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Role Of Technology In The K-12 Segment

Purnendra Kishore, Group CEO & Mentor, Edfora Infotech

Edfora brings an open knowledge tree engine to address the learning needs of various global curricula. The company’s vision is to democratize learning and teaching by empowering and fostering sharing of the content and bringing free education to the world.

Meet Aryan, a kid studying in the 3rd grade. In his classroom, he learns basic geometrical shapes on a projector via interactive videos. After class, his teacher shares assignments on email and Aryan’s parents receive regular updates on WhatsApp. After a hectic day at school, Aryan spends his evenings learning to play piano on YouTube. At night, Aryan chats with his friends on Facebook using his father’s iPad boasting his latest Candy Crush scores.

Aryan’s lifestyle is resonated by millions of other kids - kids whose are infused with technology in every sphere of their lives! The technology bug is not just prevalent in metros and tier 1 cities, it is also spreading to tier 2, 3 and rural areas of the country.

While our childhood was spent playing gully cricket and kho-kho in backyards, the ‘Aryans’ of today have their hands full with smartphones, tablets and laptops. While the erstwhile generation ‘learnt' and ‘adapted’ to technology, for the today’s kids, technology is simply a part of daily life. But hold on! Are we using technology responsibly when it comes to educating our young minds? When and in which form should we introduce technology in education?

To understand responsible use of technology, we need to delve into the science behind educating young minds.

1. The first and most rudimentary level is Textual Aids. Imagining colors, shapes and objects after reading a simple text forms the basis of a child’s imagination.

2. After learning with the help of text (letters and words), further enhancement of child’s imagination should be done by comprehending Photos and Images.

3. Next level is Illustrations - continuous form of Pictures such as those in comic books that develop the ability to infer a story with a series of images, forms the third level.

4. Videos constitute the fourth form of visual aids.

5. The fifth level constitutes the three-dimensional Objects.

6. The latest entrant, and the sixth form of visual aid, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR), brings together a complete simulation of sights, sound and feel of the world around us.

These visualization aids, if not introduced in their logical sequence, can hamper the natural development of a child’s mind. For example, if Aryan began his learning journey with AR and VR, his imagination and comprehension of two dimensional or textual forms of learning would be severely limited.

Technology should be used to maximize the learning outcomes of children. To achieve this, it is crucial to empower and get every relevant stakeholder on the same page - teachers, parents and schools. For truly leveraging the power of technology in education, it is important to ask ourselves three crucial questions.

Ed-tech solutions that empower every stakeholder can be built only with deep understanding of the system by educationists and technologists

Have We Truly Empowered Our Teachers?
The role of technology would not be to replace teachers, but rather, to assist and empower them to teach their students better. Give them more insights. Our teachers would be truly empowered only when all the five points listed below are taken care of.

• A feedback mechanism to accurately gauge how many students understood a concept taught in class
• Ability to monitor and track students’ real-time progress in classwork and homework
• Complete independence from non-teaching activities such as attendance, report cards and analyzing student performance
• Relieving teachers of the responsibility of creating tests manually
• Engaging teachers with departmental heads and parents to keep relevant stakeholders aligned

Are Parents Actively Contributing In Their Child’s Learning Journey?
What if instead of the perfunctory - “How are things at school?” we ask our kids truly insightful questions? If you, as a parent, are aware that your child has finished only 2 out of his 5 assignments due tomorrow, you could help your child plan and organize studies better. This level of active contribution can be achieved only when all three pieces of the puzzle fall in place.

• Parents can view the academic journey of their child
• Easy access to real-time performance metrics - score, concept clarity, syllabus coverage
• Ability to track child’s progress towards their goal

Are Our Schools and Education Institutes Truly Empowered?
There are several areas in which technology can help schools and education institutes enhance their performance.

• Greater transparency and accountability across teachers, departmental heads and top management
• Conduct result-oriented and meaningful Parent Teacher Meetings. With both parents and teachers aware of a child’s progress, insightful, goal-oriented discussions would ensue.
• Instead of analyzing teacher performance annually by leveraging technology, institutes would be able to access the efficacy of their teachers on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, thereby sharply reducing the response time to take corrective actions.

Ed-Tech’s Promising Future
Ed-Tech solutions that empower every stakeholder can be built only with deep understanding of the system by educationists and technologists, working together with students and teachers over many years. myPAT, a leader in this space, has been working to empower all stakeholders in the education ecosystem and contribute to the overall development of a child.

With the help of cutting edge technology, myPAT aims to provide truly personalized solutions to students, parents, teachers, and schools. Apart from this, a highly specialized team of data scientists, technologists and educationists at myPAT have also been working on the use of breakthrough e-paper ink technology discussed earlier to help our young minds learn better, without hampering their health in any manner.

By working towards bringing technology in to the mainstream education, myPAT strives to help the ‘Aryans’ of the world learn better, ensuring future engineers are better engineers, doctors are better doctors and scientists are better scientists!

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