Prashant Sharma is the Director & Co-Founder of myclassroom, India’s First Blended Learning (Offline+Online) one-stop solution for Boards, IITJEE, NEET, and all National as well as International Olympiads like NTSE, KVPY, JSTSE, NSTSE, RMO, etc. Prashant began his journey in the education industry as a mentor, a teacher quite earlier in his life. As he started guiding students during his engineering days in 2008, he has tutored and led the way for more than 10,000 aspiring young engineers and doctors since then. His penchant for shaping up and nurturing young minds led him to join prestigious IIT JEE & NEET institutes of India, where he steered the path of success for many single-digit AIR Toppers in both Medical and Engineering exams multiple times.
Just two years back, education was mostly confined within the classroom walls, but the pandemic has completely transformed the way everyone looks at education. The emergence of Smart Classrooms, equipped with the latest technologies has provided access to top-quality teachers and education to students across the country. This democratization of education has impacted the competitive exam preparation industry as well, by reducing the need to travel to metro cities or top coaching hubs for JEE & NEET preparation. In the wake of the COVID- 19 pandemic, the national government has realized that promoting digital education is the need of the hour.
A recent report, titled ‘Re-envisioning higher education through digital adoption’ by PwC India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) supports this idea. According to the report, both teachers and students are increasingly opting for ‘blended learning’ that aims at combining the ‘physical & digital’ modes of learning. Also, the University Grants Commission of India rolled out a concept note on May 20, 2021, to introduce “Blended Mode” of teaching & learning where up to 40% of any course can be taught online and the remaining 60% may be done in offline classrooms.
India has seen the rise of several Tier II and III cities, as a result of digital transformation and the last-mile connection of mobile and internet technology. The introduction of smart classrooms and technology have altered learning by helping us connect and come closer, thereby empowering students all over the world. Technology and smartphones have profoundly transformed the way we function and think in today’s globalized society. We are constantly surrounded by digital technology, to the point where children in some societies learn how to use tablets before they learn how to speak!
Without a doubt, the introduction of hybrid learning apps and software plays a crucial role in getting schools, colleges, and parents familiarized with the workings and advantages of the changing environment. Students from smaller schools must be seen as equal participants in the educational system and have equal access to quality education rather than as recipients of tech philanthropy. The youth will be able to learn more effectively as a result of these principles. We will be able to develop a talented and valued workforce for the country as a result of this, allowing them to face the difficulties with more confidence and direction.
Not only are new opportunities being created but has also fueled the global aspirations of students by smart classrooms has in a way provided endless opportunities to empower students by helping recognize their talents and capabilities to grow and succeed.
Another quality that gives an edge to hybrid learning and ‘blended classrooms’ is that it responds to a student’s learning speed by increasing or reducing the difficulty level to meet their requirements. Augmentation of learning is a fantastic technique to boost engagement by motivating users to complete quantifiable tasks. One of the most valuable qualities is that students from smaller towns and villages who do not have access to transportation can benefit from smart classrooms since it allows them to be more flexible in terms of time and space. Such students can now attend lectures, ask questions, and obtain high-quality education from the comfort of their own homes, thanks to technological advancements.
As the trend suggests, the Blended or Hybrid (Physical + Digital) learning model is here to stay. Even for the most competitive exams like IIT-JEE & NEET, students, parents, and teachers have adapted to this new way of learning as opposed to the Kota factory model. Moreover, staying close to family and friends ensures the student’s physical and mental well-being which is necessary for effective preparation. How can we expect India to forge ahead if we don’t encourage the usage of educational platforms in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities with limited educational resources and facilities to keep students empowered?
The motto of the rising Ed-Tech firms with hybrid learning, should be to bring access to India’s best teachers, top-quality education, and academic rigor for every student right in their city, through state-of-the-art technology and Smart classrooms. Preparing for this New Normal for education in India will also require the 21st-century learning pedagogies and evaluation methodologies such as bringing a change to the national educational landscape using modern technologies such as hybrid teaching, 24×7 doubt solving, adaptive learning, and artificial intelligence, seamlessly combined with the essence of conventional learning. Therefore, the importance of EdTech companies must be stressed out and given attention to sculpting the future leaders of tomorrow.