Technology has brought a philosophical shift in the field of education, says Varun Saxena, Founder, CEO, Career Anna
August 30 2018: Traditional Education has taken a back seat today and technology has become an enabler. As we move towards 2022 when Online Education is expected to become a $40 billion market in India, classroom education in itself will not suffice the career oriented educational needs. The advent of new technology has even led to traditional educators modify their psychology and approach for teaching methods to make them more suitable to the current generation’s needs or give way to the modern crop of educators, who have accepted technology to be their ally and are using it to benefit both the student as well increase their own returns.
Demand for customized education has led to better and more innovative teaching methods and the access to internet with pull based content creation approach have created a philosophical shift in teaching methods and completely remodeled the traditional classroom.
It’s evident that with the influx of new technology, the traditional methods of education will be revamped. In order to understand this tectonic shift in a more objective way, let’s understand how the advancement in Technology will bring in an unprecedented change in the field of education.
Learning Models are becoming more personalized
Every student has a different ability to learn and with an easy access to Internet and free education materials, it becomes extremely important that educators are actually able to capitalize the need for customized learning methods for sections of students.
With schools getting more involved in developing the overall character of their students and works in MNCs becoming more time consuming, students at all levels have actually lost the will and time to sit in classrooms or to follow a fixed time table for every little thing. Even food gets delivered to you, at your door step at any point of the day, so it is only fair that students expect the same in education.
The penetration of Internet, Laptops and Smart Phones is a blessing for educators in this regard. Furthermore, ability to design Online Learning Platforms which offer smooth experience to students even at low internet speeds has been an icing on the cake. For Instance, Career Anna, India’s largest curated learning platform, has students even from the remote areas of Kashmir, Alleppey, Manali and Nagaland to name a few. Such courses and opportunities have been psychologically encouraging for youth and has carved out a new way to learn and grow.
Customer Engagement is on all-time high: You don’t engage, you don’t survive
The traditional Education Method was largely focused on making the students learn everything to make them skilled workers but now this has shifted to ensure that the students are taught to learn basis what they want to learn. This philosophical shift in the ultimate aim of education is the result of increased customer engagement on a one to one basis with the educator. Now, students can interact on a one to one basis with their trainers and educators like never before.
The rise of Google Plus, Youtube Channels and other free sources of learning on the internet are a huge enabler for the students in this, learning on their own process. Once you teach a student how he can teach himself without assistance, he or she can train himself with any skill required.
Also, in many developed countries tablets and even Smartphone’s are used by students in high school and college as an aid to study. Textbooks on a wide range of disciplines are available for purchase in digital format and are frequently used by student to study. Many textbooks in digital format are also available for use by working professionals eager to enhance or to learn new skills. Such textbooks allow users to master subjects such as accounting or statistics and even a programming language such as Python or a web application developed tool like AngularJS.
The increasing demand of skill up courses in professional, through online methods, where they use self-paced, non-classroom methods to train themselves in industry relevant skills is a huge testament to this fact.
Educators are still the most important link in the chain
The increasing importance of technology does not in any way means that the role of teachers or educators has become obsolete. Rather it has now become more Important. Technology acts as a better enabler which caters to the shift in the consumer behavior in the education sector, but the key decision-making element is still the content. The availability of free access to content is just an indication that the teachers/educators now need to work harder and create user-specific and up-to-date content.
Although Artificial Intelligence is also being used to act as instructors in some areas, for example, US Navy has used AI programs to educate its entry level IT Professionals. But even if AI develops as a medium of instruction, even it will need skilled educators to program them, so the role of educators with this philosophical shift has become all the more pivotal and crucial.
It’s a win-win for all: educators and students
It is not that the need for personalization or increased customer engagement is a pain to the educators. Rather this philosophical shift kicked in by technology, is a boon even for the educators.
How? Well, for starters, the cost of course creation and distribution has reduced drastically. It is usually a one-time cost with changes kicking in only when the content needs to be updated. The only place where the cost or where the attention, from the educator’s end has improved, is the need to maintain interpersonal relationships, bringing more skilled and thoughtful educators and better technological interface. But, even then the ROI of educators is now on a rise. Even working professionals and industry experts, with a knack for teaching, are now designing courses and hosting them on these new education portals. They are now fulfilling their longtime dream of contributing to the field of education, without giving up the comforts of their jobs, earning additional revenue and in turn imparting valuable industry knowledge to the students.
For Instance, Career Anna has a good mix of professional educators and Industry Experts who host their courses on their platform and in turn receive up to 40% revenue share and that too with no daily effort.
Students also reap the benefits as more and more self-paced courses on industry-based skills have come up and owing to the lower costs the course fees have seen a major reduction. For Instance, the average cost of both Test-Prep and Skill Up Courses, at an average are around Rs 8000.
Role of Industry has to be appreciated as well
No education system in a country like India can survive without the endorsement of industry, which further translates to job opportunities and better living standards.
It is highly encouraging to see how the Indian Industry has recognized this paradigm philosophical shift in learning. Not only has industry started to partner with Online Learning Platforms to create and deliver content, but has also started to collaborate and partner with platforms like Career Anna and Udacityto absorb the learners on these platforms for fulfilling their requirement for upskilled professionals for the high growth career paths.
The final role of technology is yet to be decided
Technology, is bringing in a philosophical shift, true but it is not the silver bullet. It’s role in the field of education cannot be ignored but It will yield long term returns only when it is coupled with the needs of the customer, strengthened with valuable customer relationships and meaningful customer engagement.
How educators use this shift in their own favor, by ensuring it enhances the quality of education delivered, in the long term, is yet to be seen but one thing that cannot be ignored is, Technology has Indeed brought a philosophical shift in the field of education and this is just the beginning.
Founded in 2014, Career Anna is the largest curated learning platform in India.