How Digital Education is taking over India: Impact of social media, increased learner application power and more
Did you know Facebook could be very useful to help children learn? Or that digital education could change the educational landscape of rural India? Digital education is definitely pushing India closer to attain its education goals.
The process of imparting education has gone through a sea change if we look at the picture 10-20 years before now. Technology has taken over almost every field of our lives and the onset of online courses came as a path-breaker. No longer did one need to have access to schools, time or a lot of money! All one needed was a good internet connection and a computer.
You could take up any course you liked (often held in partnership with major universities and institutes all over the world), learn at your own pace, discuss with your fellow virtual learners and contact experts online with any queries you might have. Many online learning websites also give you a valid certificate at a nominal fee.
This relaxed pace which promoted self learning was a pole apart from the common rote education process followed in maximum Indian schools. Now however, digital learning has seeped into the system considerably and has a far-reaching impact towards educating the vast population of India. This could well be the answer we have all been looking for!
India Today spoke with Aditya Malik, CEO & MD of Talentedge, a leading ed-tech firm which was the first to bring to India the concept of live and interactive digital learning accessible from anywhere. He explained how social media is also a learning tool, about the spread of digital learning in the country, the impact it is having on the very educational process followed for years in India and how it can be carried forward to impact the rural population as well.
1. Why is digital learning slowly but definitely becoming the direction everyone is stepping towards?
Aditya Malik: Though India is at a nascent stage when it comes to digital education compared to developed nations, none the less it’s growing at a substantially rapid rate of 55 per cent. Edu tech is certainly ushering the new age of learning in India. It is estimated that the ed-tech market will double in size from the present USD 20 billion to USD 40 billion by the end of 2017.
Main reasons for the growth of digital learning:
- With nearly a billion people on mobile phones and over 200 million mobiles connected to the internet, there has been a considerable rise in digital learning
- The use of best-in-class content, real-time learning and feedback methods, and personalised instructions has encouraged online learning
- People are stepping towards digital learning as the ed-tech firms are providing them the comfort of ‘live and interactive’ anywhere learning in digital format, through its online programmes
- These online courses are affordable and easily accessible
- Digital learning aims to break the numerous barriers that are preventing people from receiving quality education in the physically bound classrooms
2. How is hybrid, collaborative and online learning processes changing education?
AM: With hybrid, collaborative online learning, students get the on-campus experience and get ‘the best of both worlds’.
- ‘Live and interactive’ digital learning empowers the learners to receive par excellence, quality education anytime and anywhere. Whether it is career and technical education or project-based learning, it gives learners a more interactive platform for learning and assessment
- Free online courses open up avenues for both education providers and students. People are more confident to take these courses and when they see results, they do not hesitate to pay for more
- Online education gives students an opportunity to plan their future course of action and fast track their careers
- Through live and interactive digital learning, ed-tech firms are imparting comprehensive and specialised knowledge which will enable children and adults to learn with a purpose and instil a sense of belief in them
- Such offerings are changing the way India learns by giving students an edge in learning, along with an opportunity to progress in their career
3. Does digital education and self-learning somehow increase the applicability power of children and adults with respect to what they have learned?
- The impact of new technologies in educational contexts has been mostly positive as new technologies have given educators the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills, and therefore, enhance the standard of education through constructivist learning environment with digital storytelling
- Audio visual aids, interactive, educational simulations help understand concepts and theories enabling better learning
- The students gain knowledge from masters of the subjects from world class institutes which is something they have always desired
- They also benefit by learning from eminent corporate leaders, business academicians as well as the industry connoisseurs. These experts share their valuable insights on the relevant, practical and must know aspects of the corporate world, enabling the students to gain comprehensive and specialised knowledge
4. How can social media be used as a learning tool?
- Social media as a tool can be used to enhance e-learning experience and make it more engaging, relevant and culturally diverse
- Students can critique and share feedback on each other’s assignments, work in collaboration to create content that can be easily accessed
- This also gives them an opportunity to ask questions and have multiple responses shared on real-time basis
- Social media helps in making the students aware of the current happenings, concerns, issues, social activities and prospective employment
- Thus the relationship between classroom-based learning and social media is significant in the fast pacing modern day world
5. How can rural students and adults particularly benefit from digital education?
AM: Digital education is breaking the numerous barriers that are preventing students in rural India from receiving quality education in the physically bound classrooms:
- ‘Direct to Device’ technology will empower these students to get quality education, anytime and anywhere
- It will enable them to save time, by having more freedom to move at their own pace as well as help them save money by avoiding “hidden costs” of education, like transportation fees (gas, parking fees)
- By not having to be at a certain class at a certain time, it will assist working students to not limit their work schedule, helping them to not lose on wages that they can potentially earn
- With the flexibility of online courses, students can conserve more hours and more money, enabling them to learn with a purpose and instil a sense of self-belief in them
6. What would be the future implications of the shift to digital learning?
AM: With the Digital India programme’s vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy, the education sector in India is poised to witness major growth in the years to come. Technology-led reach and easy access will bring about a socio-economic difference in the lives of Indian learners.
7. What innovative strategies and measures are taken in this account by Talentedge?
- We bring to our students courses jointly with world leading institutes and corporates
- We have initiated industry relevant learning for our students by bringing eminent subject experts into online education
- We enable working professionals to plan their future course of action and fast track their careers
- Talentedge gives students a chance to learn from eminent faculty through our partnership with top Indian and international institutes
- With our ability to recreate classroom-type interactions in the virtual world, we have struck a chord with over 3,00,000 individuals and corporate learners
8. What are the various challenges faced by Talentedge on its journey?
AM: The concept of Talentedge was disruptive. The institutes and learners had not experienced anything like what we had to offer. While the institutes were partial to brick and mortar format of learning, the learners were comfortable with conventional form as well.
Having said that, the critical opportunity for us was to garner proof of concept for the format of learning Talentedge provides to its learners and be able to generate the right partner alliances. At the moment, we are category leaders in the online education space and like any leader, we have the challenge of setting up the benchmark and continuing to better it.
Source : IndiaToday
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