Dr. Shauli Mukherjee, Director – School of Education & Dean – Students Affairs, Adamas University, Kolkata
The present world that we inhabit is undoubtedly a VUCA world – a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world where we are faced with complex and unprecedented challenges quite frequently. These unusual circumstances, accelerated by the global pandemic have caused major disruptions in almost all sectors including Education as well, as the four essential VUCA components of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity intersect with each other in chaotic as well as conflicting manner. We cannot deny the essential fact that the Pandemic had actually caused major disruptions to our traditional thought patterns concerning education and on the brighter side, had actually propelled us to think and act out of the box and accept reasonable flexibility and adaptability and work out innovative strategies to poignantly address the emerging complexities concerning the sphere of education.
It is quite pertinent to understand and acknowledge the essential fact that we are definitely not going to get back to our traditional form of education in the post pandemic era. Education, in the broad sense of the term, is surely going to be re-defined and re-imagined in terms of a seemingly perfect and well-thought out blend of physical and digital, which I would like to term as the PHYGITAL mode of education.
This re-imagined mode of education would open new vistas of possibilities and opportunities for both the educators as well as the learners. The learners would evolve into self-motivated and self- directed learners possessing increased ownership and responsibility of their own learning. In fact, if we want to raise a generation of dynamic and creative problem solvers who are confidently equipped to address the emerging global complexities of an ever- changing workforce, we have to give the learners the complete independence of anytime and anywhere learning – a thoughtfully and well-crafted blend of synchronous and asynchronous modes of learning, which can only be a viable reality once we, as responsible educators wholeheartedly facilitate a technology and ICT integrated teaching learning ecosystem.
There can be no doubt that in the re-imagined scenario of education, the young learners must have both choice as well as voice to decide what, where and how they would want to learn. The focus will be more on learning how to learn. They would have the freedom to study and complete their assignments from anywhere and at any time that would better suit their availability and schedule. They would be able to access their assignments, watch teacher presentations, join student discussions, interactions, quizzes and other activities, conduct surveys and research and receive timely and personalized feedback. With the help of an enhanced and sophisticated virtual interface, the learners will be able to effectively collaborate with the other learners from any part of the world. This would open up excellent opportunities to collaboratively work on group projects and connect with geographically distant student community at various levels of the learning process. Their insights into other cultures, attitudes and problem solving approaches would definitely inform our learners’ approaches to problems and opportunities.
This is going to be the future of Education – a happy, productive, creative and personalized learning experience for our young learners which would help them to evolve into their highest, truest and best versions of themselves. Let us not hold ourselves back anymore and resist the favourable change in the domain of education and learning which had been long overdue. Rather, let us all come together in order to make it a viable reality for our present as well as future generation.