Rishabh Khanna is the Co-Founder & CEO of Suraasa, world’s first teacher career growth platform. He has been transforming educational practices for over 10 years, now solving a key issue in education – the lack of skilled teachers. He founded Suraasa in 2017 with the vision of creating a global network of highly skilled teachers by providing career mentorship, pedagogy training, and global job opportunities. Prior to building Suraasa, Rishabh founded Les Transformations Learning, which grew to be awarded as ‘Best K-12 Teacher Training Institution of India’ at Indian Education Congress, multiple times over the years. He and his team trained 75,000 teachers, across 1500+ schools in 100+ cities of 21 states of the country.
The learning patterns of students have shifted in recent years. We have seen changing pedagogies and new modalities as e-learning has made a significant market entry. It was done on such a large scale that it displaced the traditional manner of teaching and learning entirely. It raises the question of what the future of learning and teaching in India will be like. It makes us wonder if we should stick to online learning or approach other models of learning.
Prior to the pandemic, the approach we considered best for teaching and learning was physical classrooms. Most of us had only been exposed to face-to-face learning, in which a teacher is physically present in the classroom and teaches the same things to 30 to 40 pupils at the same time.
This form of teaching & learning experience works even today because it develops social traits in students by allowing them to network & form relationships with their classmates & teachers.
Personal interaction, relationship building, real-time collaboration with classmates among other factors allow them to step outside the comfort of their home & build a personality for themselves.
Wave Of Digitisation In The Educational Space
Fast forward to the time when the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools were closed & students along with teachers were forced to stay at their homes. The education system underwent a massive wave of digitization & almost everyone involved was introduced to the online learning environment.
The pandemic served as a catalyst in the adoption of this learning mode & gradually it became the common practice for students to learn in an online manner. No need of going to an institution for ‘attending lectures’.
This form of online learning bought its own merits with it. Students could study anywhere, with no restrictions of geography. Not only did it save tons of travel time but it is also a cost effective mode of learning for students, teachers & even the institutions.
With the rise of demand for online learning, many EdTech players came under the spotlight. Today, these Ed-techs track student data & make it simpler for teachers to design personalised lesson plans and educational experiences. They have certainly made an impact on society over the past few years, and more people than ever before have access to it.
Combining Online Learning with Traditional Learning
Now that the world has opened up again, one thing is certain that education stakeholders are not going back the old route of traditional learning. This is so because of the potential of e-learning in the education space. From resource accessibility to data-driven learning, policymakers and industry professionals are optimistic about the expansion and future of e-learning.
But we simply cannot ignore the positive social aspects of traditional learning that can be lost in some online virtual learning environments.
Hence, moving forward, it is expected that Hybrid learning will have much more acceptance in the future.
Hybrid Learning For The Win
On the one hand, Hybrid brings the digital component of learning, which facilitates the development of future-focused teaching and learning methods. Parallelly, it facilitates better communication between learners through face-to-face instruction, resulting in more engaging and beneficial learning sessions. It brings in a two-way learning experience allowing students to be future-ready by developing their digital prowess & establishing their social & emotional development systems in the right place. Hence, it provides them the best of both worlds and makes them flexible for offline and online environments.
The digital learning component of Hybrid learning facilitates increased access to resources for students. Learning can be done independently and at a self-paced pace, due to the flexibility of time and environment. This allows students to learn autonomously.
Therefore, it becomes the student’s responsibility to know the course material. In this situation, the educator’s role is to answer questions, clear doubts, and facilitate discussions.
Position Of Teachers In The Hybrid Model
Today’s teachers must differentiate their instruction, employ data-driven instructional techniques, address students’ social and emotional needs, eliminate achievement disparities, and ensure that all kids are equipped for the 21st-century economy.
Fortunately, education technology has much to give in the face of these issues. You may not have considered it in those terms before, but Ed-tech helps teachers in two ways: by improving what they do now and by increasing what they can accomplish.
The Rising Role of Ed-techs
Hybrid learning would require ed-techs to re-shape our approach to education and develop new ways to negotiate the growing domain of traditional and online learning structures, with the convergence of pedagogy and technology at its core.
Ed-Techs are intended to balance the differences between learning modes by delivering immersive, interactive, and activity-based learning via gamified platforms. It would play a critical role in encouraging learners to learn.
These Ed-techs would be responsible for multimodal learning experiences, interactive gamified quizzes, learning through technology, interactivity, and personalised support.
The only clear way forward is to combine the benefits of online learning with the benefits of face-to-face instruction. This is only achievable with the help of Ed-techs. This technology would improve teachers’ present methods by boosting the value of their instruction and helping them run classrooms more smoothly.