Integrating technology in learning
- India’s new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020envisions the establishment of an autonomous body, the National Education Technology Forum (NETF).
- The NETF will spearhead efforts towards providing a strategic thrust to the deployment and use of technology.
- India is well-poised to take this leap forward with increasing access to tech-based infrastructure, electricity, and affordable internet connectivity.
- Flagship programmes such as Digital India and the Ministry of Education’s initiatives, including the Digital Infrastructure for School Education (DIKSHA), open-source learning platform and UDISE+ will help in this direction.
- However, we must remember that technology cannot substitute schools or replace teachers.
- It’s not “teachers versus technology”; the solution is in “teachers and technology”.
- In fact, tech solutions are impactful only when embraced and effectively leveraged by teachers.
Ed-tech ecosystem in India
- With over 4,500 start-ups and a current valuation of around $700 million, the ed-tech market is geared for exponential growth.
- There are, in fact, several examples of grassroots innovation.
- The Hamara Vidhyalaya in Namsai district, Arunachal Pradesh, is fostering tech-based performance assessments.
- Assam’s online career guidance portal is strengthening school-to-work and higher-education transition for students in grades 9 to 12.
- Samarth in Gujarat is facilitating the online professional development of lakhs of teachers in collaboration with IIM-Ahmedabad.
- Jharkhand’s DigiSATH is spearheading behaviour change by establishing stronger parent-teacher-student linkages.
- Himachal Pradesh’s HarGhar Pathshala is providing digital education for children with special needs.
Four key elements for ed-tech policy architecture
- Access: Providing access to learning, especially to disadvantaged groups.
- Enable: Enabling processes of teaching, learning, and evaluation.
- Teacher training: Facilitating teacher training and continuous professional development.
- Governance: Improving governance systems including planning, management, and monitoring processes.