Education has now become ed-tech. The transition was given fuel by last year’s pandemic situation than ever before. With the entire system trying to cope and excel at this technology-driven manifesto, 2021 is sure to bring many more developments to support the same. Technologically, here’s how ed-tech will progress through this post-pandemic year:

Technology aided

Today, the induction of technology has enabled the virtual classrooms possible without borders and opened access to millions, who could have never dreamt of affordable world-class education. Education 2021 is bound to be technology-driven that intends to drastically, transform the dynamics and learning in the Education system across the globe.

The chalkboard, books, homework, and teacher-classroom culture has shifted, making way for online classrooms and personalized way of learning to encompass customized learning.

Integration of smart screens:

Computers, tablets, and smartphones are pervasive more than ever now. The use of simulations, models, graphic calculators, animation, 3D images, and video clips on smart screens bring to life the virtual classroom experience making it much more interactive and exciting.

A huge amount of information is available on the internet on any topic. Students now are better equipped to access study material at the tip of their finger stroke. Online classes can be attended at the student's convenience and watch the recording of the class at ease, later again.

Digitalisation of teaching

At times, students get a detailed idea on a given topic, to strengthen their conceptual understanding, it can also be a matter of concern for the teachers shortly, as they will need to continually upgrade themselves with their knowledge base and remain abreast in their subject domain.

Teachers would need to remain at a pace to incorporate technological developments happening around the educational world across the globe. This will also, differentiate and highlight areas of improvement between the digitally literate and digitally illiterate.

Experiential learning

Learning will be more focused on experiential learning. In this new scenario, the world lies at the hands of the student and the teacher may not remain the only custodian of a knowledge keeper. Before the start of a lecture, students can formulate questions, and responses in advance to route it to the teacher for further in-depth clarification.

Teachers would need the training to adapt to technology, for efficient classroom management, to aid in planning for the class/ work-flow, preparing the content of the class, and spearheading assessments and evaluation techniques.

Naturally, the modified teaching methodology will aid actual learning and aggressively shift away from rote learning.

21st century skills

21st century school education is about teaching the students how to adapt with a fast-changing world and handle unpredictability. Creative and critical thinking, decision making, communication skills, collaboration, working in a team and responsible behaviour are certain aspects that can be developed only by providing appropriate opportunities for the children by the school. More emphasis will be given to the 21st century Skill Development strategies.

Futuristic schools are paying attention to these areas closely and are incorporating necessary elements in their teaching process.

Blended learning

The concept of blended learning has evolved and is much more holistic than ever before. A preferred blended learning strategy includes face-to-face and online classes both, happening simultaneously to engage critical thinking ablaze in minds of the curious learner remains ignited.

Learning partners will adequately arrange a blend of elements comprising of internal communications and digital marketing techniques, expert-led virtual learning, digital-on demand content along with technical supporting information.

School clusters

Promotion of school Clusters in 2021 to extend support to other schools in the vicinity to academic infrastructure. The cluster centre, having 4-5 schools within its purview, acts as as central and accessible as possible to its satellite schools, and should have adequate facilities to be a development and transformation centre.

A cluster centre should set good examples for management and teaching practices. The principal of the cluster centre should be a strong and committed manager, with a vision that can extend beyond his or her school to the needs of all schools and the community in the cluster.

The pandemic affected not so equipped schools lacked the basic infrastructure to conduct online classes, to avoid such disruption in learning school Clusters could resolve the gap.

Accountability in education

The Standard of public education will improve along with enhanced accountability amongst stakeholders. Schools must set clear expectations, helping teachers to develop their craft to be able to provide meaningful support that is tailored.

Teachers open to not just self-motivated learners, but also to look for new ways to engage students, to help students, to master their subjects, seek advice, and be receptive to critical feedback. Parents must partner in their child's education, making learning a priority at home and advocate for the child, to find ways to better the child's online classes and school.

Schools of tomorrow

The belief that every child is talented and is capable of leaning is the pathway to revolutionise and embrace the child centric driven educational environment. In 2019 we had chalkboard classroom, in 2020 it got transformed to online classes, and in 2021 we will witness both a face-face interaction and online classes with a blended technologically superseded learning approach.

A combination of expert-led and on-demand technology driven communications and teaching methodology will create a truly engaging interactive teaching and learning sessions.

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in India Today. The original article can be found at https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/explained-why-education-will-be-technology-driven-in-2021-1753296-2020-12-26)