Future Of Education Is Both Personalised And Inclusive

Ujjwal Singh is an education futurist. He is a disruptor of status-quo and obsessed with making education count. Ujjwal is a believer in the power of technology to help make a quantum leap in learning. He follows this philosophy relentlessly in his current role as the Head of Product & Innovation for Emerging Markets at Pearson Education

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Where is the needle of “change in education” pointing at right now?

Collectively education is in the phase of integrated learning. Historically, different education resources have evolved in silos. First, the books were published and then came the digital providers and recently assessment is showing some movement. Given this evolution, the tools never talked to each other, creating a problem of both teaching and learning inside classrooms.

In integrated learning, all components like books, digital and assessment work seamlessly and are supported by a process of good teaching and professional development for teachers. Pearson’s advantage is that it has strong competencies in all of these areas, along with a robust investment in technology. Our solution MyPedia is offering integrated learning to schools across the emerging markets.

Are you happy with the pace at which education is changing?

It is no longer a question of whether any of us is unhappy. It is now simply a question of survival. Let me explain.

We send our children to school for 15 years to learn concepts, most of which we do not remember or use in adulthood. In contrast, many of the skills we do need like critical thinking, communication and reasoning are not priorities in schools. Where will this lead us? In contrast, Robots are able to perform tasks with simply one demonstration. It will probably take a few hours of download to adapt a robot to 15 years of learning. Where does that take us? We have created our own competition. And only the fittest will survive.

So, what is holding us back?

If I were to point at one thing that is hurting us the most, it is the present system of assessments.

You can give a child the best digital tool, but at the end of the day if you are going to only ask her “list 3 properties of water”, then it beats the purpose. Recall based Assessment is slowing the pace of learning and everything else behind.

 With technology and MCQs, there are resources available for teachers to keep conducting ongoing assessments and deciding their next teaching strategy.

It needs a mindset shift. Can assessment lead to learning than learning leading to assessment? That is holding us back.

You are emphasising on children learning computer programming. Any specific reason for that?

Yes, there is a specific reason. Children must learn programming just like they learn any other language in school. A programming language is logical, it trains the mind to think of a problem, its parts and then work towards a solution.

A word on the future of education, from the futurist..

Future of education is both personalised and inclusive. Artificial Intelligence will enable each child to learn in his/her unique way through truly personalised learning paths.

Immersive learning environments will transport a child from Africa, India and United States to outerspace just so that they can study the surface of Mars closely for a joint school project. In next few years (2025), you will see an exponential use of new technologies to make education ubiquitous to children around the world.

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