Published: 27th June 2021
Insight Edge: What has COVID-19 done to education and technology?
As per a recent research, not more than 10 per cent of Indian teachers had ever used technology in their teaching before COVID-19
COVID-19 has been able to accomplish something that several previous efforts could not do — bring innovation in education. We are in the midst of a worldwide experiment; while digital technologies, with their promise, have been in place for many decades, change has been slow to come. COVID-19 converted this completely physical delivery system to online. This transformation received further fillip through the National Education Policy 2020 which necessitates the inclusion of training in artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and programming in existing school curriculum to help children develop crucial 21st-century skills like logical reasoning, analytical thinking, scientific outlook, computational logic and evidencebased thinking.
With the ongoing pace of the changes, it is clear that by the time the crisis sees its dawn, our education system globally would be affected in deep enough ways that it will be impossible to revert to the earlier ways of education. As per a recent research, not more than 10% of Indian teachers had ever used technology in their teaching before COVID-19. Although students have been demonstrating their affinity towards tech platforms, the pandemic moved large masses of teachers and schools to using technology. This technology-enabled education shall also give flipped learning a chance.
This new pedagogical approach moves education to a blended learner-centric model in which the learner is introduced to new concepts outside the classroom through videobased lessons (or other means) and the classroom is used to engage deeper with the topics. Most Indian schools have already started the move and this is a trend that is here to stay. The behavioural shift of the young minds towards the ever growing gig economy is making a case for EdTech platforms that can provide on-demand, just-in-time learning and skill upgrade to this class of workers; several EdTech platforms have reported an exponential jump of their subscriber base in recent times.
The emergence of the ‘gig’ economy thrives on the temporary, job-based and shortterm nature of the employment contract between the employer and the employee. Hence, the future shall see an increasing partnership between the EdTech players and the gig economy aspirants to fill up the skills gap. Education, in the future, will be a new life form that is always on, online, onsite, on-the-job, modular, flexible, multimodal, gamified, crowd-sourced, affordable and accessible.
Technology-enabled education was always the solution that could break the difficult trinity between cost, quality and scale — we shall witness a positive momentum in faster tech adoption in education. Institutions will need to lean on technology for support while they invest in providing the best-in-class learning experience to their students — we shall finally have an education system that will allow equal and excellent to not only co-exist but thrive.