Carrying an experience of over two decades, Ms. Nidhi Tewari has rendered her expertise, knowledge and experience in teaching, learning, administrative training and technology. Recognised for her work and commitment by national and international government bodies and organisations, she is also the recipient of The National Teacher’s Award. In addition, she has also received several other accolades from prestigious institutions of India. Her association with CBSE as a subject expert in Computer science, AI is another milestone in her journey. She visualizes school as a community that nurtures creative learning, provides inclusivity and quality education to students and believes in a child-centric approach to achieve a plethora of skills and aptitudes that make a child future-ready to face an ever-changing world.
The post-pandemic era is on the cusp of paradigm shift. As digital infrastructure continues to become more robust and accessible, the very nature of education and classroom learning will transform into a hybrid mode. This is a phase of new and exciting innovations. It will integrate the best personalised pedagogy with specialized aspects of online education. In this time of metamorphosis, nascent trends will evolve and become the new normal. With the aim to customize the learning experience to the unique needs of each student, there are a variety of hybrid learning models that may be deployed. The teachers have the flexibility of implementing them according to the specific requirements of the classroom. Novel ideas like flipped classrooms will become the default module for imparting education, wherein the teacher shares the learning material with the students beforehand. And each student has the freedom to study it at their own pace and respond to the class assignments any time during a designated time window. Another hybrid model gaining prominence for higher education is the Online Lab. This module leverages digital tools to provide students with an in-depth understanding of classroom concepts. As we move towards a Digital India, technological practices will amalgamate with community building and ensure greater engagement between students, teachers and parents respectively.
Offering an unprecedented level of personal connection, hybrid classrooms have facilitated learners to interact with peers and teachers from anywhere and at any time. This has provided students with the incomparable advantage of having complete control over their own learning process. Furthermore, hybrid learning models have paved the way for more hands-on collaborative project work to be inculcated in the education curriculum in the future semesters. Hybrid learning in the coming decade will see improved flexibility, greater learning opportunities and mentoring which transcends geographical boundaries. With higher accessibility to systems across the world, peer learning will witness a quantum leap. Greater usage of e-proctoring tools will help student assessment and ensure that a fair environment is provided for evaluation feedback. Hybrid learning will help create new approaches to make learning impactful, relevant and engaging for students.
However, there are some challenges associated with hybrid learning models that need to be addressed. Learning consistency, routine and developmental learning windows are very important factors for children between the ages of 3-14 years. A myriad of values, skills, abilities and competencies are instilled in children through interpersonal interactions with their teachers and peers. With literacy, children inculcate various social, emotional and cognitive skills as they transition through school. It is imperative that during this impressionable age, teachers guide their students to develop a sound scientific temper. A personalised teaching approach supports and nurtures all areas of child development. As such, maintaining the learning continuity is critical for school-going students through hybrid learning. A child’s childhood is a precious intangible commodity. It has within it, the sights, sounds, and colours of growing up. Its spirit is one of curiosity, laughter, freedom and acceptance. Hence, the school becomes a place of empowerment for the child. It is in school that a child learns to respond to the multiplicity of linkages and interconnections in this global village. In this secure environment, children learn to express themselves. It is in school that children learn to cherish and preserve their cultural heritage so as to encourage localized differentiation. This makes school a living and evolving ecosystem, that help students inculcate creativity, compassion, empathetic listening and the ability to think from a humane perspective. Hence, there seems to be a sense of urgency in the general idea of returning to brick and mortar schools.
However, the benefits of hybrid learning far outweigh the impediments. This can be clearly assessed by how hybrid learning has facilitated better student engagement. Today, children are growing up with technology and are comfortable working and learning with tech tools. Hence, incorporating technology in classroom learning creates an enriched learning experience. Moreover, hybrid learning provides a wide spectrum of digital learning content. As every child is unique and learns at a different pace, this comprehensive digital content library enables learners to choose their course material and the mode of learning. This can be either in the form of personalized video tutorials, traditional texts, interactive quizzes or engaging audio podcasts. Hybrid learning also imparts greater flexibility to the teachers, who can harness the wide array digital tools for dissemination of information as well as for organizing class assignments and assessments modules. Innovative mobile apps used by teachers increase the student enthusiasm for online classroom while providing an interactive pedagogic experience.
While collaborative technologies have played a crucial role in education, many schools have yet to leverage the benefits offered by an intelligent, multimedia enabled network. As the world races to meet the future, wider broadband access must be extended and made more reliable and affordable. In order to overcome systemic barriers, the full potential of the digital revolution must be harnessed. To this end, the right technology has to be provided at the right time, which is aligned with the needs of student demographic. Consequently, as the Indian education system continues to transform, there will be an increasing demand for the holistic development of children to include training in technological practices and digital resources. The world as we knew it has changed irrevocably. As all aspects of human development change to adapt to this new world, so too have changed the dimensions of education. With an emphasis of ‘teach-nology within technology’, classroom transformations have paved the way for new learning experiences for students. Hybrid learning allows students and parents to personalize their interactions with the teachers. At the end of the day it is all about creating a better learning environment and making classrooms more engaging and conducive for students to learn and grow. With a tech savvy generation eager to explore a new world of endless possibilities, hybrid learning models have led to remarkable digital transformation in classrooms across the nation.