siliconindia's EduTech Webinar Throws Light on the Future of Technology in the World of Education
The world is passing through a rough phase, courtesy COVID-19. Education is one of the hardest hit sector, where schools, colleges and institutions are almost under lockdown. But as technology is empowering every sphere of the industry & economy, education is not left behind. Though technology in the space of education is not a new concept but the adoption has been at a light speed post the pandemic hit us. This sudden rise of the need to integrate tech in education system has left many educational institutes in a fix. siliconindia, always a key partner in providing the tech news or update, this time through its webinar ‘Building Tech-Friendly Education Sector’ discussed about the increasing use of technology in education sector, how to secure the internet and intranet, how to ensure leak-proof digital infrastructure and the way forward for the academia.
siliconindia webinar was graced by speakers including:
- Dr. Shanmugam, Director, Regional Services Division, IGNOU
- Dr. A M Rawani, Director, NIT Raipur(CG)
- Srinivas Garimella, Director Education, Microsoft India
- Prof. Madhu Veeraraghavan, Director & T.A.Pai Chair Professor of Finance, T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal.
Dr. Shanmugam highlighted, “Education is an important factor in the economic developed of the country. COVID-19 lockdown situation has made education sector to phase unprecedented challenge to take care of huge number of learners. In higher education particularly, there are more than 3.7 crore students attached with more than 50,000 institutions across the country and over 48,000 teachers. Technology is the only helping hand now to reach out to the students in the current times. This disruption in delivering of education is pushing policy makers to figure out how to drive through e-learning through their digital device. Open learning education system contributes nearly 20 percent of the total higher education enrollment, and IGNOU has an important role to play in open and distant learning”.
He also highlighted about the way IGNOU is integrating and adapting technology while training teachers in offering uninterrupted distance learning training programs.
Dr. Rawani divided the education sector into three parts – input (entrance exam, admission process, campus visit and more) transformation (teaching-learning including lab classes and internship) and output (carrier guidance, placement and others).
“Definitely technology will revolutionize the way teacher teaches and students learn. Pre-COVID-19 we were partially using technology to support some of these functions. As far as the journey of the students are concerned, technology can be used in the full extent and that is what the educational institutes are trying to achieve. For instance, as physical tour of campus is not possible during the current times, institutes can offer virtual tours through technology”.
He even mentioned that some institutes and corporates are offering virtual mode of internship allowing interns to work from home. However, he also put forth few concerns akin to why we are still at a nascent stage of technology adoption in the sphere of education, why the governing bodies have not made the MHRD supported online programs compulsory, inadequate digital infrastructure, tech-untrained manpower (academic professionals) and more.
“The lecture delivery online is not so impressive and engaging as physical lecture delivery and this is the reason that technology is not properly adopted. Hence it is important we develop certain tech-mechanism to make this transition more smooth, engaging and effective,” Dr. Rawani adds.
He also emphasizes that the improvement of the students’ knowledge remains questionable as in case of physical lectures, teachers can read a student’s face and know his level of understanding. The sole learning also results in less competitive attitude among students and peer-learning is missing too. “One problem still needs tech-experts attention. It is how to cut-off the unauthorized persons to enter the online classes,” he asserts.
“The online education market is growing rapidly, from $47 million we are almost heading to close to $2 billion. Indian are the second largest consumers of the MOOC. In my view it is the most positive disruption and is also now going to bring a shift in how education and training are imparted, and how students access courses,” Prof. Madhu mentioned.
Imparting education is no more a monolog but a two-way system, and the stakeholders need to learn this sooner even on the online learning platform. “We now have to re-look at our model for delivering education where mobility is seriously under threat and make adjustments to transitions into the new learning environment seamlessly. However, security is paramount to ensure the sustainability of this emerging model and hence important to mind the security gap,” he adds.
Srinivas highlighted the reasons for changing landscape in education, which are Industry 4.0, democratization of technology and changing workplaces. “There is a blur between the digital, physical and biological world. Everything is merging eliminating any difference between them. We are at such a time where we need to catch up with this phenomenon and adjust and see what is the innovation we can do. If we look at the future of work, no longer employees or workers are going to work in one company/job for say 45 years.
As we move along, in a career span of 40 years, the current students and the new workforce who will join may have 10 different jobs being performed by them. So they tend to have new skills to fit in such shift,” he mentioned. Apart from the core skills, companies will hunt for candidates having multi-skills akin to communication and having a transformative nature.
“The overall workplace is changing to social from working in silos. So students need to become lifelong learners to ensure they keep imbibing creative and transformative skills. Also the talent gap needs to be addressed and the need of the hour is to map the educational institutes with the industry. Hence the need for online learning becomes more relevant especially when students want to learn in their own speed and time,” Srinivas adds. He also mentioned that India is in the most advantageous position where despite having digital infrastructure related issues, online education is going to be a game changer.
Apart from this, administrative solutions like LMS, HR, campus management or even student management system and others will see a rise in demand. “Technology is one leveler that will play a crucial role in the days to come. How we adopt it, what we are going to do in our institution and how it is going to impact us depends on each institution. However, there are few potential threat and hence securing ourselves become pertinent.
The universities poses most sensitive information, most importantly the research work, and the IPs they generate, and hence they need to adapt every possible way to secure it. You need to have proper plan in place so identity and access control, and have proper policy for applications and data network is crucial,” he concludes.
The webinar also discusses about how the labs, innovation and learning will grow under the garb of technology and how institutes are preparing themselves to ensure students have seamless learning while also chiseling them to be job ready. It also discusses about the poor digital infrastructure and how to deal with it.