With over a billion population bundled with diverse needs, somehow technology has managed to be a common connector mediating differences and bringing India on one platform together. Ever since the internet boom happened in the early 2000s the number of people coming online has only been increasing, because of the sheer fact that- ‘Technology is the future.’ As people found their voice, they started sharing their opinion, their thoughts and ideas, which paved a path for technology to become a medium for learning. The development of technology in its present state started by providing unorganized information online into websites with content methodically arranged content, which then saw several iterations and improvements. Let us look at some of the ways technology is changing the way India learns:
From being a prized resource for a few, technology is now available to every smartphone user in India, which amounts to 300 million people. This is only expected to grow even more. With the potential that the Indian market offers, technology can aid in reaching out to several million who don’t have access to education and schools. E-learning or m-learning are concepts that have only come into existence in the last ten years with the development of websites to mobile Apps. As Indian telecom companies offer cheap data plans, technology is able to reach the rural parts of India where other infrastructures don’t exist, because handing over a smartphone is easier than building a school or a college.
As technology enables communication and networking, ideas and thoughts are exchanged. This helps in educating, developing opinions that enable learning. Today, learning is not limited by geography. An IAS aspirant sitting in a small village in Odisha can learn from the top IAS coaching institutes in Delhi since they offer online or live classroom sessions where students can interact with their peers and ask their faculty their doubts. They have access to potentially all the newspapers published which is essential to the IAS preparation in the form of apps.
#3 Making learning engaging and fun
As educators recognized that classroom and test-based learning does not work for everyone, it opened up a path for digital learning to develop. For students who learn by doing (kinesthetic), artificial intelligence and robotics give them an opportunity to enjoy while learning. For students who learn by looking at charts, diagrams, etc (visual), learning apps and websites are able to present the same information in an interesting manner, which looks visually appealing and easy to understand. For students who learn by listening (auditory), they see merit in listening to someone explain what is written in the book rather than reading them.
As technology brings the world closer, it opens opportunities to learn and work with each other. Distances don’t matter anymore with technology acting as the mediator between individuals. As technology developed, markets where the cost of labor was very expensive, saw merit in setting up offices and companies in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Jakarta, etc, where resources could be hired at a fraction of the cost. This saved millions of dollars along with creating billions of job opportunities across the world. The e-learning market developed much later than this, as Indian schools and colleges were slightly hesitant to adopt technology and give up the traditional way of learning and teaching. But now, students in one country can study and work on assignments and projects with anyone across the world. This in brings peer learning opportunities.
#5 Free Education
With abundant information available online, students today turn to their smartphones or computers before they step into a library. Technology enables this to happen. For children and adults who don’t get a chance to go to school, with the help of technology, they are able to learn through videos, audio and text messages for free. This helps in skill development rather than encouraging rote learning, which makes students and adults job ready.
The learning that technology aids today is still at its nascent stage, and will grow to become a platform that will finally see India grow to a country with 100% literacy. That is the hope that we can work towards and dream for!
ABOUT ANISH PASSI
Anish Passi is the Director at Neostencil which is a unique platform for Test Preparation where you can access live classrooms of the best teachers in India, from the comfort of your home. He is an Engineer from McMaster University, Canada and an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad. He previously founded Testcafe and has extensive experience in the Education industry.