Published: 20th September 2017
Pearson India's Tech-learn programme might add digital vibe to your classrooms
MyPedia is Pearson India’s latest fully-integrated learning programme. Let's find out from the MD about the programme and what to expect from Pearson in the future
In an age where technology is the next big thing, Pearson India, the world's leading learning company, is bringing a digital vibe to classrooms to enhance and help make learning fun again.
MyPedia promises measurable improvement in cognitive skills of the learner, and integrates all learning and teaching tools. It comprises of teaching plans which bring together the coursebook, workbook, videos and assessments. We caught up with Vikas Singh, MD, Pearson India to find out more. Excerpts:
What was the motivation behind MyPedia?
Using technology in the classroom gives teachers and other faculties the opportunity to develop their students’ digital citizenship skills. Integrating technology in education helps them stay engaged. With many youngsters being tech-savvy, it only seems logical to align today's classrooms with what students want and the way they are used to learning. To bridge the gap between teachers, students and parents, Pearson India along with its group of academicians and technology experts launched MyPedia, a one-of-a-kind integrated learning tool for classes I to V. MyPedia is the country's only fully-integrated learning programme that promises measurable improvement and integrates learning and teaching tools in a well-designed manner.
India is very big on ancillary textbook education. By bringing in digital content, is the relevance of the teacher going to diminish?
The teacher is an integral partner in this entire process. I recently spent time in classrooms that were using some of Pearson's digital products, MyPedia being a critical one. It was nice to see the way the teacher was leveraging the content and engaging with the students. And it was so nice to see the students actually responding and answering. The teacher is a critical part of the journey. However, constant upscaling is the need of the hour in a fast-changing world. That will have to be done in balance. It can't be done without the teacher unless you're doing an online programme.
We set ourselves on simple yardsticks in terms of measure. Preferably, 70 per cent of the conversation should be students speaking and not the teacher. Otherwise, what happens is a one-way process and that's how the entire concept of rote learning starts taking root
Vikas Singh, Managing Director of Pearson India
How student-oriented is your content?
I think the concept of efficacy is extremely important and whatever we do, we should be able to measure the impact. The difference in education is that measurability is not easy because we know that every student is unique. So how do you measure the impact that you can bring in? That process is underway but we need to extend and strengthen it to all our segments. Globally, we at Pearson would like to position ourselves as the Netflix of education because learners differ in terms of how they receive content. Some rely on the visual while some rely on the sound, and it has a limited impact. We are also looking at bringing artificial intelligence into our digital products.
What are your plans for the expansion and growth of Pearson?
Pearson has a formidable presence across all segments of education. We are looking at the next generation of courseware and products coming in, which will help fuel further growth for the company. Digital courseware will be one big step moving forward. The second is getting into distance education and we are partnering with the best in the world to bring it back to India. Some of them are giving us content relevant to the Indian context which we then customise to suit the needs of the Indian market. The third is strengthening people’s English language.
Three things Pearson focuses on is to bring artificial intelligence into their digital products to make them more impactful, Bringing in digital courseware for the next generation, Creating an impactful and sustainable reach
You do a lot of coursework and content management for State, CBSE and ICSE schools. Any reach to rural schools?
The challenge in India is in terms of the infrastructure and network infrastructure, which is the balance between the so-called opportunity and challenge in the Indian context. So until we are able to address that gap, it is difficult to be out there in an impactful way. We would rather focus on where we can have maximum impact so that it would be sustainable in the process.
Since you work with many schools across the country, are you modifying your content in regional languages?
We mostly engage with the school and if they request input in any particular domain we partner with them and try to provide that. It is, however, done at the micro level depending on the need and how best we can address it.