Technology beating Classroom Education
From time immemorial, technology and education have been evolving in tandem with each other. While education provides the base for new technological innovations, the latter revolutionizes classroom education. As the world goes digital, the education sector is not far behind. Major technological disruptions have been taking place in education, under an umbrella term ‘Edtech’. With new innovations every day, it is not far that conventional methods of classroom education will lose their significance, with the rise of edtech startups. A plethora of factors is likely to contribute to this change in the education system, welcome interactive tools for learning.
Classroom Education vs Online Education
Any study to judge the effectiveness of this new form of education must entail a comparison between traditional education systems with digital education.
The traditional education system proposes a conventional classroom setup for imparting education. It involves imparting education through the use of blackboards and learning through writing in notebooks. Digital system of education is bringing in new methods of knowledge delivery. This includes distance learning through virtual classrooms and interactive learning online. There are also a variety of digital aids in demand for knowledge dissemination like tabs which can have all lesson plans in one place. Additionally, edtech startups are going a long way to change the classroom set up by taking the classroom to the student.
The recipients of the traditional system of classroom education are limited to the students who could attend regular school. This leaves out a major chunk of young minds, which due to social, psychological, cultural and economic constraints may be unable to attend the classes. Digital education, on the other hand, provides a platform for inclusive education. The availability of distance learning, virtual classrooms, etc will increase the number of beneficiaries by allowing students to access learning materials from a remote location.
Traditionally, the education system has been following a rote learning style, wherein the students have to mug up the lessons from their books and present it during their exams. While this method does test the memory of the students, it does not generally ensure knowledge retention. Additionally, the conventional system follows a ‘one size fits all’ approach’ learning module without taking into consideration individual potential and talent. To counter such learning, edtech startups focus on individual specific lessons to help students learn according to their calibre. Similarly, the focus of edtech startups is on imparting practical knowledge, rather than promoting memorization of the same facts.
Benefits of Online Education
- Greater access- With edtech, a greater number of pupils can access educational tools and connect with learned individuals to grow educationally.
- Convenience- Online education has made learning highly convenient and something students look forward to.
- Artificial Intelligence- The introduction of AI and VR into education is playing an exceptional role in stimulating greater brain activity in students.
- Skills- Interactive technologies for the classroom are imparting market-ready skills to the students, equipping them for the real world.
- Greater engagement- Edtech is providing greater opportunities for engaging students more constructively.
- Better dissemination- Cloud storage now allows teachers to upload all reading material in one place which can be used by all students.
- Cost-effectiveness- Virtual classrooms and cloud resource storage will definitely ensure cost cutting. This is true especially in terms of infrastructure and resource materials.
Edtech Startups: Impact on the Indian Society
The advantages of online learning has been widespread in India. To begin with, edtech now allows students to take remote courses of their choice. Students can now study from foreign teachers and need not necessarily shell out a lot of money. For instance, Coursera provides a wide range of courses that students can take up from a variety of foreign institutions. Thus, edtech has opened up various new avenues for Indian students to gain top class education and skills, alongside conventional degrees.
Secondly, the effectiveness of online education is surpassing traditional learning in many areas. Students get real-time feedback from teachers in virtual classrooms and learn skills that really matter.
Thirdly, keeping in tandem with the idea of Digital India, interactive online education will break the rural-urban divide. As more and more students from rural India will gain access to digital means of education, they will certainly compete neck to neck with the urban citizens.
Finally, digital education sets no age bar to gain knowledge. Nor does it promote learning through rigid lessons and regular attendance. This is to say that education sites and interactive styles of learning can be adopted by persons of any age. Additionally, online learning can take place simultaneously with a regular job. With edtech, one can garner more skills and expertise, while earning.
A Reformed Article 21A?
Article 21-A i.e. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, in the Constitution of India articulates free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine.
Thought deeply, online learning tools can reverse all the existing constraints that prevent children from access education. Firstly, it will transport lessons and knowledge to remote areas where the viability of building schools is very low. It might be more economical to impart education through digital aids than invest in the physical and managerial infrastructure of running a government school. Secondly, digital education can be an attractive way of luring children to understand the importance of education, who are generally apathetic to it.
Therefore, if the right to edtech is added as a sub-clause to Article 21A, India may go a long way to achieve its purpose of education for all. Edtech will assist in building an inclusive education platform that everyone can access to learn and impart.
Edtech Success Stories
Byju’s is the first name that strikes anyone when talking about a successful Edtech in India. The learning app, as they have branded, attempts to provide schools lesson to students in an interactive and engaging learning style. Additionally, the app caters to students preparing for competitive exams. The success of this edtech brand lies in its innovative combination of conventional knowledge with an animated presentation.
The next in line is LogicRoots that seeks to combine learning with the stimulation of gaming. This edtech produces interactive games to boost the mathematical skills of students.
A major revolution in education has been the introduction of digital tutoring. Vedantu, one of the leading edtech startups allows teachers to tutor students digitally over the internet. The tutoring lessons can be attended in real time, with the help of WAVE that provides a virtual learning environment.
Another popular name in the edtech startups is mGuru. It seeks to provide an interactive learning environment for Maths and English. The aim is to accelerate a child’s academic growth, imparting the basic literacy and numerical skills to all.
The Final Verdict
It is safe to say that edtech is the future of the education sector. Thus, embracing it would be the wise thing to do. This is true not only because the world is moving towards technology with the speed of light, but also because edtech offers a plethora of benefits over the traditional education system.