The K—12 education sector has undergone an overhaul in the last decade. Although, technology has made inroads into the sector with the promise of actively engaging students in the learning process, thereby, improving learning outcomes and reducing teachers’ repetitive tasks, its huge potential has not been fully realised yet.
Students need to have more agency in their learning process. Teachers are still largely the sole disseminators of knowledge. But with technology intervention, the scenario could undergo a huge transformation and the teacher would become more of a facilitator in the entire teaching-learning gamut.
The increasing role of technology
a. Online learning
Online Education in India: 2021’, a comprehensive report prepared by KPMG in India and Google points out that the online education market in India is slated to witness an eight-fold growth by 2021. There is already a rise in the number of e-learning companies offering classroom supplement solutions and solutions for competitive examinations. And the coming years will witness a further rise.
- Anytime, anywhere learning
This trend allows students to learn anytime from anywhere ensuring learning is no longer limited to the four walls of a classroom. Students can learn from the comforts of their home or while strolling in the park. This allows learners to explore their interests more. For instance, in the conventional scenario, a learner can approach the teacher only during school hours to clarify any doubts. However, many online learning platforms have doubt clarification sessions that allow students to clarify their doubts instantly.
Online learning opens the door for student collaboration. In a classroom, teachers are often pressed for time and there are not many opportunities for students to learn from one another. However, online learning platforms have a dedicated learning community where students can help each other learn. They can collaborate on projects, clarify each other’s doubts or discuss projects. This helps them gain a fresh perspective on topics and learn concepts anew.
- Making learning more engaging
One of the reasons technological intervention in the K-12 sector is successful is because of its great potential to make educational content engaging and interesting. Thanks to 2D and 3D technology, digital content has made itself a useful resource for both students and teachers. Theory in itself is not enough to make students understand concepts. Digital content due to its interactive nature is easy to grasp. Students are able to understand and retain concepts better. In the near future, we would see a proliferation of content using technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR).
- Artificial Intelligence
Compared to other sectors like health and infrastructure, technology has been a late entrant in the education sector due to which the impact of artificial intelligence is also be bound to be delayed. But it has immense potential to improve the learning outcomes in the education sector.
Adaptive learning – This is a unique learning solution powered by artificial intelligence, where the learning path is personalised for each learner based on interactions with learners. It suggests a series of assessments and study materials, to each learner to mitigate his/her learning gaps and meet their individual learning objectives. This personalised way of learning enables learners to study at their own pace and as per their own ability. Thus, a personalised learning experience engages students effectively in their own learning.
Besides the advent of technology, the education sector has also witnessed a change in the approach towards teaching and learning in the last decade.
Focus away rote learning to building 21st century skills
Not everything is bad about rote learning, but it should not be an end in itself. Learning should focus on preparing students for their professional life. In the coming years, we will see the emergence of a curriculum that will emphasize on hands-on activities, experiential learning and more. The emphasis will not just be on acquiring skills and knowledge but also on the process of learning which will be more student-centric.
Importance of coding
Coding involves writing programs for the creation of computer software, websites and apps. Realizing the indispensable nature of coding in today’s tech-savvy world, the concept is introduced right at the kindergarten level in many countries. . Although, the children are not taught traditional programming languages, they are introduced to fundamental programming concepts, such as sequencing, loops and conditionals, through exciting activities. Besides developing programming skills, coding also helps students develop 21st century skills – creativity, collaboration, communication and critical-thinking.
Alleviating the burden on teachers
Technology can be a great teaching ally too. The existing digital content helps teachers engage the classroom effectively. In the coming years, we will see a rise in the incorporation of Learning Management System (LMS) into the K-12 sector. LMS aids in planning and delivering education course and also tracking its delivery. An LMS will help a teacher plan the curriculum in-depth and also track the learning progress. The detailed reports will inform teachers about the deviations encountered in the well-defined learning path so that action can be taken to mitigate these deviations.
There has been a rise in e-learning content. However, a major part of the available content is ineffective in engaging students and improving learning outcomes. Thus, parameters to evaluate content will have to be set. The role of government bodies is paramount in promoting such initiatives.
Thus it can be inferred that in the next few years, the k-12 sector will witness improved learning outcomes. It will be able to provide an environment conducive to increased student engagement and improved teacher performance.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.