Role of Technology in Education

Why would I as a learner want to go to an Education “TECHNOLOGY” company when all I need is EDUCATION.

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Karthik Kadampully is Chief Mentor @ 111kms.com, a Singapore based Business Mentoring firm helping founders scale up. He is a Serial entrepreneur in the EdTech space.

Education, since time memorial has always been about the FACULTY and his/her expertise on the subject and of course the LEARNER. There have been aids that have come to assist the faculty since ancient times, starting with the tablet (the clay one), then came blackboards, LCDs, video tapes, online videos, LMS etc and many more in between. In all of the earlier cases, there was never a question on the efficacy of learning except since past 5-10 years when self-learning and video-based learning is being presented as “EDUCATION”.

Therein lies the problem something I have spoken about back in Jan of 2108 at the “Future of learning conference” at IIM Bangalore.

Technology in education

Technology is taking over education and the person at the centre of it all, the “faculty” has been pushed to the sidelines, which leads to lesser interaction, leading to dwindling learner interest and which in turn means reduction in subscriptions. Subscriptions? Another word that is not related to education.

What edtech should do?

What Edtech needs to do is get the faculty and of course the learner back into the centrestage and serve technology, the Bot, AI, Chats etc to facilitate the sessions between the faculty and the learner.

Almost every one indulges in self learning, the term used being “Home Work” in early education, however pushing someone to learn only through self learning gets a bit too monotonous and any number of technology assisted interaction, be it Chat forums, or Bots, or AI induced assessments will not help improve the efficacy of learning if the learner gets bored. Man is a social animal. So to, improve learner interest, increased learner enrolment (you subscribe to a news channel not education), and actual education, go back to the drawing board, bring back the faculty to centrestage and place all technology to assist the learning process.

To the learner the message is ‘to get quality education one should evaluate the education imparted by the provider and not the technology.’ Just as in the past, good colleges imparted quality education which resulted in increased placements and which in turn resulted in increased enrolments YoY. Some other institutions then took a shorter path and put all their marketing efforts to try and get their poorly educated students placed with perhaps initial results, but in the long term proven wrong.

In our EdTech scenario now with this recipe provided in this article, faculty time will go up and which means this is a hybrid model and that means fees paid by the student will go up than the pure video based learning currently being offered. Yes!, we are planning to offer education at whatever it costs. Technology can help in reducing faculty time with interactions, self learning, assessments etc. and thereby reduce cost than pure in-class education where faculty time is almost 100% time.

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