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May 08, 2021 Saturday 10:59:42 PM IST

How Digital Technology Helps in Growth and Access to Quality Education

Photo by Gerd Altman for Pixabay

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

If you were told 2 years ago that there would come a time when students would graduate without meeting their classmates, that exams would be postponed indefinitely and we’d be staying indoors for almost 2 years while still being employed all of us would’ve had a hearty laugh. Covid-19 has caused us to change the definitions of what we once called normal. There’s a new normal which includes a life that has normalised working from home, attending online lectures and conducting exams via the internet but is all this really beneficial? 

What is digital technology?

Digital technology refers to the use of the internet through various digital devices such as laptops, computers, mobiles, etc. With our country’s mission of making India go digital, it's been projected that by the year 2025, India will have gone completely digital. With the government's new National Education Policy (NEP) which focuses on the developmental infrastructure and puts focus on spreading digital literacy from an early age. A lot of this changed last year as the world succumbed to a global pandemic. With schools and colleges being shut, studying online was the only way of getting an education which often left us with a huge question, is this really helpful? To say that digital technology has had less or no impact on the way we perceive education would be false. 

Even before the pandemic, there were many e-companies such as Byjus that were coming up with apps where children could learn and study with the help of interactive videos. Research suggests that students are more likely to remember a concept and learn faster when seen in the form of videos as it allows for a more efficient processing and memory recall. The audio and video nature of a video let’s students process information in a way that’s comfortable to them. Videos also help down other barriers such as a physical education. Students can continue learning from someone who doesn’t necessarily have to live in their zip code for example - students can learn dancing from a teacher who lives in another city or country just by the virtue of being online which is a huge advantage when it comes to breaking down generic educational barriers. Moreover, online learning platforms are innovative, are more interactive, user friendly and help fuel the progress and growth of the Indian e-tech ecosystem.

Characteristics of digital learning that helps in growth of Indian higher education - 

There are many advantages to pursuing your education online and which also result in immense growth of the system such as –

1.Flexibility - One advantage of studying online is that students can learn at their own time. With the help of recorded lectures, students can go back to a lesson as many times as they wish as per their convenience and continue learning and understand a concept completely. 

2.Digital learning is more affordable -When compared to physical education, online learning is cheaper. When you consider online lectures, it eliminates the cost of space, electricity and other supplies such as chairs, tables and other supplies one needs while studying. 

3.Increased access and reach - Accessibility to the internet means being able to go beyond the physical boundaries. Those who wish to study a foreign language from someone in another city can do so with the help of the Internet. That’s one of the biggest advantages of digital marketing. 

4.Learn from the safety of our homes - Due to the current ongoing pandemic, it’s not safe for anyone of us to go out right now. Being confined to the 4 walls of our home can be boring but it’s also the right time for you to grow your skills exponentially and learn as many new skills as you can from the comfort of your home.

5.Focus on individuals - Since students have direct access to their teacher’s email and numbers, students can reach out to their teachers whenever they feel stuck. If a student feels shy to ask a question during class they may ask them their question via email or through a simple phone call.

6.Frees up time - Online learning is comparatively less time consuming so you can study and work at the same time. In times like these when everyone is looking for ways to earn an income, being able to pursue your education whilst working is a huge added advantage. 

As the world goes digital so do all of us. With more and more people being able to access the internet, slowly and steadily India as a country is going digital. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s the fact that working from home is convenient and students can continue learning online and what we must remember is that the digital space is new for many of us so there’s still a long way to go before we reach our maximum potential in the digital education field.

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