Charu Noheria, Co-Founder and COO, Practically

In 2018, Charu Noheria co-founded Practically, an experiential learning app for STEM and has been working to revolutionize the education landscape for the last seven years. Practically’s constant innovation to improve the rate of retention of concepts among students has helped the platform raise $9M so far. Charu has a bachelor’s degree in engineering (Computer Science) from R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore, and an MBA from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. She has over 12 years of corporate experience in operations, technology, strategy and managing global teams.

 

The days when learning was synonymous with schools and when a desk, a chair and a blackboard were sufficient to call it a classroom, are gone. If the Covid pandemic has taught us anything, it is that technology is all-pervasive. It has enabled us to survive and even thrive in a confined environment without any disruption. From virtual classrooms to online assignments, tech tools have been the saviour of continuous education and ensured that learning is not disrupted even during a global pandemic. 

School-from-home made easier

We have seen many new learning tools available to make school-from-home a better experience for both parents and children. These tools also aid teachers in managing the curriculum and classes. Did you know that they are also extremely effective in enhancing learning outcomes? Today, a child with access to a smartphone and the internet can learn from anywhere. Virtual classroom management systems allow teachers to manage multiple classes and curricula with ease. Immersive learning modules help engage students better and thereby generate interest in studying among students. The use of automated progress reports, analytics and charts has enabled easy monitoring of children’s progress at the click of a button. Teachers and students can now have access to exhaustive content libraries providing them with in-depth learning material from various course curricula. Moreover, the availability of e-textbooks is another valuable addition to the array of tools the students and teachers have at their disposal.

Better outcomes through experiential learning

Experiential learning is a new way of learning that has emerged with the advancements in technology. Immersive and interactive teaching tools such as apps, fun pop quizzes and assignments, game-like interface and recorded sessions enable significant increase in retention of concepts of up to 90%. The use of virtual reality and augmented reality helps to visualize complex concepts such as human anatomy right on your desk. Animation plays a key role in making studies engaging. For example, students can retain the outcomes of scientific experiments much better through a simulated environment instead of theoretically learning equations and its results. Parents can also monitor their child’s progress with tools like test reports with detailed analysis. New-age courses like AI, machine learning, robotics, chess, game development and many more are available online to learn. These courses go beyond the classrooms and provide holistic development. They ensure that students in the K-12 segment build a robust foundation for higher studies and pick up skills to become industry-ready.

Blended learning is here to stay

Technology advancements in education have accelerated during the pandemic. Even post Covid, teachers, parents, students and educational institutes must be prepared to use and apply such tools to ensure better learning outcomes for all. While physical schools may resume this year, online learning has become a part of children’s lives. In this competitive age, students can now equip themselves with additional learning methods from the convenience of their homes. Whether it is learning new disciplines like robotics or solving complex problems through mock test-prep tools, students can supplement their learning at affordable costs and gain a competitive advantage over their peers. It also levels the playing field as it breaks the one-size-fits-all system and caters to students with varied learning styles.

Blended learning also offers parents a chance to study with their children and be more involved in the learning process. Parents no longer have to wade through complicated textbooks to revisit a concept they studied in their younger days. This healthy learning process also makes the parent-child bond stronger!

Education for all – now possible 

Technology has changed the way education is imparted. The rural-urban divide will slowly but surely blur as anyone can learn with a smartphone and internet access. The reduction in data subscription costs has further fueled this wave of learning. Education is now making inroads into rural areas aided with tools that redefine a classroom. A school is no longer a building with four walls but rather a touch-screen device that brings educational concepts alive. Teachers teach in a classroom that can be recorded and streamed anywhere in the world. It has changed the way we fundamentally view education. Before we marvel at the progress technology has made in bringing quality education to a wider audience, we must remember that this is the tip of the iceberg. We have not even scratched the surface of what technology can do to reshape the way the world learns. The world is moving at warp speed and we must be ready for and accept the changes that come with it.

 

More About Charu Noheria

Charu Noheria began her career as a software engineer at Samsung where she developed mobile applications. Later, she joined Lumeris Inc. – one of the largest value-based healthcare IT firms in the United States, as a Strategic Leadership Development Associate and quickly moved up the ranks to become Director-Technology Partnerships. 

 Most recently, she was chosen to be part of Entrepreneur India’s 35 under 35 class of 2021. She was featured in the coveted ORF-GP report on Women in Technology, 2020. Charu shuttles between Hyderabad and San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys stargazing, hiking, cooking among other things.

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