The dawn of a new age in education

The global work landscape has changed, making way for the emergence of new and innovative skill sets where a fresh set of professional expertise will be demanded. The education system needs to recalibrate, go beyond rote learning, and focus on skill development.

–-by Prajodh Rajan, Co-Founder & Group CEO, Lighthouse Learning

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A balanced new-age education system with a combination of on-screen and off-screen learning described as blended learning can help children keep pace to acquire the skills required to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us an essential lesson in survival – the need for agility and adaptability in the face of adversities. The virus has forced almost every sector to transition into a digital ecosystem.
Education was not spared either. The journey has been like a fast-paced time-lapse, providing a closer peek at the schools of the future. And this is not just in context to classrooms going virtual but a complete transition in the mindset, outlook, and approach to learning, co-existing with Covid or adapting to uncertainties of the fast-changing world – the virus has led to the dawn of a new age in education.

Greater focus on social-emotional learning

We ascertain, in the future, academic success won’t be enough to make a mark. The global work landscape has changed, making way for the emergence of new and innovative skill sets where a fresh set of professional expertise will be demanded. The education system needs to recalibrate, go beyond rote learning, and focus on skill development.

Prajodh Rajan is Co-founder and Group CEO at Lighthouse Learning.

Children must acquire valuable skills such as creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, communication, interpersonal and problem-solving skills to thrive in the emerging global economy. To prepare them for future uncertainties, schools must integrate socio-emotional learning into their regular curriculum to help kids build resilience, develop patience, mindfulness, and discipline, and most importantly, nurture their emotional intelligence. To help kids develop a well-rounded personality, the curriculum must focus on imparting essential values such as kindness, integrity, and accountability.

New-age education: a hybrid model for the future

The pandemic has given us a chance to modernize the education system with a hybrid model- a combination of the best of traditional classroom teaching and remote learning. It will feature learning solutions such as online classes, app-based assignments, video lectures, live classes, online skill-development courses, at-home learning kits, play-based learning, etc.

At the core of this transformation is technology. Instead of just a stopgap during COVID, edtech has started offering full-fledged learning solutions, with many benefits:

Greater engagement: Compared to in-classroom learning, students face less external distractions in virtual learning. On E-learning portals, students can, in real-time, ask and answer questions, have in-depth discussions, and promote better interactions with teachers without classroom chaos.

Adaptive virtual learning: With pre-recorded videos, easy-to-understand instructional simulations, and other online resources, children can learn at their own pace. Technologies like AI can assess their strengths and weaknesses and help build customized study plans for children.

Ease of access: E-learning provides children with easy access to education remotely at their convenience. With both classroom and online learning modes available to families, they can pick the one suiting their interests to ensure uninterrupted learning.

More effective: In traditional classroom teaching, the only way to assess a child’s developmental milestones is via tests, which is just one yardstick to measure all learning parameters. New-age virtual learning enables teachers to evaluate progress in real-time, helping them understand the advancement levels, assess gaps, and provide more attention. In a not-so-distant-future, AI can automate many tasks, thereby enabling teachers to focus on a more personalized approach to education.

Future-forward learning: E-learning requires a lot of self-study, which helps students inculcate discipline. Curriculums can now offer interdisciplinary learning and make education more engaging. With digital learning, students become more tech-savvy – an essential skill for the digital economy.

New-age learning: not without its challenges

• Socio-economic disparity is an obstacle to children from economically disadvantaged families who lack access to devices like laptops, tablets, mobile phones, or internet connectivity.

• Poor connectivity, device problems, and other technical issues also disrupt a child’s learning activities.}

• Constant exposure to screens can cause headaches, eye fatigue, strain, and exhaustion. Poor sitting postures can result in slouching, back and neck pain. Parents need to ensure children get frequent breaks and practice proper sitting posture to overcome these health issues.

• Prolonged device exposure may trigger behavioral issues like gadget addiction, social isolation, poor interpersonal skills, and even mental health problems. Curriculums should be planned so that children get adequate time to socialize, develop hobbies, play, and spend time with friends and loved ones.

New-age virtual learning enables teachers to evaluate progress in real-time, helping them understand the advancement levels, assess gaps, and provide more attention. In a not-so-distant-future, AI can automate many tasks, thereby enabling teachers to focus on a more personalized approach to education.

A balanced new-age education system with a combination of on-screen and off-screen learning described as blended learning can help children keep pace to acquire the skills required to survive and thrive in the 21st century.
A balanced new-age education system with a combination of on-screen and off-screen learning described as blended learning can help children keep pace to acquire the skills required to survive and thrive in the 21st century.