The world has woken up now to understanding and realizing the unique needs of each child. Traditional institutions are remodelling themselves into child-centric learning ecosystems, where each child will compete on against his/her own competitive best. When we think deeply about it, we realize that it makes sense. Each child has her own manner of learning, his own pace of evolving, her own style of grasping. It is great then that traditional learning is waking up to realise the necessity of personalisation in education.
However, a cursory glance at the classrooms will reveal the near impossibility of credible personalisation owing to lack of quality teaching resources, adverse teacher-student ratios and the pressure of syllabus completion and high scores. This is where technology can enter and provide respite.
In a classroom full of students, a teacher can have an intuitive sense of how much is being understood. This understanding can further be quantified through test and scores. This methodology, however, is not comprehensive. The way technology solves this problem is by creating a platform through which students can study, submit assignments and undergo tests, which are then detailed into reports and trends using the power of data analytics. These detailed reports are there to be understood either by students on their personal devices, or to be used by teachers and parents for informed interventions.
The child of today also is technologically savvy, and here is an opportunity to use this characteristic for furthering the cause of education. Smartphone devices forever carried along with the user are an able tool for flexible learning, based on the child’s own schedules, pace, and space. When modules are a click away, even free time can become a chance for learning. Also, who knows if a child can follow the speed of teaching in the class. On his own learning device, however, he can slow-down, rewind, revisit, or even pace ahead. Personalisation, again, emphasizes its importance here.
You cannot leave the student of today bored. Their brains need stimulation, challenge, and engagement – again an area where technology can intervene. Sensory stimulation through rich graphics and audio, along with gamification of learning experience help. Also, students at all age groups cannot be served the same platter. Education needs to evolve and adapt along with age-groups, understanding what all needs to be embedded within the text for a holistic learning experience. For example, cognitive skills at an early age, and a higher focus on critical thinking in the middle and later years of schooling.
Personalisation of the learning process lends more autonomy to students. It helps them become able, independent and even responsible learners. Better absorption and retention, along with a lifelong love for learning are other aims we are keeping in mind while creating custom learning solutions, whether for institutions or individuals.
Suffice to say then, personalisation is not just the need of the hour, but the hope of the future. This is what our students need. This is what our students deserve.
By Atul Kulshrestha
CMD, Extramarks Education