Can digital technology reinvent education ?, IT News, ET CIO


By Dhrumil Dhakan

Traditional notions of education have changed dramatically over the past 18 months or so, with the switch between distance / blended learning and in-person learning. Schools and institutes across the country are considering how to improve equity, inclusiveness, accessibility and engagement as we see the pandemic emerge.

One of the challenges faced by many students during the pandemic has been inaccessibility, which begs the question of how to make education equitable for all students across the world? During a recent panel discussion on Reimagining Education: Making it Fair, Equitable in a VUCA World, experts gave us insight into the issue.

With schools and colleges opening at a cautious pace across the country, Major Harsh Kumar, secretary of the National Council for Educational Research and Training stressed the importance of a blended learning mode that takes into consideration, caution in difficult times and also student interaction. with colleagues who were largely restricted during the pandemic.

Going forward, Gary J. Sorrentino, Global Deputy CIO, Zoom believes that the education system must take into account its ability to recruit students. He said: ‘Because, I think, one of the things that the pandemic has shown us is that there are other ways to learn and so as we go through this pandemic, we have each other. open, just like remote workers, remote students have understood how they want to learn? Where do they want to learn? And even in some cases when they want to learn?

Sorrentino reiterated that institutes, like businesses, need to transform as fashions previously seen as secondary or even inferior are now accepted, crediting the prospect of Millennial and Gen Z technology.

“I think right now, educational institutions need to start re-evaluating the way they teach classes, not only converting the lesson into a virtual class, but changing it so that the new paths students want to take. be able to teach. them in this way, and just like all businesses, educational institutions, we have to get out of our comfort zone, ”Sorrentino said.

While commending the efforts of institutions and teachers to keep up with technology during the pandemic, Major Kumar acknowledged the challenge of reaching every student attending lectures and how NCERT offers solutions such as informative videos and channels. separated from class 1 to 12 free of charge. to the air to make it more accessible.

Nonetheless, he stressed the importance of face-to-face studies in the age of technology, stating that technology should not take over, in order to enable creative thinking and socialization. Developing further, Kumar says, “Ultimately, the goal of education is to become a good human being. Like I said, this technology is about empowering us and not controlling us, it’s just a way and a way to understand and do things. ”

While agreeing on this point, that online education cannot recreate the impact of a classroom, Sorrentino replied: “For the learning experience, the classroom experience, I think we’re going to see tech in AR and VR. We’re just getting started in this area to bring them into the classroom, you start to figure out how to do things like the whiteboard in alternate reality where I can actually be at the classroom screen and I write on the board in as an avatar. “

He made sure that with the help of these tools and others like ML and AI, the distance learning gap can be bridged and figured out how to make the courses more immersive and egalitarian. “But I think we’re seeing AI come into play, and that’s where it comes in, in taking notes, some of those tasks where even companies are considering saying, ‘How do you make employees productive? ? How to make students productive? & How do we make sure we give them the technology to make the experience better than the classroom, for traditional learning.

Sorrentino insisted that in order to break the barrier between the two groups, one who believes technology will create a more immersive experience and one who believes not, there has to be constant experimentation and innovation.

“We have to keep testing it, we have to keep challenging the technology, I think, we have to do something different, it’s not just about the technology, I agree with Major, it’s about also to take technology and teach instructors and students, teaching them how to learn in a different way, not only giving them the tools, but showing them how to use those tools, so that it amplifies a learning experience. immersive learning.


Sam D. Gomez