From classrooms that banned mobile phones, and anything that had remotely got to do with technology, a mere couple of years back, today we cannot imagine a lesson being conducted without mobile phones and technology. If our parents, teachers and elders had a love-hate relationship towards technology, of late they have resolved their issues. Technology has permeated our life like nothing else ever has. As we stand on this cusp of educational revolution, which was largely due to the pandemic, there are a lot of facets that need to be understood.
The outcome of a good education is three-pronged: to provide knowledge in the relevant discipline, impart skills needed for jobs/enterprises, and mould a character that plays a constructive role in shaping the society and the world at large. In a country as diverse as India, the delivery of tech-driven education cannot follow a one-size-fits-all approach. It is also important to remember that education is not only about tech; it is also about learning, interaction, and developing soft skills and social capital, which only traditional schools can provide.
When we shift to online education, ample attention needs to be paid on how we impart it. Will students go through digital resources made available to them at their pace or will they be interacting with the teachers in real-time live online classes, discussing what they have already studied from guided online resources? It is best to say that a blend of offline-online learning should be the path for the future. After all, a great teacher is one who can teach Calculus with a paper clip and literature in an empty field. Because technology is just another tool, not a destination.
In this issue of Higher Education Digest, “10 Most- Influential Leaders in Indian Education”, we are showcasing some of the top educators of the country who have influenced the lives of many students, and in the process the Indian education system, through their teachings, actions and acumen. While this list is by no means comprehensive, we hope that it illuminates the need for more versatile educators. We are optimistic that within the next couple of years we will see more such educational visionaries, elevating the Indian Higher Education domain to a world-class level.