By Nilesh Gaikwad – Country Manager at EDHEC Business School, France
While the world has changed rapidly in the last five decades, the resolve of parents to ensure their children gain meaningful education remains as strong as ever. It is no wonder that education as a sector has always accepted the next-generation trends with genuine concern. Today’s teaching patterns have moved away from the one-size-fits-all narrative to a more interactive and personalized approach. At a recently concluded K12 Education Conference, I could sense the frustration of some of the attendees. Surprisingly, it was a paradox of plenty for these attending principals and heads of schools. In the last 5 years, Edtech startups have managed to raise over $ 1Bn. Unfortunately, most solutions provided by these startups are fragmented in nature and do not provide requisite relief from everyday challenges faced by the esteemed teaching class.
Let us have a look at some of the trends leading the revolution within the K-12 education sector –
Integrated Learning Solutions
Gone are the days when educational institutions worked in silos or as a single campus entity. Today, most of the big names within education have no qualms in expanding to distant regions of the country. In such a case, uniformity of the education delivered becomes a key challenge. Herein, decreasing the influence of offline learning is a good starting point. The best in the business ensure their superiority by investing in infrastructure and quick adoption. Integrated Learning solutions is a strong differentiator for schools who aim big. Instead of waiting to go cent percent digital, it always advisable to adopt the solutions on an incremental basis. The key is to prepare an effective combination of print and digital content for one’s students. Going digital with Student Assessments will work wonders to deliver real-time feedback and plan course-correction measures.
Adoption of Regional Languages
A sudden spike in data usage within India in the past couple of years has bought with it the promise of becoming a data-consuming giant in coming years. Surprisingly, tier-3 cities and rural areas will be at the forefront of this revolution. Some of the most successful professionals from India have studied in vernacular medium schools during their formative years. Google seems to have understood this crucial point. It is pushing for greater adaptability of regional languages within teaching. Research has also proved that a child learns better in his/her mother tongue. Thus providing the alternative of learning through regional languages while using technology as a foundation should give an edge to the rural kids.
Learning Programs for Teachers
One of the major trends of current K12 revolution is the emphasis on teacher learning. Let us confess that Teachers are among the most overlooked actors within the education field. It is therefore quintessential that focus shifts to keeping the knowledge repositories of the ‘knowledge dispensers’ up to date. A continuous learning approach through specialized training ensures teacher retention and opens the possibilities of career advancement. In such a scenario, teachers shall also contribute towards the overall development of their pupils rather than just ‘knowledge dispensers’.
Traditional lectures in classrooms cannot ensure uniformity in the dispersal of knowledge. Students learn at a different pace and react to external stimuli in a different manner. One of the major advantages of digital learning is the ability to deliver student-specific educational experiences. As these solutions are delivered online, the coaching is not classroom-dependent, rather it can happen within the comforts of one’s home. The students have the freedom to learn specific topics, at their own pace. Thus, justifying the costs and guaranteeing the ‘ROI’. Personalized learning plays a major role in ensuring that every student understands the topics, no matter their speed of learning.
Formative Assessment Solutions
Adoption of digital solution results in minimizing manual mistakes. For example, one can overcome the bias arising from human interventions in such cases. Assessments are a crucial aspect of a student’s learning curve. A more detailed assessment will help students learn much more about themselves. Formative Assessment solutions unlike the traditional assessments, provide not only results of the students’ curriculum-based performance but also measure their different competencies including emotional quotient, social skills, etc. These competencies, if groomed well, can lead to the overall development of a student’s profile. Adoption of AI-driven assessment provides real-time feedback to students, which can also be extended to parents. Together with the teachers, they can design a support-based system to ensure success for their pupils.