Technology has taken the world by storm. It has certainly taken great strides in strengthening various spheres of our life. There is no denying how it has made our lives simpler and easier. Though, there has been some reluctance in merging technology with education.
Various tools like computers, iPads, mobile devices, and Internet are now integrated into the teaching process. They have substituted traditional books with e-books. The brick-and-mortar classroom setup has evolved into a self-driven system of learning.
However, what the proponents of ed-tech deem as ‘a revolution in education sector’ is looked upon as an onslaught of technology on the tradition teaching process. It is believed that the use of technology has reduced the education system to an inadequate means of teaching. Replacing the teachers with Artificial Intelligence is said to reduce the education system into ‘an arena of bots’.
However, there are several alternatives, which provide an effective solution to this. Leveraging the advantages of technology in education, ‘Smartclasses’ by Shantanu Prakash’s venture Educomp Solutions never replaced the teachers. On the contrary, it empowered them with advanced teaching aid, which facilitates effective learning among students.
Ventures focused on providing smart learning instead of rehashing the entire education sector often miss out on creating the best amalgam of classroom practices with technology.
When Shantanu Prakash launched Educomp in 1994, there was practically no particular impetus in the market to focus on better education for the children. However, with certain market sentiments and the changing strides of school boards (not to mention the child’s parents) has created an outlook for more intensive and inclusive education – right from kindergarten. Since then, Educomp has reshaped the industry and created the pathways for several startups to invest in the industry as well.
Through the concept of smart learning, Educomp Solutions has empowered over 30 million learners across 65,000 schools in the two decades. The company has set the perfect precedent as to how technology can be used to enhance our education system without replacing teachers.
Technology is just to assist the teachers in addressing the needs of modern learners. Thus, despite the sea change entailed by the use of technology in education, our good old teachers will continue to be a part of the teaching process. Using the potential efficacy of technology in education as its focal point, Educomp Solutions was in fact the first ed-tech company to leverage it.
“When we launched Smartclass in 2004 as the first-ever digital classroom program, it was an uphill task convincing schools to adopt it,” says Abhinav Dhar, director for K-12 at Educomp Solutions.
“These schools had not witnessed any change in a century. It is a completely different scenario now. Private schools across India today see [technology] as an imperative. A digital classroom is set to become the bare-minimum teaching accessory in schools, just like a blackboard is today,” he adds.
Since its conceptualization, Smartclass has reached more than 12,000 schools across 560 districts in the country. Also, the success rate is growing with almost 20 schools a day. The increasing numbers show inroads of technology led learning in the country, without replacing the indispensable role of teachers and books.
The foundation built by the company ought to put some sprite into the Education industry which in itself offers pioneers and investors to capitalize on its billion-dollar market cap. Over the years, the development of the sector will be worth watching as India wakes up to an education revolution supported by education technology.