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Mobile Learning: The Future of Indian Education System Previously deemed as elements of distraction among students, these pocket-sized devices are now emerging as the 'Mecca of learning'

By Zishaan Hayath

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Until a decade ago, formal education in India meant brick-and-mortar classroom settings, where attending school, taking down notes, and giving exams were considered mandatory for students to attain qualifications. This formal set up of a traditional classroom atmosphere with a teacher scribbling down formulae on a blackboard and students religiously copying them down in their notebooks is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Technology May Change the Face of Indian Education

Technology is drastically altering the way students learn and acquire information. In time, it might potentially change the face of the Indian education by opening up a plethora of opportunities through which students can continue pursuing their goals, despite any geographical or monetary constraints.

From the rapid proliferation of free online resources to the extensive use of mobile devices that support their application, technology is constantly creating new opportunities for students, teachers and educational institutions. It is changing the manner in which we adopt new and improved ways of gaining and imparting knowledge. Hundreds of thousands of students who drop out, or give up on their higher studies due to various reasons, can now heave a sigh of relief. And smartphones are becoming a key medium in this regard.

The New "Mecca of Learning'

Technology, especially in the form of mobile learning has enabled them to learn whatever interests them from wherever they want to, regardless of all limitations. Previously deemed as elements that create distraction amongst students, these pocket-sized devices are now emerging as the "Mecca of learning'. While e-learning has existed for a while now, and students have been turning to learning via desktops and computers, it is mobile phones that are sparking a true revolution.

More Ed-tech Platforms are Embracing M-learning

Mobile learning has come out to be a more personalized, flexible, accessible and interactive version of e-learning. Several ed-tech platforms are embracing m-learning and reaching out to students by creating an adaptive approach with the help of big data and machine learning. They are tailoring the content for students, based on their skills and abilities. This is known as personalized learning. By giving students the individual attention they need, m-learning is significantly altering their learning habits.

With a goal-oriented approach, leading ed-tech platforms are empowering them to enhance their skill-sets to not only prepare for exams efficiently, but to sustain their own development. It also promises to keep them motivated throughout.

Moreover several working professionals, who were unable to continue their studies due to circumstantial difficulties, can now choose m-learning as a reliable platform to balance their studies with their jobs.

M-learning As the Next Big Revolutionary Model

The Internet and Mobile Association of India points out that 77% of urban users and 92% of rural users consider mobile as the primary device for accessing the internet.

This metric is largely driven by the availability and affordability of smartphones. While both rural and urban Indians are showing a spike in the internet user-base, mobile subscribers are crossing the 800 million mark. M-learning can definitely be touted as the next big revolutionary model in education. Ubiquitous, contextual, collaborative and personalized in its scope, more and more students will be able to gain access to quality education through it.

But while mobile technologies have been firmly entrenched in our everyday lives, providing immediate access to content on our fingertips, one thing they cannot replace is the role of a teacher in a student's life.

Technology can only enhance the way learning is conducted, reach out to more and more students and help them accomplish their education goals. However, the need of the hour is incorporating smart ways of m-learning in the existing education systems along with the help of smart pedagogies and reshaping educational spaces to support their evolution.

Zishaan Hayath

Founder, Toppr.com

I am building Toppr.com, India’s most advanced and comprehensive after-school learning app for classes 5th-12th with a vision to personalise learning. We are backed by SAIF, Helion and Fidelity.

Prior to this, I co-founded a phone commerce marketplace Chaupaati Bazaar in 2008. In 2010, Chaupaati Bazaar was acquired by India's largest retailer Future Group (NSE:FRL).

Earlier, I worked with Opera Solutions on strategy and operations consulting projects for Fortune 100 clients in North America, Europe and Asia. I was the first employee in Opera Solutions' India office. 

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