Technology has brought down the barriers of distance and accessibility for many. This is more relevant in the field of education where online education is bringing together teachers and students from remote parts of the country for learning.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal physical classroom education with schools and colleges being closed, technology ensured continued learning for all even at the remotest parts of the country.Online and technology aided education is being preferred because studies have shown that technology in education has improved students’ academic performance. Though traditional classroom teaching may still be prevalent, many educational institutions are embracing technology in education or going for online teaching.
Because of technology, education is becoming more flexible and accessible. Technology has significantly increased access to education, including a wide range of learning styles and degree options. By incorporating modern technology like artificial intelligence, teachers can develop more creative and innovative lesson plans to hold the attention of their students.Technology can significantly improve individual learning. It enables online education, distance learning, and access to latest information. As students interpret the lessons in their own ways, technology can enable more research into subjects that are more difficult to learn.
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While school and college teachers are using technology for online teaching, there are many Ed-Tech companies that have come up which have made online and technology aided teaching their business. And this business is extremely lucrative and thriving. Companies like Byjus, Udemy, Extramarks and Tutor have all redefined modern education and have taken the help of technology to provide education. While this model started in the western countries, it has taken concrete shape in India and is fast becoming the norm for modern teaching.
Online and technology aided education has provided a golden opportunity for qualified teachers and scholars to make a living to teach from home to a much larger addressable audience which goes beyond local and state boundaries. This is not only ensuring a proper livelihood for these people and giving them a decent earning, it is also effectively addressing the issue of employment in many parts of the country. While earlier there were certain places which had become physical centres of education and training, now with online teaching any place can become a centre of learning and any person with domain knowledge on any subject can become an online tutor with the help of technology.
Students have also accepted this model as an effective mode of learning and are embracing online tutors making it one of the most lucrative professions in the country.
For teachers, online teaching has many advantages. First of all, it can be started with minimum initial investment which is only on development of content and for connectivity. The requirement of devices is also minimal and can be started with the use of the basic laptop or computer. As business grows, one can invest in digital whiteboards or projectors to enhance value and make learning more interactive. And there is a lot of scope to earn money as a tutor can address students from anywhere in the country.
Unlike physical and traditional classrooms, online classrooms can have a lot more scope for teaching as they can provide a wider interactive experience through audio and video streaming and presentation to enhance learning value. All this, as stated before, can be done at minimal investment and maximum Return on Investment (RoI).
Online education has been cost effective and useful for students as well. Technology has significantly reduced cost of education with options for online degrees. It has also reduced the need for buying actual textbooks. Students can access online versions of their books and articles from their educational institutions and continue studies even from a different country.
Teachers can use a wide range of tools to enhance the classroom experience and motivate the engagement of students. Technology enables teachers to develop more effective relationships with their students. With the use of technology and devices, students are now able to ask more questions in class and also get answers from their teachers.
India produces over 15 lakh engineers and over 3 lakh MBAs every year. Not all of them find employment. With online education providing a cost effective and lucrative means of livelihood, this can be embraced by them to make a living.
With colleges and schools embracing online and technology aided learning in a big way, there will be a huge requirement of online teachers and experts to feed the increasing demand. This could prove to be one of the biggest employment providers in the country very soon.
(The author of the article Mr. RustomKerawalla is the Chairman of Ampersand Group)