COVID19 and the ensuing containment measures such as social distancing, ongoing lockdown and quarantine, presented us educationists with an unprecedented and truly unique challenge to solve. How do we ensure necessary student development in such challenging and frankly never before seen times?
Effective and successful knowledge transfer is an activity which to a large extent is driven by one on one student faculty meetings, lectures and collaboration across teams. Almost overnight we were left with a situation which no previous generation of scholars in history have ever had to face. Suddenly the very concept of a physical classroom full of students is no longer a concept of learning and knowledge delivery that can be taken for granted.
Thankfully, human ingenuity and immense strides made in digital technology has proved to be an extremely effective strategy to stay in touch during time being completely contactless is the new norm. Here are some thoughts on enabling seamless education accessible to students currently confined to their homes using digital platforms.
At this point, I admit that although there exists a plethora of combinations and associated digital technologies and platforms to deliver education, there exists no one classical, one size fits all solution. However, to the creative perceiver, a rather enigmatic and yet vivid combination of technologies and platforms help deliver what is needed. The scientific and engineering education demand stacking, crossing and unifying different technologies and techniques, while liberal arts and languages will need a more lean approach.
We endeavour to detail out the advantages, both in terms of efficiency and effectiveness from both a delivery (teacher/institutions) and receiver (students and masses) perspective.
We’ve broken down the 10 most effective ways to utilise digital technology in the education space.
Teacher Student Integrated Communication
Communication is the most fundamental aspect of education delivery for a teacher. With the arrival of smartphones, chat apps, social media websites, high speed networks and connectivity, the Internet has taken education information delivery to a new level. Every aspect has been threaded to “Online”. Today, be it the communication of simple historic information or complex engineering concepts, has travelled seamlessly into the premise of an individual or to masses beyond institutional borders in real time. We are in times when any student can choose a teacher or multiple teachers for his or her understanding, in his or her time and space making education more deliberate, versatile, collaborative and unified. Plenty of website offer education using the online mode, for example swayam.gov.in and others like NPTEL, MOOCS, Edx, Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, Khan Academy, Skillshare, Futurelearn, Alison, OpenLearn, OxfordOpen, ePG Pathshala, Shodhganga, Open Knowledge repository World Bank, National Digital Library of India, to name a few with most of them offering free access around the globe in light of the corona epidemic.
Being Up to date and Functional
Technology helps keep your educational aspects organized and in an ever-ready mode for delivery or on demand situations. We have implemented a tailor-made software designed to monitor and help in creating, reviewing, assessing, delegating, storing and monitoring all aspects of education delivery and evaluation at both ends; students and faculty.
Technology integration has provided, Precision with Speed and Volume, this enables maximization to provide education for “mass with class”. While precision helps to fetch target students, speed enables quick and better learning experiences, and eventually the volume breaks the teacher/institutional ID barrier by simply dissolving them and accommodating individual student needs.
Due to constant technological development in terms of speed bandwidth and memory, cost and time effective solutions and strategies can be easily worked out. In lesser time more is accomplished and significant benefits easily achieved. Due to technological reach a wider geo spread can be easily accommodated. Distributed storage and shared memory concept can offer multiple benefits such as multiple reparations, absenteeism, updates, researching, and references anytime from any place in an efficient and cost-effective way.
Being in status quo; Alive and Live and Thrive
The prime purpose of a university is to produce, propagate, preserve and protect knowledge – the 4P’s. In digital mode a university marks its digital signature with the humble presence of the university/teacher website, and associated social media sites and other intellectual databases, like Open Knowledge Repository, Directory of open access journals and blogs, to name a few. The way the 4P’s operate, in the digital space is hinted as Production through AI and Bigdata, Propagate through the digital platforms, Preserve through open access journals and online digital repositories, and finally, Protect through acquisition of copyright digital licensees and patenting such as Government Patents websites. This way a university along with its constituent elements (tangible faculty/teachers and intangible intellectual materials etc) can stay live, alive and thrive making survival happen and endure.
Being – Open: Tailoring Solutions
Technology empowers the teacher/institution to provide tailor made solutions for consumption to individuals and groups and masses, in a simple way. Most software accommodates enough features and a suite for tailored solutions to students. A combination of digital automation technologies threaded with custom requirements can be synchronized for on demand applications.
Being Collaborative: mixed education
As it isn’t possible to accommodate all specialisms, specialists remain distributed worldwide. Collaboration is a great unification that delivers all under one umbrella, and digital technology fuses Spaces and TimeZones (we consider this statement for the purpose of simplicity and understanding). With this in place, technology enables us to collaborate with multiple partners spread across TIME by synchronization, and SPACE to deliver education to ALL. The modus vivendi of the digital mode is that it empowers us be continuously updated latest knowledge, skills, training, and combines multi- and trans-disciplinary knowledge for students and teachers. It offers a platform for shared databases and networking. It accommodates for absentia of faculty and specialists in high demand areas – a growing problem in the education space due to the unprecedented pace of technological advancements.
Being efficient effective spontaneous
Digital mode offers efficiency in terms of delivery, options, and authenticity, while in terms of effectiveness, individual students have the freedom to choose the level of learning. Most importantly, digital mode automation and application technology augments time management, in terms of delivery, synchronization of time schedules. It also minimizes efforts needed to deliver necessary content and feedback to students in order for them to better understand complex concepts and problems primarily due to availability of pull down (online – live or otherwise) high graphic contents and videos for demos, language translation softwares (spontaneous software agents driven), and instantaneous Q & A facility.All in all it facilitates compelling learning experiences like never before.
Technology helps the faculty and students to be secure in many ways, pertaining to attendance, intellectual resource availability, evaluation transparency and real time performance determination, course completion, problem solving, intellectual database repository, communication transactions, timely execution, and fair practices.
Being able to work remotely
Spatial freedom to giver (teacher / institution) and receiver (students), dissolves physical resource limitations (infrastructure and intellectual material). Technology offers an option to work from wherever (home, airports, bus stations, hotels etc.), co-work, teleconference, etc. using cloud and network technologies.