India plays a significant role in the global education industry. With more than 500 million people currently in the 5 to 25 age bracket, the country is expected to become one of the largest global talent providers in the coming years.
To do so, the need of the hour is to ensure that our students get a high-quality education. Our curriculums need to be skill-focused, more personalised, and up-to-date.
Technology can play a huge role in enabling all this at scale, making sure that all stakeholders get the required support and means to achieve what is expected of them.
Talking about teachers–they are also expected to teach each student based on how they learn, what they know, and what their skills and interests are. What is required, in other words, is personalisation.
More Effective Learning with Personalisation
The surge in technological advances has led to an explosion of tech-enabled learning solutions, which has helped boost the popularity of personalised learning. However, only digitally empowered teachers can drive data-informed learning and apply personalised learning plans to suit the needs of students using technology.
Online platforms such as school portals and Learning Management Systems (LMS) that offer personalised learning are more efficiently adapted in a school setting when teachers have familiarity and understanding of digital tools and technologies.
Personalised Learning also addresses the problem of disengagement in students as the learning material is customised and tailor-fit to each student's interests. The teachers also get to know their students in a more personal manner, analyse their growth with the use of data and AI, as well as mould them into critical thinkers and independent learners.
Adopting a personalised teaching and learning model holds promise for ensuring that students learn effectively. It also enhances our reputation on the global education front as a country that values and supports individual student learning and growth.
Skill Building and Confidence of Youth
Talking about what interests them allows students to speak up and become equal partners in their learning experience.
A digitally empowered teacher is able to build learning experiences that make the students more comfortable and confident. Data and personalised support allow the students to be more confident in their abilities and develop leadership skills that pay off significantly as they proceed to higher education and jobs.
As the world dawns towards the digital age and global mobility, these skills can instill a broader perspective into our students and allow them to gain places at top universities, making their mark on the world.
The Shift from Knowledge-Based To Skills-Based Learning
As we speak of skills, 21st-century education continuously shifts from knowledge-based to skill-based. What this means is that curriculums across the world are pivoting away from rote memorisation to focus on the skills and abilities that will best serve the newest generation of young minds.
In this scenario, the digital medium becomes an enabler for teachers, offering them endless opportunities to explore, interact, experiment, experience and have fun while teaching skills to 21st-century students.
For example, when teaching a class about the human body, instead of using a textbook, a teacher today can use an online 3D model to show their students how the body actually functions.
We already see the use of smartboards, compulsory ICT classes for children, the adoption of digital tools, and the inclusion of digital pedagogies in Indian classrooms.
By using varied tools of digital learning, such as games, visuals, storytelling, and videos, teachers are able to provide students with hands-on learning beyond traditional classroom teaching and prepare them for their future careers and jobs.
The Jobs of Tomorrow
According to the 2018 Future of Jobs Report, 75 million jobs are expected to be displaced in 20 major economies in the near future due to the emergence of new sectors of automation, technology, and artificial intelligence. At the same time, these technological advances and new ways of working could create 133 million new roles in the job market.
This means that in order to succeed in the workplace, the next generation of students must acquire ingrained digital skills and a digital mindset from an early age. To achieve this, students today need teachers who are capable of imparting skills and guidance to bolster their employability for the future more than ever before. Teachers who can tap the digital transformation and technology to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.
These teachers are the transformation agents that offer practical exposure to the use of digital tools in a classroom. They can implement solutions and employ interventions that nudge children to embrace technology to unleash their potential. For example, teachers can leverage cloud storage to save and share files, including curriculum, assignments, and student notes.
To sum up, as we enter a new era of personalised and skill-based learning, digitally empowered teachers allow all students to achieve the best of their abilities.
Indian education has been doing great at adopting contemporary education approaches and digital practices. A further shift in the education mindset where priority is given to skills rather than degrees and grades will get us to the top in no time.
Moreover, to sustain this wave of digitisation, the focus should be on empowering teachers on digital mediums to translate textbook material into more engaging scenarios and to encourage student creativity & critical thinking skills supported by digital tools and pedagogies. These teachers will accelerate the students’ employability potential and help us, as a country, to keep up with the global dynamics.