6 Glaring “Glitches” in Online Education & How to Fix Them?
Covid-19 has seen an unprecedented boom in start-ups, particularly in the Ed-Tech sector. But is everything Ed-Tech truly rosy?
In a matter of months, schools and colleges were forced to turn their attention towards imparting education using technology. Most of them were overwhelmed by such a sudden transition.
Some institutions provided online services on their own; some conceived apps for smooth functioning; and many turned to Ed-Tech companies for help.
Whether we like it or not, Ed-Tech is here to stay.
Nevertheless, this article takes on a 360 degree perspective of reality – the pros of online education, the cons and strategies to resolve them, and the even greater future possibilities of the Ed-Tech industry.
The Pros of Online Education:
Marvels of Ed-Tech are obvious for everyone to see.
Distances and boundaries have blurred with education being brought right into our homes on our screens.
Using visual aids, graphic videos, AR, VR, and the like, conceptual learning has taken a leap.
One can keep revising the classes until the idea is ingrained in the student’s mind.
Assessments are mostly error-free.
In accordance with the need of the times, it has become necessary that the government facilitates online education to every student, irrespective of his financial, social, and living premises.
Ed-Tech has opened unknown vistas in the field of education.
The Cons & Strategies to Resolve:
However, it is hard to skip noticing the ‘glitches’ related to online education.
Some of the challenging aspects related to Ed-Tech dependence worth considering are as follows:
Most Ed-Tech firms provide pre-recorded classes and videos that offer very little space for one-on-one doubt clearance opportunities and the establishment of teacher-student rapport. Certainly a feeling of “human disconnection” there!
Resolution Strategy: This apparent “disconnection” could be resolved to some extent by making sure that the Ed-Tech team appoints a particular teaching staff member to address the needs and concerns of a specific group of students. Nothing can replace the comfort and effectiveness of genuine human regard and empathy.
Most students are able to imbibe the curriculum designed by Ed-Tech educators. Yet, there are plenty of students with learning disabilities, autistic disorders and the like, for whom Individualised Education Plan is wanting. And similar are the concerns of the blind, the deaf and other disabled children.
Resolution Strategy: Should an Ed-Tech company have a team that customizes learning plans targeting students with special needs and disabilities, it would create quite a great impact on a good chunk of our population.
Most Ed-Tech firms offer teaching only in the English medium.
Resolution Strategy: In a country like India where over 30 languages are officially recognized, using the vernacular language for teaching would certainly make a lot of students and parents happy and the studies more comprehensible.
What makes students excited to go to schools are definitely not just books and teachers, but the PT classes, dance, music, arts, crafts, martial training practiced in the company of friends and classmates.
Resolution Strategy: Incorporating not just academic content, but activity and creativity-oriented skills would offer a path different from the clichéd norms.
Productive use of the 4th Industrial Revolution technologies is still wanting in many Ed-Tech companies.
Resolution Strategy: A firm that makes optimal use of technologies like AI, AR, big data analytics, etc. on a large scale would surely be able to make its mark in the education field.
It is no secret that a child’s behavior and personality are molded by the education he receives and the learning environment he is in. The greatest asset of institutional learning is the way it helps students socialize and learn life skills like empathy, critical thinking, problem-solving, etc.
Resolution Strategy: Respect towards the elderly and kindness towards the young is practiced in schools and colleges which are in fact “mini-societies” comprising of people of all age groups right from the kindergarten to the elderly teachers and staff. Such an environment is entirely absent in an e-learning atmosphere.
In a country like India where school dropouts are on the rise in rural areas despite the provision of free schooling and free meals, online education has put an additional burden related to the availability of gadgets and internet services.
Resolution Strategy: Considering that the right to education is one of the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country, the government – Central & State – must ensure that education is efficiently digitalized and the means to achieve are accessible to every child in India.
Or else, there would be glaring inequality and disparity along these lines which would be detrimental to the country’s progress and prosperity in the long run.
The Future of Ed-Tech Industry
Ed-Tech services range from pre-school teaching to content on competitive exams and career guidance. And what’s more!? India still has a long way to go to match its global peers in the Ed-Tech industry.
Extending the scope of Ed-Tech to students with disabilities, representation in the vernacular medium, and investing in research that looks into blending behavior science with technology, would lead to further advancement in leaps and bounds.
With digital marketing ruling the roost in entrepreneurship, the coming decades shall witness phenomenal growth in the Ed-Tech industry, to say the least.
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