment for children of all ages.

Concept-based animated educational videos, customised learning paths, interactive games, quizzes and more could definitely complement traditional ways of learning.  Integrating such platforms with the current education system will facilitate better retention of concepts and will encourage application-based learning.

One of the most striking advantages of e-learning is its ability to transcend geographical boundaries. Technology has been a boon for the underprivileged children who can now access quality education with the help of an internet connection. Experts from across the world could now teach students regardless of their physical location. This could be one of the most instrumental developments in bridging knowledge gaps in the society.

Other interesting benefits of edtech include availability of multilingual platforms, access to student analytics, cost-effective teaching and application of AI assistants to reduce the workload of educators. There is a lot of scope for improvement in the current edtech scenario and with the growing number of users, the field is only going to get better.

We are fortunate to be standing at the brink of an education revolution — a revolution which will continue for many years to come. Learning from the comfort of the living room may just be an extension of a new way of knowledge acquisition.

Also read:

Future of learning in post-pandemic era

2020: The year of the edtech

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