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December 03, 2020 Thursday 01:28:24 PM IST

Edtech Drives Innovation in School Education

Guest Column

Change is the only constant, and COVID 19 has emphasized this fact, as it has and continues to play havoc in the lives of people. The pandemic has impacted all domains, with different gravity. One such being the domain of education, in which the impact has been felt in varied ways by different stakeholders – educational institutions, parents, children, teachers; the list goes on.

With the passage of time, however, EdTech has emerged as a strong contender to prevent further disruption, provided the concerned devices are accessible. The impact of the same? Hard to gauge. However, the number of changes have been many, with wide ranging and varied impact.

“The framework has changed; with EdTech gaining dominance, the mode of assessment has also changed. The need for real-time assessment that can be recorded and tracked, and one that is based on algorithms and benchmarking have to be introduced in order to enhance efficacy. What is also to be noted is the switch in the teacher’s role from being an active resource provider to a facilitator, especially since gamification is playing an ever-vital role in the delivery of education,” comments Ritika Amit Kumar, CEO, Curious Kids Media Tech, The Go-to STEM Platform for Children.

However, having said the above, ethics and values remain an integral part of the pedagogy imparted. Many schools have adopted campaigns and initiatives that strive to strike the balance between holistic and compulsory education. An example is Muni International School, a Change Maker School (as awarded by Ashoka Foundation, USA) which has not only introduced the parliamentary system in their school, but also other initiatives like setting the self as example, the buddy system that uses peer learning at its core and the primary parents monitoring group that delves into the involvement of other stakeholders in the assessment of the child.

Says Ashok Muni, Founder of the school: “Today’s times are tough, especially with distance and Edtech learning; however, we have kept certain things constant like imparting of values that encourage the growth of the individual beyond the school, as a member of the community, society, country and globe. Change is possible if every person is involved from the beginning, and feel like a partaker in the entire process; else, introduction of any change is tough.” He concludes by saying that the need for certificates has been juxtaposed with the need for a citizen who can deliver and live up to the challenges of the future.

Change -- positive and sustainable -- is the order of the day, and this lies in the hands of our children, the future decision makers. Hence, it is but natural that education and its nuances command attention as far as improvisation and strengthening are concerned. However, one thing seems to be certain: the paradigm shift from rote to learning for life ahead remains at the core.

Says Pooja Murada, Principal Lead- Outreach for Development, SM Sehgal Foundation, and a mother of two: “So much has changed, and change is not easy to accept and adapt to. The message can be reiterated at multiple forums, but it is important that the stakeholders understand the why and what for behind the initiation of change. Besides this, a clear evaluation approach needs to be defined that is practical, can analyse the students' different faculties, and is not just based in the rote learning.”

Sarah Berry

Sarah Berry is a Consultant in public diplomacy, strategic outreach and training, author and painter.

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