In a country like India, where on the one hand we have the largest number of children outside school due to huge drop-out rates and on the other, where we have innovations in education, what role can technology play in school education?
“In such a scenario where sequential learning is being replaced with adaptive learning, annual tests are becoming online and the role of teacher is changing, technology, if used properly, can make a positive impact. When it comes to school education , personalised and blended learning through technology can be a way ahead,” says Ashish Dhawan, chief executive officer, Central Square Foundation . The education market in India is estimated to be US$135 billion by 2020, of which the e-learning market alone will constitute US$7 billion. The Indian e-learning market is growing by the rate of 42% per annum, but will the educational content and teacher training keep up with the hardware revolution? There are many factors that play a crucial role in making technology in education successful. There is a gap between what is taught as standard content and what will be expected of students in the future.
“Education is standardised and every child is expected to learn at the same time. Skills such as creativity, critical thinking, life skills, etc, are not taught in schools. Experiments are being carried out but they fail to make an impact either because it cannot be replicated on a large scale or there are shortcomings in terms of the learning outcome. It is important that educational research must go hand in hand with technological advances. At the same time, we need good educational policies that can encourage quality online learning,” says Sridhar Rajagopalan, managing director, Educational Initiatives.
The seminar on ‘Is technology the silver bullet for school education in India?’ was conducted by the National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA) and Central Square Foundation and saw the participation of HCL and Idea in Progress.