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Rise Of EdTech And Effect on Generational Learning Curve

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The current crisis due to the pandemic seems to have taught many lessons to humanity. With everything getting affected by the lockdown and the spread of the highly contagious virus, educational institutions have been locked up indefinitely. However, technology has been providing the sliver of hope in these unprecedented times. The video conferencing technology seems to have connected students with their classes online.

In fact, COVID-19 has expedited the technological transformation that was scheduled to occur in our lives sooner or later. The educational systems have gained a good footing with erstwhile comfortably traditional educators tapping into the digital assets to keep the education afloat.

It would be interesting to see how education technology coupled with the new education policy changes the market readiness of our generations.

Government initiatives uplifting education standards

The HRD ministry has often claimed to have done enough in boosting the educational standard by bringing out various initiatives. As per Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, the Union HRD minister, the ministry has introduced several policies to improve the teaching sector in the country. The recently announced National Education Policy stands on the pillars like quality, access, equity, accountability, and affordability. It goes as per the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to transform the country into a vibrant knowledge society.

The government has brought certain changes in the BEd degree structure for the qualitative improvement in these education programmes for teachers for the past one year. These programmes cover some crucial aspects such as inclusive education, ICT, gender, yoga, health and sanitation, and Global Citizenship Education (GCED). The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2018 is meant to improve the learning levels of kids by fusing greater accountability and improvement in terms of quality education. The union government in 2018 has integrated the three schemes Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education (CSSTE) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) as an integrated scheme as Samagra Shiksha for infusing equality in education.

For international exposure, the government has decided to participate in programmes like Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA), which will be organized in 2021 by OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). The HRD Ministry has developed a platform called DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing), which offers quality e-learning material both for teachers and students as uploaded at the states/UTs on this portal.

The initiative by the government like Rashtriya Aavishkar Abhiyan (RAA) in 2015 deals with motivating and engaging kids of 6-18 years in subjects like technology, science, and mathematics via observation, experimentation, inference drawing. The initiative also talks about model building through both the inside and outside classroom activities.

Lastly, the resources like e-PATHSHALA and WAYAM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) play their part in inculcating quality education.

Tools that are introduced to make the education sector technically sound

When it comes to tools and resources introduced for the education sector, the sky is the limit. Both the private and government agencies have developed several tools to make the education sector technically sound. Apart from the traditional environment for the students, using certain technological tools can help students in their learning experience. Apps and platforms like Twinkl, Teachable, Gimkit, Floop, Splash Learn and NearPod are some of the best tools that can help in making the education sector technically sound. The various AI-based tools like chatbots can also play their part in improving the quality of education.

What Does the Data Speak?

As per the recent reports of Cambridge International (based on an online survey of 20,000 teachers and students from 100 nations) has found out that the use of technology in classrooms is more likely to grow in the coming years. With more than 48 per cent of students have vouched in the report that they use PCs and other tools in their classroom.

The reports also suggest that 42 per cent use smartphones, 33 per cent use interactive whiteboards and 20 per cent rely on tablets. The Indian government with various CSR funds is driving hard to establish and strengthen the digital infrastructure. As per a study by Tata Trusts, the annual initial investment for the same in India will be INR 104,500 crore with the recurring cost of INR 32,250 crore. The Union government is planning to materialize the said fund for the said infrastructure by setting up clearly defined milestones.

Is it here to stay or just need of the hour?

Looking at the current grim situation amid COVID-19, the use of technology has become the only ray of hope for our kids to stay connected with education. However, it will change in the coming times as the threat of the virus vanishes from the world. Yet, the technology is here to stay for a better and smarter learning experience for our students and the coming generation. The use of traditional vs technology-based learning is a debatable issue. The proportion of the two may vary but the fact is technology is going to remain in the educational sector for enhanced and quality learning in the coming future.

In the current tough times of COVID-19, technology has emerged out as a blessing in disguise for both the students and teachers. The use of technology is mandatory to make our learning experience par to the growing competition and need of the market.

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