How Edtech Solutions are Building a Productive Digital Space for Millennials E-learning has done away with useless frames and given students the ability to learn anywhere, anytime

By Beas Dev Ralhan

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The 21st-century learners are characterised by their inherent thirst for knowledge that goes beyond the linear search of information, their preference of choice and individualism over one-size-fits-all trends, and their expertise in tech tools and social networking via various forms of digital media. On the other hand, the 21st-century teacher may be one who is concerned about quality but lacks the resources and skills necessary to ensure that the learners' potential is not wasted. Edtech solutions are bridging the gaps in the teaching-learning ecosystem by transforming the essential elements of the education space. Let us see how.

Breaking the Traditional Frames of Learning

Traditional models of education dictate the frames of learning such as time and place; for instance, the majority of academic activities happen in the brick-and-mortar confines of a school within 8-10 hours of a day. E-learning has done away with such frames and given students the ability to learn anywhere, anytime. Similarly, while books were once the chief source of learning, aiding only the visual learners, the edtech sector has helped in bringing multimedia content, including immersive experiences such as augmented and virtual realities to cater for all kinds of learners.

Most of all, such tools challenge the passive one-way lecture-mode learning, helping learners be more active in their learning with hands-on learning, flipped learning and peer interaction. Now teachers are facilitators of their students' learning, monitoring their individual performances and helping them with personalised feedback/recommendations.

Doing and Understanding: The Real-world Connection

Edtech tools help students learn better by providing the platform to solve real-life problems with ease, which hones their understanding of the world around them and helps them develop skills necessary to navigate through their lives. For instance, robotics help youngsters develop their STEM skills, and in the process, aid their understanding of the existing problems in the world around them. Similarly, collaborative digital spaces are being utilised in a constructive manner to drive discussion and action with respect to real-world situations. Game-based learning also helps in a deeper understanding of situations in a simulated environment with the help of creative games such as Minecraft.

Innovative Methods of Assessments

For education to meet the requirements of the students, it is necessary for the instructor to know precisely where the individual learner stands at the beginning of the academic course and to measure the gaps through the course of learning. Assessment is the best method to carry this out. Unfortunately, traditional tests do not give an accurate picture of what the learners know or don't know, and what kind of instructions the students need to learn new concepts.

Artificial intelligence, one of technology's greatest boons, has helped shape adaptive tests to quantify the proficiency or knowledge level of the examinee accurately. These tests adapt to the abilities of the learners and act as a morale booster, since the chances of discouragement or boredom are reduced.

Gamified assessments are also an innovative way to assessments, so that fear of tests are eliminated. Gamified assessments will capture learners' attention, provide simulated situations to train them in handling real-life scenarios and help them retain information better. Questionnaires can be prepared in a Kaun Banega Crorepati (How To Be A Millionaire) style, or in crossword-puzzle mode, or based on motifs of common games, such as Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman and Find-Your-Way so that students enjoy the process of assessments.

Promoting Personalised and Self-learning Styles

The viewpoint of learning has changed from teacher-centred to learner-centred, and therefore "personalisation' and "self help' are the buzzwords in today's education scenario. The factory method of learning does not help most students and hinders their potential by trying to fit all students in a single mould. Personalised learning is powered by adaptive learning technology, which helps the individual student understand his or her skill level, and suggests the most suitable course of study. A lot of self-learning solutions are also available which can help students and teachers upskill themselves as per individual requirement. This has bolstered distance learning through popular platforms.

Education technology has, therefore, undoubtedly helped the millennials gain a productive, adaptable learning environment in the digital space that caters for multiple kinds of learners in multiple ways. We need governmental policies to work towards the integration of such tools in an organised and all-encompassing manner so that such a space can become much more productive than it is today.

Beas Dev Ralhan

Co-Founder & CEO - Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.

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