The future of education is digital. The pandemic has made that absolutely clear. It has not only quickened the digitalization curve in education but also sowed seeds of myriad innovations in the digital education space.
During the pandemic, teachers have proven their merit in using technology devices to impart learning. However, the learning curve is long and the goal now is to achieve digital excellence for teachers, so they can leverage the best of technology to make education more impactful.
Moreover, India’s goal of Democratisation and Universalisation of education can only be achieved by setting up a robust digital infrastructure for education, which further indicates how imperative technology is in the present and future educational ecosystem.
In this post, we discuss how educators can begin their journey of digital empowerment adding more feathers to their cap, delivering highly personalised learning and maximising learning outcomes through the power of technology.
Who are Educators of Today?
Today’s educator or teacher is someone that uses technology tools and digital devices to impart powerful learning to students. Is this to say that the devices would replace teachers? No, not at all.
What it means is that the array of digital tools will assist them in delivering world-class learning so our students would have a level playing field with their global counterparts.
A teacher of the digital-first world has the power to track the learning needs, learning progress and learning outcomes of every learner. They guide the learner’s journey from delivery to understanding to assessments to application, in a manner that’s most suitable to the learner. All this with the help of tech tools.
Learners of today need teachers that would observe, learn and understand their unique learning needs and desired learning outcomes. Then, they would adapt their lesson delivery techniques and teaching mechanism to meet these needs to deliver personalized learning solutions that lead to highly powerful outcomes.
Digital Transformation in Education Led by Digitally Empowered Teachers
Digitally empowered teachers can accelerate our progress in achieving the national goal of democratisation and universalisation of education, that is, making quality education accessible to every aspiring learner.
Democratisation = Accessibility to all
Universalisation = Quality Education for all
Digital tools and techniques offer tons of channels through which we could help quality education reach every learner of any age in their preferred language.
Here’s how technology-driven teaching will help teachers delivery world-class learning
Flexibility to create or curate digital content of different kinds in different regional languages
With technology, teachers can easily to create or curate content in multiple formats and languages, to suit the understanding and learning levels of different kinds of learners.
Powerful content creation and curation tools make this job a cake walk for teachers where the only limitation will be their imagination.
Here are some examples to get started – Socrative (create educational games and exercises), Deetya (create and curate of all media, exercises, assessments etc.), Thinglink (create interactive media with sound, text and pictures), StoryboardThat (create digital story), Milanote (organise ideas/projects into visual boards), Screencast-O-Matic (screen recording), Free Cam (screen recording), Animoto (video editing), Hitfilm express (video editing).
1. Deliver powerful lessons
Technology enables teachers to deliver lessons with the aid of attractive multimedia presentation, videos, graphics and animations that hook the learners visually and auditorially. More importantly, they lead to in-depth understanding of concepts and better knowledge retention. In fact, they can even engage them physically with exercises such as Quizzes, Classroom Polls, Group Presentations and more.
It’s only through technology platforms that teachers can present all kinds of interactive digital content which enhances learning quality significantly.
2. Reach beyond geographical and linguistic boundaries
A teacher of today doesn’t have to be in the same location as that of their students. They could teach from anywhere either through live or recorded sessions. This makes teachers reach the learners essentially from any corner of the world.
Translation technology enables them to teach and communicate effectively with learners that speak different languages, which was a giant barrier to learning until recently. This can dramatically increase the enrolment ratios in higher education institutes and sharply decline the dropout rates.
3. Take rapid assessments while in class
This is one of the biggest advantages of technology, where through interactive tools a teacher can gauge the level of student understanding in real time. This gives them a chance to tailor their teaching in class to attain better outcomes. How powerful is that!
4. Analyse student performance
Learning platforms such as Deetya helps teachers analyse the student grades and gain insights about the overall student performs through 360 degree reports. They could also gauge and give peer to peer feedback on their quality of teaching ensuring professional development of teachers as well as better learning for students.
5. Impart personalised learning
Adaptive learning engines have the ability to use user data and design personalised learning routes or pathways for each learner based on their learning patterns and behaviours. That means technology allows learners to play to their strengths ensuring maximum learning outcome.
6. Cater to learners with special needs
Traditional education is not quite receptive to the needs of special children with learning and other disabilities. Using the digital content that are available in sign-languages and other assistive tools with improved accessibility enables teachers to cater to the needs of learners with special needs.
7. Universalisation of education by converging different digital channels
One of the biggest challenges of the education industry is to impart high quality education to every learner. A lot of factors act as deterrents in implementing this, which can be countered by introducing technological features. Convergence of multiple educational platforms and portals and making them available to all is possible with digital learning technology.
Government Initiatives to Aid Teachers & Learners
The Ministry of Education held a series of webinars with leading academicians, industrialists and experts to discuss the roadmap for education in India in the pretext of the recent union budget. One of these webinars was titled Creating Quality e-content and Virtual Labs for Inclusivity, Better Learning Outcomes and Skilling wherein the moderator Prof. Ranjan Bose (Director, IIT Delhi) remarked that the education of today should be dictated by the following 6Ds.
Digital | Diverse | Distributed | Disruptive | Data Centric | Driven by Mission
To that end, many government agencies and organisations have worked and are working on initiatives towards building various components of the digital teaching ecosystem.
A few of them are as follows:
- OLabs – Funded by MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), OLabs is an online lab that enables students to run lab experiments virtually, but in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. Schools and colleges that lack adequate infrastructure to run lab experiments can benefit from OLabs. This platform hosts experiments based on a wide range of curricula.
- FutureSkills Prime – A collaborative digital skilling initiative by MeitY and NASSCOM, FutureSkills Prime works towards skilling individuals in upcoming IT technologies opening new avenues for the young minds of India.
- ICT Academy – Started by the Government of India, ICT Academy is yet another coherent platform that undertakes skill development, faculty development, entrepreneurship development, and digital empowerment initiatives. It was built to impart employability skills to the youth by training them to meet the industry requirements, with the goal to generate more employment opportunities in all parts of the country, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities.
- DIKSHA – Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) is an initiative of the NCERT to provide learning resources for students across all boards and curricula. It includes various types of high quality content including Explanation, Practice, Lesson Plans and Teacher Tools, Faculty Training, Exam Prep, Assessments and Quiz.
In addition to this, Department of School Education & Literacy (DoSEL) has introduced projects such as energised textbooks, wherein, at the end of each chapter of the text book, a QR code is placed. On scanning it, students can access online content related to that chapter on DIKSHA.
Until now, DIKSHA has about 2.3 lakh content assets in all Indian languages including the Indian sign language. The site gets approximately 5-6 crore page hits a day, which is a strong indicator of the need and usefulness of good quality digital content in education.
Chatbots, IVRS and Talking books are other powerful ways employed by the education department to use digital technology for improved learning outcomes.
Paving Way for World-Class Learning through Technology
The most important contribution of a teacher in today’s digital-first world would be to create a level playing field for learners in every corner of India. And this singular objective makes them an imperative component of the next leg of digital revolution in Indian education.
For a country as diverse as India, in terms of educational infrastructure, talent distribution and even basic amenities, digital empowerment of teachers is the most efficient way to standardise quality education across all corners of the nation. With the union budget of education primarily geared towards building the digital educational infrastructure including 200 TV channels, enablement of Digital Teacher, Virtual Labs and Skill Labs, the future of education is definitely digital and bright!
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