Blended Learning in the Limelight
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
-Benjamin Franklin .
Education in times of COVID has seen a remarkable transformation. From paper pen mode our students and teachers have moved to technology as the primary medium as per the demands of the current situation. But technology itself isn’t transformative, it’s the pedagogy that is transformative. There can be infinite uses of technology but if teachers do not make it work, it fails. One doesn’t work well without the active engagementof the other.
The high increment in the use of technology enabled education during the COVID crisis has got many thinking the way it may hinder the role or in fact the presence of a physical human teacher in academia. Such doubts capture the fear of the unknown and the uncertain future that lies before us. Will teachers become extinct? Are we moving ahead towards a teacher-less classroom? Is technology going to take away our traditional teaching/learning methods?
Amit’s blog has an answer to all the doubts that arise due to technology’s dominance in academia. Although, the rapid growth of technology has always made glimmering promises, as he tells, one of them being automation beyond imagination. The possibility of driverless cars was an unimaginable phenomenon until a certain time. Today, it is possible; but this idea too comes with a lot of concerns, one of them being the impact on jobs. Hence, it is true to say that automation brings a flicker of hesitation. The advent of technology has powered exponential growth but has always carried an uncertain fear. So, should we hold on to the older ways and limit the possibilities that may come with the progression made by technology? Or, Should we move ahead and unleash all that technology may bring and find modern solutions to modern problems? What’s the way out?
Imagine sitting in your hometown and studying from different universities across multiple continents simultaneously. Imagine having resources from across the globe on your personal device that too in a personalized manner. We are surely moving ahead towards having an access to globalised and high quality open education resources. With every teacher and student getting access to a device, the dreams of children will get bigger and the zeal to achieve those dreams will be a notch higher. Although, the internet penetration rate of India is less than 90% but in volume it is ahead of the total population of US and UK combined. Anybody, regardless of qualifications, can share knowledge online. Whether it’s through a virtual classroom, a designed course or even uploads on social media, the meaning of being a teacher could evolve every day. Future is uncertain and volatile but the outcomes seem extremely bright and positive when it comes to technology led education.
There was an impact of technology in education sphere even in the pre-COVID time. We had witnessed the emergence and immediate success of Indian ed-tech start-ups like Byju’s, one of the few Indian companies that had recorded 100 % growth in three consecutive years and a massive 200% growth in FY19 . The way we used to look at education has changed with time through gradual technological advancements. But COVID has accelerated the process and now the progress is multi-fold. Our physical classrooms have been transformed intovirtual classrooms overnight. These changes look fascinating as they have opened doors to unlimited opportunities with the support of technology and are welcomed by all. The students can now access resources and content from across the world through a Global Digital Library that has been made available for students across borders. Having access to such resources without an enrolment in a prestigious academic institution looked like a dream few months ago. From having online assessments to conducting virtual graduation ceremonies, a lot has been changed already. But the fear that too much of the technology might hinder a teacher’s role still persists. So, is the future just technology? Will the teacher’s cease to be a significant aspect of the overall education of a student? Can technology be a substitute for the interpersonal interactions by the physical human teacher? Or, the solution that we need is a blend of both technology and a physical human teacher?
Will the blended learning model become a primary way of moving ahead with skilling/education? Read this blog by Amit Aggarwal, CEO SSC NASSCOM, on what happens when technology interferes with our age old physically interactive teaching/learning models. This is a part of NASSCOM FutureSkills Perspective Series.
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