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Integrated Learning Solutions Help To Deliver A Holistic Education Experience

While technology has spurred the uptake of online and digital applications and smart devices in various parts of the country, there are large areas still in need of a decent brick and mortar education infrastructure capable of delivering and sustaining the ‘chalk and talk’ education model.

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Integrated learning solutions seamlessly combine print and digital content and delivery to not just create a consistent learning environment for the student but also for the teacher and the parent.

The Indian education landscape has witnessed significant changes in the past few years. While education for all is a key priority across all government mandates, this sector has also received significant support and funding from the private sector. The education commentary itself, in the last decade or so, has steered towards quality and impact with technology playing a significant role in shaping the methods of teaching, learning and assessments of the future – all of this augurs well for our younger generations, especially those who are part of the K12 system.    

However, the dichotomy of India’s education landscape is sometimes hard to comprehend even for those who have a longstanding association with this sector. While technology has spurred the uptake of online and digital applications and smart devices in various parts of the country, there are large areas still in need of a decent brick and mortar education infrastructure capable of delivering and sustaining the ‘chalk and talk’ education model. The India vs Bharat paradigm is often cited to explain the diversity in our country. It is therefore imperative that solutions in our country are bespoke and not mass-produced ‘one size fits all’. 

The current K-12 school system in India is one of the largest in the world with more than 1.5 million schools with 260+ million students’ enrolled. Barring a small fraction of these schools, all others follow a fairly uniform pedagogy with print books at the center of the learning system. This is true for even the private schools that account for about 26 per cent share of schools in total. (source: Technopak June 2017 report).

In the last decade or so, given the proliferation of technology in nearly every sphere of life, a growing segment of (mainly private) schools have adopted ‘digital’ in some form or the other – from encouraging usage of tablets in classrooms, to setting up of electronic boards, to creating full-scale ICT infrastructure - schools have done it all. Online service providers have been engaged to provide audio-visual content, assessment solutions and create online content repositories. However, while these measures were initiated with the right intention, they may not have necessarily done enough to improve educational outcomes. As per the 13th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER-Rural) 2018, which checks students’ competency, 15.7 per cent children in grade III cannot even recognize letters. Only 50.3% of all students in Class V can read texts meant for Class II students. 

Print content, being a largely non-interactive medium, has its own limitations – the onus of making it come alive rests mainly with the teacher. Besides, a curriculum restricted to ‘only print books’ can sometimes limit the ability to create an engaging environment. This obviously does not imply random application of digital in education – it calls for the application of curriculum and pedagogically aligned digital and print content that meets the needs of teachers and learners alike.  

Integrated learning solutions seamlessly combine print and digital content and delivery to not just create a consistent learning environment for the student but also for the teacher and the parent. A print textbook aligned to audio-visual content for a digital board and mapped to an online assessment framework is an intelligent solution that is better placed to deliver improved learning outcomes. 

Online teacher resources, test generators, class performance analysis, automated reports for parents accessible through mobile apps are easy inventions of technology that an integrated learning solution bundles with print books. While digital-only solutions restrict the role of a teacher to a facilitator, integrated learning solutions offer teaching resources and other aids that allow teachers to emerge as knowledge beacons who work with the students to create an engaging learning environment. 

An integrated approach also makes it possible to do justice to the concept of inter-disciplinary teaching. Digital resources and textbooks can be woven into a much more effective learning experience across subjects, giving children more holistic learning experience. In the current education landscape, integrated learning solutions do seem like the ‘future’ of school education in India.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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