Live Learning is the New EdTech
Education sector is one such sector that has been redefined by the pandemic. It has forced millions of teachers out of the brick and mortar classrooms and into the digital landscape
Major world events have caused a drastic change in what is considered ‘normal’ for the place and time. A prime example of this would be women and World War 2. The war required many women to take up jobs that were earlier considered men’s. It made them realize that they could do all this and they could do it well. This realization caused a slow but certain shift in the role of women in the western society’s workplace.
Another major world event was the dawn of the new millennium and the Y2K bug: a magazine article published in ’93 that propelled the growth of India’s IT sector and redefined the role of Indians in Global IT companies. And while the Y2K bug might not seem like much in hindsight, it was what set in motion the rise of Indians in the sector. Today, Indians lead many major companies like Google, Alphabet, Microsoft, Adobe, etc.
Many are rightly of the view that the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest global event since the Second World War. And there is not a lot that goes against that assertion. It is certainly the cause of the biggest economic, technological and humanitarian up haul this generation has ever witnessed.
Education sector is one such sector that has been redefined by the pandemic. It has forced millions of teachers out of the brick and mortar classrooms and into the digital landscape.
EdTech before 2020 mostly worked with MOOCs and pre-recorded lectures. Live lessons were an add-on or perk associated with some. A student’s expectations from classroom teaching and online learning were different.
But with normal schooling and tuitions going online and live, teachers as well as students have been exposed to a new form of learning. And this form of learning brings together the best of EdTech and brick and mortar classrooms : Technology and the Human touch.
Why are Live Lessons gaining popularity?
With most schools and institutions shifting to online classes, students spend anything between 4 to 8 hours of their day on their computers. Had the norm been pre-recorded lectures, it would essentially be listening to someone drone on for hours with zero interactions.
Live Lessons on the other hand encourage student teacher interaction and increase engagement in the class. Teachers, with the years of skills that they have at hand, know when the students are losing interest and can get the class back on track. They can actively promote interaction and engagement, ensuring the students pay attention to the class. This will prevent the lectures from turning into a background buzz as is the case with pre-recorded lectures.
Another major perk of Live lessons is that the students get real-time doubt clearing and follow up with the teachers and makes the teachers a lot more accessible for the students. Live classes enable teachers to customize each session to tailor the needs of that particular group of students or the topic being taught. Additionally, it enables peer learning amongst the students and could provide a supportive and complementing ecosystem for learning.
Future of Live Learning in EdTech
With the dramatic decrease in the cost of mobile data over the past few years, the biggest disadvantage of online classes, that is the limited availability of bandwidth has been done away with. This makes the reach of EdTech and online education far greater than could have been thought possible earlier.
The current situation has forced the entire education sector to go online. The popularity of online learning was steadily increasing and EdTech was well on its way of becoming an integral part of the classroom and online teaching.
But this shift was brought in by suddenly throwing teachers, educators and EdTech companies into the digital Live Learning landscape. This has created a severe lack of know-how amongst the teachers and Educators who have negligible experience with Live learning and creating beautiful experiences for students Online. There is also a serious lack of training for teachers and educators in terms of Online tools and methodologies that could help them cater to all kinds of learners. The present times and the way students are learning right now is going to determine their expectations from Online Learning in general. With each passing day, Live lectures are becoming the norm for them.
So, even after the pandemic has subsided and schools resume, a generation worth of students have already started getting accustomed to this new way of online learning : Live Classes.
Now as the tables have turned, Live Classes are the standard expectations for the students with the pre-recorded lessons taking over as the add on or supplementary material. EdTech giants like BYJUs, Toppr, etc. have also moved into Live Classes for formal academic learning. If the numbers prove more engagement, which they will, these EdTech giants will continue with Live Classes well after the COVID crisis is done with. As Educators, EdTech stakeholders and Education enthusiasts, everyone needs to adapt to this change, and work towards equipping oneself with the right tools to make learning more exciting and interesting online and bridge the gap between Offline and online learning through effective hybrid models.