Dr. Vidya Shankar Shetty, Director, REVA University

Dr. Vidya Shetty has a through and through career experience in Academics and Education ranging from K12 to Higher Education. Her career map has had her play diverse roles right from establishment to governance, ranging from setting up new schools in India and abroad, colleges, compliance and project handling of a greenfield University to her current role of Director at REVA University wherein she plays a crucial role in handling the Chancellor’s office and the portfolio of International Relations to place REVA University in the global education market.

Currently, the Director at REVA University, Dr. Vidya Shetty started her career as a Lecturer at St Agnes College, Mangalore, moved on to Bangalore after marriage, furthering her career with the Presidency Group with who she set up Schools, Colleges and a University periodically. She was also the Director for Manipal K-12 Education, setting up Schools countrywide and abroad. She was also the Director-Education at PEARSON K-12, India, the largest Education company in the world, wherein she set up 40 Institutions in India and Nepal. Her International exposure in Education was as Chief Academic Officer for Dr. B R Shetty group in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, wherein she set up schools for the Group and in Qatar and Saudi Arabia wherein she was on the Advisory Board for Schools and responsible for compliance and Performance Standards. Self-motivated with strong planning, organizational and leadership skills, Dr. Vidya has to be conscientious, systematic and analytical in her approach to Education and believes in skill centered learning in Education

With the advent of technology and its integration with human life, one has but very little choice but to quickly dissolve the barrier between machine and technology. In other words, education and technology are the sine qua non of the new era learning. COVID 19 has actually accelerated the speed of this synergy. Gone are the days when teachers at the junior school taught children the value of holding the pencil with the thumb for support while the index finger balanced the pencil and the middle finger rested the pencil on itself. Today it is the thumb that dominates all the fingers. In fact, it is a marvel to see the younger gen texting dexterously with the thumbs while the other fingers are bystanders. While the first industrial revolution during the 18th century saw mechanization leading gradually replacing agriculture which was the backbone of the economy. The Second Industrial Revolution in the 19th century saw advancements in this technology and electricity, gas, and oil took precedence and consequently witnessed a lot of inventions. The 20th century saw Nuclear energy surfacing and the advent of computers in our lives which was the Third Industrial Revolution. Automation took precedence and the world was benefitted by the computers. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is what expertise says is where the internet takes precedence and there is a swift transition from the first three industrial revolutions. Virtual reality reigns supreme and virtual education is the keyword and action for Education. Education thus occupies a prominent position in the economy and will remain the driver of this transformation.

With the internet reshaping our lives, as Educators the onus lies in education institutions, to embrace this revolution in education. Where textbooks pervaded the entire teaching system, the internet age has brought in e-books to kindle to digital resources, where classrooms had desks and chairs and the board occupying all the space, this era has seen the smaller box of the laptop or the interactive classroom board occupying the smallest place while the learner could stay within the comfort of the home and learn. On the other side, where families relied on house help and relatives, the age of the internet had gadgets that could handle all household challenges and relatives who were distant and yet close on our smartphones. Robotics, 3D printing, and other technological advancements have substituted and added value to some of our challenging tasks. Advancement in technology indeed, and the contribution of whirring minds who develop apps to platforms to connect and relive and this has become the sine qua non of our lives whether we like it or not. Industrial Revolution 4 has certainly arrived.

In all of this transformation, teachers and educators seem to have moved seamlessly into the world of the youngster who is already a digital native. Disruptions indeed and that which paved the way for Education 4.0. The ‘what’ of education has been replaced by the ‘how’ of education, in other words, the ‘what to be taught’ has now given way to the ‘how of teaching’ with the internet providing all the support to the new-age learner. The 20th century Industrial Revolution 3 has made way for Industrial Revolution 4 and hence the concept of Education 4.0. which delves into knowledge, skills, and abilities with a different perspective. Focus on future trends and coping with new challenges is a priority.

The new curriculum offered thus in our institutions needs a complete paradigm shift and quick transformation. The quick transformation would mean making necessary up-gradation in the content, adding on content, eliminating what is outdated or in other words redesigning the curriculum to suit the changes of today. Complimenting the curriculum would be the pedagogical changes and subsequent impact on assessments and grading. This change and redesign have to be overall and start from K-12 to Higher Education. This means students have to be taught from very early in schools in the new technology-based environment and the changes in the approach to learning has to begin early. Leveraging technology to improve the learning experience of every student is important. With COVID-19 our learners have now seeped in remote learning, but then when in-person education begins with time, we cannot possibly force them backward. An overhaul of the entire process thus becomes compelling and the overhaul must come from curriculum to pedagogy to assessments. All of this will need a deeper infusion of technology and a complete shift from teaching to learning. Catering to individual needs, skills, knowledge, and understanding specific learner needs is the smart way of doing it. Multidisciplinary learning takes precedence here and the traditional structure of a combination of subjects flees the campus. Creating versatile, well-rounded students who can adapt themselves to the changes globally and the needs of the industry has thus become valuable for an institution. We must evolve, we must accept challenges, and making way for the new changed world is inevitable.

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