E-Learning Defining The Role Of Future Education In India

Brick and click must work together. Digital technology can help to end shortcomings, inequalities and inconsistencies in India’s education system – for the benefit of students, teachers and the economy.

Digital technology can help to end shortcomings, inequalities and inconsistencies in India’s education system.

Today’s education system in India could learn much from its ancient predecessors, which placed great importance on vocational training and on teaching each student according to their aptitude and ability. Too many of today’s college graduates find their skills and knowledge are out of step with those needed in the modern workplace.

There is broad agreement that the curriculum needs to change and that the quality, consistency and accessibility of teaching need to improve. There is much less agreement on how to bring about these changes and little progress.

The promise of digital

Digital technology and e-learning offer a way to break this stalemate, to tackle the inconsistencies and inequalities in our system and to transform our country into a true knowledge economy.

To begin with, e-learning acts as a great facilitator for teachers as well as students. With customised learning modules, teachers are better placed to disseminate information to students. They are also secure in the knowledge that common e-learning resources offer knowledge backed by the latest research findings.

This transformation will not happen overnight. It will need concerted action to become a reality, with successful public private partnership having a key role. 

Digital learning modules from private players are already making their presence felt in transforming the country’s educational landscape. Simultaneously, the Centre’s Digital India initiative is playing a role in shaping the nation’s e-learning experience. The beauty of the digital learning platform is it provides easy access to both teachers and students at affordable costs.

With last mile connectivity, we have the means to build a knowledge intensive society and create a level playing field for all students, including the poor and those in rural areas. All can be educated to a common curriculum with the best resources.

Roadmap to Transformation

The first step is to begin integrating digital technology into India’s huge, complex school ecosystem, to start the process of digitising education in all of the country’s many schools and educational institutions. That will mean customising e-learning strategies to meet the needs of diverse regions and disciplines. The process will be made easier if the various issues and intricacies are acknowledged from the start and through engagement with those who understand them.

All the time, new advances are being made and the rate of technological development is accelerating. Innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data analytics are creating new ways of enhancing the learning process.

Another example is the use of apps to learn foreign languages, along with the subtleties of correct pronunciation. Ten years ago, students would spend two or three years attending regular French classes to understand the language and its nuances. Thanks to language apps, a dedicated student can now achieve a similar proficiency within six to eight months from the comfort of their home and at a fraction of the cost.

The list of new technologies, of new ways of learning goes on – chatbots, augmented and virtual reality are just a few. Steadily but inevitably, the digital revolution is transforming our nation to a knowledge economy. It is important for us to recognise that the brick and click will have to work together and is vital that we build an education system to match. That is possible if we recognise the challenges and work together to make the most of the opportunities.

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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