Amrita Ghulati, Academic Head, IC3 Institute, India

Amrita Ghulati has been closely involved in the education space since 2006, first as a high school educator, then as the Head of the Career Counselling Centre at The Shri Ram Schools, followed by a short stint at Ashoka University as an Assistant Director for Global Education & Strategic Programmes. She has been an active IC3 volunteer with the content and research committee since 2016. Her interest lies in exploring growth opportunities for young adults and helping them navigate their higher education choices and journeys further on. In order to take this strong interest forward, she is keenly working towards training and capacity building in schools across the globe to embed counseling as a central function.

 

The growth of digital technologies is causing significant shifts in the perception and delivery of education for both the learners and the educators across the globe, all the more in the pandemic & post-pandemic world. When the education sector was on the verge of collapsing, digital technologies came to the rescue in many ways.

Meeting platforms like zoom, Microsoft teams, google meet, and the use of features like whiteboards, screenshare, and polls, along with the increased availability of free and paid online courses, have made way for not only learning to be sustained through these times but also facilitated academic and skills growth.

The use of Smartphones, laptops, and computers has risen dramatically to access academic, professional content and even social networks across all age groups. The past two years have accelerated and popularized technology adoption for fulfilling many requirements across the spectrum.

Digital Education Trends

Social media:

Many instructors and students are increasingly using social media as an integral platform for e-learning. It is an important medium for exchanging knowledge on crucial topics these days.

Classrooms and resources for interactive online learning:

Educators have been trying to leverage the power of interactive online teaching and learning tools. Mobile apps, collaboration tools, automated short quizzes, online discussion forums, and more are being used to enhance the students’ experience, focusing on increasing their participation, creativity, and recall of knowledge. In addition, online classrooms have ensured that each child receives the same basic curriculum, simultaneously allowing students to learn and progress at their own pace.

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses):

MOOC platforms have grown in numbers and their offerings, making self-study very accessible. The popularity of online courses via MOOCs programs is increasing in India, much like worldwide. Students and professionals use MOOCs to improve their qualifications, credentials, and abilities.

MOOCs enable students and working individuals to study what they are interested in, need to know-whenever and wherever they want, contributing to another avenue of affordable education, with potential benefits of improved employability.

Game-based learning apps/websites:

Gamification of learning through various apps offers an environment where students can readily relate, participate and feel rewarded.

Why is digital education the future of learning?

Significant aspects of the future schooling system will be aided by technology, including learning and teaching. It is exciting to watch how smart technologies are changing the educational landscape in the country. Online learning platforms and tools have eased in making education creative, collaborative, customizable, and made up for teacher shortage and appropriate instructional resources.

There will be increasing convergence/ interdependence between digital and traditional teaching-learning mediums in the future as the internet becomes yet more affordable and accessible. Small, medium, and large edutech start-ups will flood the education sector in the coming days, offering various creative digital solutions to academic institutions. The government is also taking aggressive steps to adopt policies that will help the digital education space in the country thrive. The goal is to improve the quality of digital infrastructure across the country  to increase the accessibility of innovative educational tools.

We are seeing a slew of new opportunities arise from digital education to empower the country’s youth. It has increased access to education beyond the clock and a boundary. It has made the far and vast world of learning, small packed into your device, just a click away! But, most interestingly, digital learning has and will continue to shift the onus of learning more onto the learner, a boon for a motivated student and a bane for those who always need a push!

In the last couple of years, we started with the challenge of the resistance to the adoption of technology in education, which the pandemic forced us out of; to now the challenge of innovation and suitable use of technology at the right time and for the intended audience.

Even with the plethora of tools, resources, and cheaper internet, the biggest challenge in deployment is the training of educators and unlearning of age-old practices.

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