Impact of Digital India can be seen anywhere especially in rural areas where people can be seen doing video calling on whatsapp. Digital India is a promising opportunity to use technology to revitalize our education system and address the huge learning crisis that our country faces. Although technology, on its own, is not a silver bullet solution to India’s education challenges, it does tend to have a positive impact on the given situation.
Digital India can only succeed in impacting education if it’s technology can be integrated into our vast and complex school/college system. Investment also needs to be put into the tools that are used for student learning like digitized textbooks, animations and videos.
We need to build learning tools to address the diversity of languages. Such content could either be developed locally or high quality global content could be localized. Further, we also face a huge challenge of teachers lacking adequate training. While those in government schools have access to professional development and academic support, only 20-30 of them actually received in-service training. Teachers in private schools, who now educate 43% of our students also lack access to training.
Technology allows for reinventing models of teacher education by creating competency-linked training programmes, and enables teachers to connect with peers, and receive coaching from experts remotely. Government teachers in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttarakhand are using Whats App groups to exchange knowledge and ideas with each other. The Karnataka Open Educational Resources platform is enabling teachers to create digital content.
Digital India is a huge opportunity for us as the government pushes for the use of technology. Let us not duplicate the mistakes of the past by assuming that providing hardware and connectivity to schools will result in the uptake of technology. Instead, let us approach the opportunity with a vision and commitment to adopting a comprehensive approach to using technology to improve the education of our children
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