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Can Hybrid Learning Models That Leverage EdTech Make Students Independent Learners? Enough has been said about what blending technology in classrooms can do: it brings content closer, knowledge closer and makes classrooms dynamic

By Pankaj Agarwal

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Every decade or so, the education system goes through a reformation. Sometimes, central boards make the decision to change the curriculum and introduce new subjects, other times, they remove redundant topics from the syllabus, or they change examination patterns and scoring systems, and in the most extreme cases of reformation, they introduce a radical change in education policy.

Anybody who has studied in India and gone through a CBSE/NCERT method can testify that they have lived through three out of four of these experiences. However, a year or so ago, present generation learners were given the opportunity to experience a complete shift in focus where education is concerned with the introduction of the National Education Policy. Though it was introduced at a time when the world was reeling under a paradigm, we must not confuse the NEP as a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic. A lot of time, research and professional authority went into the creation of this education policy, which for the first time ever in the history of Indian academics, spoke about how vital it is to adopt technology in the education sector.

Enough has been said about what blending technology in classrooms can do: it brings content closer, knowledge closer and makes classrooms dynamic. Let us explore one crucial detail that does not get enough attention; hybrid learning makes learners truly independent.

In earlier times, classroom instructions were instructional alone. Teachers taught, students took notes and everybody operated on the assumption that this process was enough. However, with the introduction of hybrid learning models, students have started taking the initiative to lead conversations surrounding their education. It is reported that over 67 per cent of students in the private education space have signed up on one learning platform that is outside their school curriculum. This means that they are taking matters into their own hands and using their school time as revision.

They come to school prepared to engage in conversations with their teachers, model discussions about various topics and use school time and resources to clear doubts and strengthen their foundations. A truly evolved education system is one where teachers facilitate learning interests in students and cultivate their thirst for knowledge. Hybrid learning models have helped teachers attain that in India and more and more students are intrinsically motivated to learn more.

Thanks to the edtech platform implementing the hybrid learning model has become seamless for the teachers. Edtech tools like digital textbooks, assessment applications, learning management systems, etc. have increased the availability of learning resources that are compatible with the student's caliber. These solutions have provided the students to gain knowledge at their own pace clubbed with the kind of learning method that suits them.

The hybrid learning model has helped create an inclusive learning environment. This has proven to be helpful especially during the online learning situation. It has made the new kind of schooling more adaptable, easy and interactive.

What curriculum restricts in content, hybrid learning models make up for it by giving students a myriad of options to learn from. Education is an experience and students must leverage the thrill of it. Where traditional classrooms restrict, hybrid learning models open up. Now that students have those options and opportunities, they do not have to rely on their time in school alone for accomplishing all their educational goals.

There is no doubt that the near future of education will include hybrid learning and will soon become a standard way of conducting classes. Many institutions are creating their return to school plans incorporating the hybrid learning model. Providing the parents and students the flexibility to choose based on their needs and interests. Another reason why educational institutions are adopting hybrid learning is because it is a fairly inexpensive and accommodating option.

Through Hybrid learning, students are able to access global resources that align with their interests and level of knowledge. Seamless assessment is another wonder that the hybrid learning and edtech solutions have provided. From teachers to parents as well as the students can track their progress, understand their weak spots and improve areas. Clear feedback and monitoring motivate the students to become independent learners.

Every student regardless of their age learns in a different way and adapts to a different teaching method. Edtech solutions have provided this very advantage to today's education fraternity. With heavy integration of hybrid model and edtech, the education system is set to become more interactive, responsible, enjoyable and transparent.

So to answer the question in the headline, truly, hybrid learning models that leverage technology can definitely make students independent learners. It will do so by also providing healthy competition in classrooms and making the learning process a shared experience for everybody involved!

Pankaj Agarwal

Founder & CEO, Taghive

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