Technology, a key to unleash education’s endless potential
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Granular data collection, the sharing of this data between all those involved in the learning process, and solutions for prompt remedial interventions based on this data – these are some of the essentials for a radical technological solution for India’s education.
Data – no other word more exemplifies the promise of technology in today’s world. India is in the middle of a data revolution as internet connectivity has become extremely economical over the past few years. However, education, which determines the country’s future, has not yet really experienced the true benefits of these leaps and bounds. When we talk about technology in education, we think of smart classrooms or online content, or sometimes a suite of tools to make administration easier. These are of great value but isn’t there more that is possible?
Can we envision a set of technological solutions that brings together all the stakeholders – students, parents, teachers, administrators, and school owners? Can we get all these key players interacting seamlessly with the aid of tools to enhance the learning process? LEAD School’s approach to technology has been based on precisely these questions.
As an integrated solutions provider, LEAD School has a three-pronged approach while designing its technological solutions. The first is to not only generate data from the learning process but also to ensure the data is shared among all relevant stakeholders. From basic feedback from teachers to parents regarding a child’s performance to minute data regarding which concept has been understood well and which concept has not really been absorbed, the data speaks and we make sure it reaches the right people. This is connected to the second aspect, which is making sure all the stakeholders are linked in real time.
The third aspect has to do with immediate remedial steps. If a child does not understand a concept, the data from quizzes makes it clear and provides a path forward. If a group of students find an idea difficult, the data is parsed again to help the teacher look at a different way of teaching the concept. Thus, this granular level of data collection, alongside the integrated approach, makes for a truly impactful role for technology in education.
From Day 1, LEAD School’s focus has been on working with our school partners, providing both customised content for teachers and students and the tools to link this content together. The detailed lesson plans provided to teachers, for instance, offer guidance on teaching each concept, helping a new teacher build on existing experience. After each course, teachers are able to provide feedback so LEAD School’s own content can be tweaked. Meanwhile, academic counsellors use the data available from the system to aid teachers to intervene at the right moment. Together, these tools and the support of teachers are vital in raising the level of learning that takes place across the board. The cloud-based system enables quick scaling up as well, and adoption even in areas where internet connectivity is not very good as the data from the classrooms needs to be synched only once a day.
Flexibility in practice
The flexibility of the system was best displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic when LEAD Schools@Home provided all the stakeholders an alternative to Zoom classrooms. While LEAD-powered schools initially provided content directly to students, soon teachers were onboarded to the system with all the supplementary content and lessons plans at their fingertips. LEAD Schools@Home was almost able to replicate the classroom experience with schedules and attendance and quizzes. The pandemic has accelerated the use of technology and this will be a continuing process. The era of hybrid learning has truly arrived.
Developing technology for this hybrid age is a constant process of innovation. For instance, LEAD School has focused on ensuring a harmonious user experience considering the linguistic and cultural diversity involved. Our aim has been to ensure that the stakeholders can communicate with each other in an intuitive manner, and that each stakeholder’s interface is as engaging as possible. A classic example is the leaderboard feature which is based on Experience Points for activities students do in class. The students are then ranked in comparison to their classmates, schoolmates and students of all LEAD School partners. This gamified approach has seen students show a great interest in completing their quizzes and other tasks they have been assigned while learning at home.
In the coming years, education will see a radical transformation with boundaries between the classroom and the home becoming blurry, and the former becoming a space where what is learnt is shared and expanded upon. These structural shifts require a solid technological backbone and the harmonious linking of all those involved. At LEAD School, we aspire to be at the forefront of this technological surge, changing the face of education in India.
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