Divya Lal is a visionary and charismatic leader and Ted X Speaker with over two decades of experience. Divya has created a special niche for herself in the Indian education industry. Passionate about providing access of quality education to all, she strives towards creating innovative solutions which drastically improve the teaching and learning outcomes. At Fliplearn, her role as Managing Director provides her the unique opportunity to bring all her skills on board to create a platform which can address the need for quality education in India.
One of the inadvertent manifestations of the Covid 19 pandemic and the following closure of schools and the disruption in regular education system has been the boost to ed-tech players in the sector. Everyone, from investors to consumers, schools and policymakers saw ed-tech as the only way to keep the flow of education going.
Because of the momentum gained in 2020 and online learning becoming de rigeur, Ed-tech platforms have begun 2021 on a robust footing. While students and teachers have been confined to their homes for the past one-year, blended learning has become the only way for them to continue learning. Once again, as the spectre of further disruption stares us in the face, and a full-scale return to schools this academic year also seems unlikely, ed-tech will continue to dominate education delivery through online learning as the primary mode of instruction, especially at the primary and secondary levels.
Based on current trends, the online education sector has a very bright future ahead, with significant growth anticipated in the coming years. While not everyone agrees that online education will replace traditional education, a hybrid model may gain momentum in the future. Teachers and interactive sessions are going to be needed to address higher order thinking. Soft and social skills — a big part of the school experience — cannot be adequately replicated without interactions. And yet, the growing popularity of virtual classrooms as a convenient hybrid model between online teaching and the traditional classroom experience is a strong indicator of which way the wind is blowing. Blended learning will therefore play a role in reshaping our collective ambition of universal quality education – and at the same time, improve learning outcomes.
A blended approach to education accepts the fact that education is no longer limited to a classroom or school and that the age of 360-degree education is upon is. Education is happening all the time around the student as he or she accesses information, task work, test papers, assessments at will, round the clock with no limitations to space, time or location. The blended learning format redefines the traditional education paradigm and positively impacts the four basic equations in the process – teacher-student; student-student; parent-student and parent-teacher as all four equations are regenerated in a new collaborative model.
With the opening of schools, the ed-tech players have to go above and beyond to succeed. Post-covid problems will emerge when schools begin reopening. Legislation, or new rules may create insecurity among all stakeholders – colleges, students, parents, and teachers – and these may persist for some time until full normalcy is restored but this blended pedagogy mechanism – called the phygital – is by all estimations going to be the way of the future as the transition to digital education progresses and seeps into the education system.
Many ed-tech companies have curated Ed-tech platforms to give schools and teachers complete control of their students’ learning. Their custom-made, engaging, and simplified content, and easy access to an array of impressive features for schools, has helped simplify teaching and learning by teachers. These platforms have re-imagined education in a 360-degree digital vision, without compromising on any aspect of traditional learning.
Schools and institutions have to rise to the occasion and embrace this model wholeheartedly. It has to be seen not as a compromise, but as an improvement on the existing education model – an option that empowers flexible learning and teaching without disruptions. In a post-Covid world that continues to be fraught with insecurities and unusual challenges, this is the way of the future.