Covid-19 has seen an unprecedented boom in start-ups, particularly in the Ed-Tech sector.
In a matter of months, schools and colleges were forced to turn their attention towards imparting education using technology. Most of them were overwhelmed by such a sudden transition. Some institutions did rise to the occasion though
Over a year past the initial Covid-19 shock, we are still in the throes of a second and possibly another third wave, and the dependency on Ed-Tech is here to stay.
Marvels of Ed-Tech are obvious for everyone to see:
- Distances and boundaries have blurred with education being brought right in our homes on our screens.
- Using visual aids, graphic videos, AR, VR and the like, conceptual learning has taken a leap.
- One can keep revising the classes until the idea is ingrained in the students’ mind.
- Assessments are mostly error-free
One can go on and so forth about the boons of Ed-Tech.
But we’re here to get a perspective on realities, 360 degrees!
Some of the challenging aspects related to Ed-Tech dependence are as follows:
- Most Ed-Tech firms provide pre-recorded classes and videos that offer very little space for one-on-one doubt clearance opportunities and establishment of teacher-student rapport. Certainly a feeling of “human disconnection” there!
This apparent “disconnection” could be resolved to some extent by making sure that the Ed-Tech team appoints a particular teaching staff member to address the needs and concerns of a specific group of students. And voila! There appears a certain degree of human regard.
- Most students are able to imbibe the curriculum designed by Ed-Tech educators. Yet, there are plenty of students with learning disabilities, autistic disorders and the like, for whom Individualised Education Plan is wanting. And similar are the concerns of the blind, the deaf and other disabled children.
Should an Ed-Tech company have a team that customises learning plans targeting students with special needs and disabilities, it would create quite a great impact on a good chunk of our population.
- Most Ed-Tech firms offer teaching only in the English medium.
In a country like India where over 30 languages are officially recognised, using the vernacular language for teaching would certainly make a lot of students and parents happy and the studies more comprehensible. Ed-Tech firms that offer teaching in one’s native language would certainly be a grand idea!
- What makes students excited to go to schools are definitely not just books and teachers, but the PT classes, dance, music, arts, crafts, martial trainings practised in the company of friends and classmates.
Incorporating not just academic content, but activity and creativity-oriented skills would offer a path different from the clichéd norms.
- Productive use of the 4th Industrial Revolution technologies is still wanting in many Ed-Tech companies.
A firm that makes optimal use of technologies like AI, AR, big data analytics etc. on a large scale would surely be able to make its mark in the education field.
- It is no secret that a child’s behaviour and personality are moulded by the education he receives and the learning environment he is in. The greatest asset of institutional learning is the way it helps students socialise and learn life skills like empathy, critical thinking, problem solving etc.
Respect towards the elderly and kindness towards the young are practised in schools and colleges which are in fact “mini-societies” comprising of people of all age groups right from the kindergarten to the elderly teachers and staff. Such an environment is entirely absent in an e-learning atmosphere.
Should we invest in research that looks into blending behaviour science with technology, we would succeed in enhancing pedagogy in leaps and bounds.
These and many more exciting thoughts and ideas can still be pondered and worked upon to open the doors towards innovative entrepreneurship in the Ed-Tech sector.
What we witness now is just the beginning of a phenomenal age ahead in this field!