A little stroll down the memory lane inevitably lands one in school days – that wonderful time of fun, friends and life-altering learnings. When the pleasant sense of nostalgia subsides, one can see how long the teaching-learning ecosystem has travelled, evolving at a rapid pace especially in the past few years. The rapid transformation of the past few years has been led by changes in technology and pedagogy, based upon a deeper understanding of a child’s psyche, learning styles and needs. Classrooms are now re-designed with digitization, visual learning aids and a change in approach towards a more practical, experiential and application-oriented pedagogy has taken place. Above all, institutions are laying more stress on holistic development, unlike the case some decades ago, where academic excellence, that too biased towards the Sciences and Math, was the norm, leading to a stunted learning curve.
Classroom teaching had its charm but suffered many ills. The focus was on scoring high; whether a concept had been deeply understood or not. There was no context or real-life application stressed in the class. Theory overruled practical study, the latter forming a small part of the evaluation mechanism. Also, each subject was being taught in a silo.
To fill these many gaps, the passionate educators remained on task to evolve newer, child-centric systems of learning. Other than them, technology enthusiasts entered the research party to evaluate how the new-age tools may be employed to make studies more relevant, real, decomplexified and fun.
Today’s students demand a lot, and as educators and mentors, we are duty-bound to cater to their fast-changing needs and surroundings. The child needs to be prepared for all kinds of life situations, as well as be groomed into a conscientious citizen of tomorrow. This will be possible only if we teach critical thinking and creativity with as much passion as we teach math and science. And then how do we ensure students across the country gain access to uniform, quality resources – by getting technology to intervene again and harnessing the power of internet connectivity.
The generation today also requires stimulating environments of study, with innovative ways to grasp different subjects. Learning needs to be engrossing, not staid like the earlier time. If a child is bored owing to the dull delivery of concepts, they are least likely to benefit from education. Learning needs to be made lively and fun! Visual aids in learning are indispensable today. In fact, visuals are now not just a supporting tool for textual learning, but they are spearheading the teaching-learning process making use of AR, VR along with gamified pedagogy.
The digital aspect of learning has also been harnessed to plug gaps of delivery and ensure continuity of learning from home to school. At Extramarks itself, we couldn’t purely remain technology evangelists till we also came up with a robust pedagogy. Thereafter, having been products of the education system we were trying to help evolve, it wasn’t difficult to weed out the problems.
Yesteryears brilliance was depicted through books, but, the present generation’s brilliance is depicted through their ability on how well they use technology. These students are self-sufficient, finding their own way through web-based tools. Giving them a personalized experience of study, suited to their personalities, inclinations and styles of learning is what we have successfully attempted at Extramarks. Any potential cause which hampers the experience of learning can be banished, thanks to technology – the great equalizer of our times. This is so different from the yesteryears, where you were stuck in the system you were given. However, pacing ahead with the times, I am excited to observe how does the digital landscape of learning evolve further.