Evolution of Digital Learning in India and around the world
As the entire world is locked down in homes due to COVID-19 pandemic, suddenly there came a need of digital teaching and learning so that students don’t suffer while they are at home and unable to attend classes. Few months before if someone would ask a teacher, you can teach remotely, a large audience of teachers won’t accept it as an effective method of teaching because we all have always learned through classroom teachings during our academic career.
However, as there’s no other way available, entire education system around the world is trying to figure out best ways to continue teaching-learning activities through best available digital mediums.
Luckily, we are in a time when a large population of our country is having accessibility of smartphones and affordable internet connection and so we are easily able to think and deliver digital learning.
Since past few years when 4G internet became available at reasonable rates, digital learning is entering into a totally new phase which is growing exponentially and looks like going to change the way entire academic learning process works. COVID pandemic is adding extra boost to this and preparing all the stakeholders even stronger to believe in digital teaching-learning process and make it integral part of the traditional schooling and classroom learning.
I studied in time, while doing computer engineering from one of the reputed engineering college of Gujarat- Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidhyalaya at Vallabh Vidhyanagar-Anand, accessing internet was only possible in our internet access lab with a limitation of 30 minutes access. This was during 2007 to 2011. I completed my engineering with a Nokia Symbian phone and 2G internet connections. Internet was only accessed for important information searching, so digital learning was a long dream.
However, seeing the current time when even a 1st grade kid is learning sitting at home through her parent’s smartphone, I felt writing some interesting information on evolution of digital learning in past 10-15 years.
Before internet and pen drive age, sharing digital media files were happening through CDs. CDs were mainly in use for Movies and songs. However, some visionary techno educators started preparing learning content on CDs. Many times they were embedded with windows software so that access of content becomes easy and organized. Accessing this content was possible only through computer/laptop and so a very large population who couldn’t afford computer back then wasn’t able to access the learning content. Some of the content was accessible through CD player on TV. However, biggest drawback of this content was updates. Once this CD is purchased, the content can’t be updated and hence it becomes obsolete after sometime when syllabus changes or new method of teachings come in place. Still those who can afford were learning through this method during 1995-2010.
Then slowly Pen Drive became most effective way of data storage and access and so students started accessing learning content in the form of video lectures and soft copy materials by getting it through their teachers and experts. During this time, professional places like educational institutions and work places got reasonable good internet facility and so teachers used to download learning content through different sources like YouTube and other platforms and use them in classroom on projector screen. However again accessing all the learning content was possible with computer availability and so very small percentage of total student community was able to take advantage of the same. This was during 2005-2012.
Then came the magic time when Android smartphones came. Initially smartphones were quite expensive however within few years, prices of smartphone came down and became affordable for a large audience. During this time, 3G internet was available across the country though expensive; many started accessing data on Android devices.
As the Android smartphones and internet became more affordable, many technocrats started building learning games and digital learning applications and they became widely popular. For example, we used to keep physical dictionary book during our school and college days but since Android became popular, we have dictionary app in our phone and rarely use a physical dictionary.
Still during this time, because internet was little expensive, using mobile data for YouTube video access and online learning was very limited. Then came the magic moment in India and many parts around the world, when 4G internet access became commonly available and affordable. It changed the way people consume content on smartphone internet. Accessibility of 4G and high speed internet brought cloud adoption widely in all the domains including education.
Today, around the world, 1000s of EdTech companies building interesting innovative educational solutions which are changing the way educational activities happen through smartphones.
Be it competitive exam preparation test platforms, learning games, video and high tech innovative AR VR driven learning solutions everything is happening through smartphone.
Biggest revolution I see is interactive learning happening with freedom and ease of creating new content in the most easiest and effective way possible. Teachers have got power to share content 24*7 with a tap of a button to reach 1000s of students with push notification on their smartphones.
Around the world, very large group of students’ community is learning in their own mother tongue. There are 1000s of languages in use for teaching-learning process. Internet and smartphone gave freedom to all the teachers create content in their own language with minimum available resources and share with students in rocket speed. There has never been time before when creating and sharing content was this easy and affordable.
COVID 19 lockdown around the world forced teacher and student community to leverage power of digital learning. I strongly believe that this pandemic is starting a new way of academic and learning activities which will be highly accepted and commonly adopted method around the world.
Students from remotest parts of the world will access high quality learning content sitting at their home and chase their dreams of education and career growth.
I strongly believe that consuming content by own self and trying to understand will bring new level of thinking strength in students. Learning through audio content will strengthen listening abilities. Interactive content will increase participation of students and give more data analysis to teachers for better guidance and consulting.
We at “MyClassCampus” www.myclasscampus.com working in education technology domain since 5+ years now and having a very dynamic product for helping educational institutes go digital. It’s working as an operating system for schools.
Recently we have launched new age learning app called “Pocket Study” www.pocketstudy.app which is a Mobile App based learning tool. We have embedded new age learning methods through flash cards, audio notes, video and content sharing. It has an interesting feature of live online teaching which can make classes happen anytime anywhere.
Feel free to connect us, we will be happy to assist your institute go digital.