• How the current situation could be a boon for e-learning?
Education industry has traditionally been slow to adapt technology. For example, the classrooms today look pretty much the same as they used to look in the last century or even the century before that. We are still teaching every kid the same things in the same way regardless of one’s learning style, pace and interest. Each student deserves a personalized learning path - learn what you like and in a manner that works the best for you. In order to realize this esoteric dream, one needs the technology and a user who is willing to use this technology.
• Today, technology exists that can make the above esoteric dream a reality. This generation of kids, that uses smart devices like a natural extension of self, is more than willing to adapt technology. So, why is the adoption still so low?
The challenge is the mindset of educators and the parents who still believe that the age-old method of chalk-and-talk still is the best way to impart education.
In the post-COVID era, we expect that to change. COVID has practically taken away the traditional classroom for quite some time. Hence, parents have no choice but to explore e-learning methods and educators are forced to innovate and provide meaningful solutions through online tools. We expect that by the end of the COVID restrictions, more than 50% of the kids in affected areas would have experienced one or the other form of e-learning. Any parent who witnesses the power of personalized learning enabled through technology, would definitely continue using the same even when the traditional classroom returns.
“Technology tools ensure that each student gets a personalized program to challenge them at the level where they are. Personalization ensures continued kids interest and high learning efficacy”
• Why do you think coding programs are gaining popularity in India?
Technology is disrupting every industry and by the time this generation of kids joins the workforce, technology would be at the heart of every meaningful job role. Now, this generation of kids can either grow up to just consumers of technology or grow up to be the masters of technology. Technology has three important aspects - coding, hardware and design
Coding, which is an important aspect of technology, has multiple other advantages as well. To begin with, it promotes logical thinking and problem solving skills. Secondly, coding empowers a child to “create”. However, most parents must make the investment in other aspects of technology to ensure that kids grow up with the confidence of being creators of technology.
• Please elaborate on the importance of learning cognitive skills at an early age. How can a student's cognitive skills be developed through education tools?
The careers are changing rapidly and it is expected that 70% of school kids today will be working on jobs tomorrow that don't even exist today. This means that this generation would need to be lifelong and efficacious learners who need to constantly connect the new information with the existing knowledge.
Secondly, all repetitive jobs would be done by machines in future which means that humans would be working on problems that are new problems and require complex problem solving skills. Essentially, people need to be efficient and effective at solving new problems and learning new stuff. Both these require people to operate beyond Memory and Recall and be good at Higher Order Thinking Skills.
Research proves that aptitude or Higher Order Thinking Skills get developed in the first 13-14 yrs of an individual. The graph from research of Centre for Developing Child, Harvard University, indicates that the Higher Cognition Functions get developed in the early years and plateau at the age of 14 yrs. This is the best period to develop HOTS and largely determines the aptitude of an individual through life.
Amit Bansal, CEO & Founder
Amit Bansal is the CEO and Founder of WizKlub. He is a serial entrepreneur with over a decade in start-up experience across three edtech ventures; and 10 years of corporate experience across strategy, business development, technology, product management and marketing for consumer and enterprise technology products across India and North America. His earlier ventures include Xcelerator and PurpleLeap. Amit holds an MBA in Marketing from XLRI, Jamshedpur