Effectiveness Of Digital Education In Enhancing Curriculum And Pedagogy From An Indian Perspective
From ancient times education has always been dynamic and never for a second has been static in its nature. It has always changed from the years gone by to the years and years still to come. With these changes and the advance of modern technology and infrastructure came forth a marvelous new discovery in the field of education that will one day change its very fabric and that is the well-known ‘Digital Education’. As its name suggests Digital Education is the more modern form of education practice that goes beyond textbooks and classrooms to empower students as well as the teachers in the educational system. Its diverse range of tools and technological aspects still empower various curriculum and pedagogical practices worldwide. This essay outlines the Effectiveness of Digital Education in Enhancing Curriculum and Pedagogy from an Indian perspective.
The modern-day Indian Education scenario is one that is always changing and never being dormant. Day after day there are various new ideas and practices that are adapted to make learning fun and teaching much more effective. With the influence of Digital Education in India, there are various notable practices that were adopted. One of these practices is the well-known ‘E-Learning’. In an E-Learning setting, the teacher makes the use of various visuals especially in the case of science, history and geography subjects. Students are shown various pictures and videos that help them understand what they have studied and practiced in theory put into practice. The sights and sound boost the understanding of the students as well as the fact that it keeps the students much more in interest with the subjects rather than another day of pure lecture-only classes.
Digital Education software has only recently surfaced in the world of Indian Education and that too in the Urban scenario. Various companies like “Educomp” and “Smart Class” power and support various educational institutions in the Urban sector. As a result, most students even from the rural sectors of India have actually shifted to Urban based schools to attend schooling with a more technological edge. This has resulted in a paradigm shift from utilizing traditional practices and systems of curriculum and pedagogy to the more advanced Digital Education Scenario. Practices of the yesteryears such as lecture-based classes are now being replaced by Digital Education powered pedagogy where there is in most cases a minimal teacher involvement in classes. The only involvement of the teacher would be to clarify the doubts of the students wherever the digital class fails to do so.
Studies have shown that the students who have been more involved in Digital Education Classes have produced much better results than those who have not. It is a known fact that most students are visual and auditory learners and this fact comes into play during a Digital Education scenario where the students are stimulated in their visual and auditory perceptions. This helps them to understand concepts, terminologies, formulas, difficult to grasp loopholes in subjects with much more ease than a traditional method like lecturing and learning from notes can do. Thus, students are able to reproduce their knowledge much more effectively and this is resultant in the overall grades of those students exposed to Digital Education versus those who have not.
Thus, Digital Education is much more effective than the traditional method especially in enhancing the curriculum and pedagogical systems in an Indian educational scenario. This is due to the fact that India and its populace are much more involved in adapting and utilizing technological edge that makes their life much better. All things said and done it is also to be noted that not all educational institutions especially those in the rural settings in India understand the effectiveness of Digital Education, the edge it gives the students in education and the way it strengthens and powers the curriculum and pedagogical systems of the educational institution.
In analyzing the article, it is clear that almost all Indian educational systems have recognized the change from conventional modes of education to the new era of E-Learning or in other words Digital Education. Jha, Nivedita & Shenoy, Veena. (2016). mentions that “Educational Systems are changing rapidly their characteristics now a day. An earlier conventional education system was the main medium at teaching and learning. But several internet and problems lead to the cause of other educational modes”. Their work reflects upon the ground reality of the scenario when Digital Education is used mainly when conventional methods and practices fail to give the student a depth of understanding when they are unable to attend classes on a regular basis due to various reasons and so on.
Thus, it simply means that at its birth time, Digital Education was simply used as an extra tool or a last stand method to be utilized eventually. Eventually, Digital Education comes to a point where almost all educational activities and programs are dependent on Digitalized means such as educational software for easy teaching and learning, 3D models of materials related to science which easily gives students an understanding of how things work and so on.
From the work of S. P. Shinde & V. P. Deshmukh (2010), they bring to us the need for Digital Education by presenting a well-known perspective that is social diversity. They clarify by saying that “In the presence of social diversity in India, it is difficult to change the social background of students, parents and their economic conditions. Therefore, the only option left for us is to provide uniform or standardize teaching-learning resources or methods. For high-quality education throughout India, there must be some nationwide network, which provides equal quality education to all students, including the student from rural areas and villages.” It is a fact that India like all other countries has different individuals coming from different walks of life. Not everyone can afford to attend an education system that provides higher quality education nor change the social and financial background of the individual in question.
Thus, Digital Education works wonderfully in bringing higher quality education through a common seam available to all which is the internet. Through web-based learning, it is possible to deliver education to all individuals irrespective of any background as all it needs is just a simple device that works with the internet. In a place like India where almost all individuals are having access to computers and smartphones which is even the rural areas, web-based learning can seamlessly provide higher quality education which is only available otherwise in select educational institutions and/or regions.
From his work, (Oliver 2000) shines a light on the matter of how Digital Education or in this case Information and Computer Technology can eventually become the backbone support to educators even those who still prefer conventional modes of teaching. He argues that “Conventional teaching has emphasized the content. For many years course have been written around textbooks. Teachers have taught through lectures and presentations interspersed with tutorials and learning activities designed to consolidate and rehearse the content. Contemporary settings are now favoring curricula that promote competency and performance. Curricula are starting to emphasize capabilities and to be concerned more with how the information will be used than with what the information is.”
Thus, it is clear that the use of more contemporary settings has boosted the curriculum and pedagogical framework of the education system thereby increasing and promoting more competency and performance. With this advent, teachers are able to put across information in a more practical approach that helps the students understand how the set piece of information is essential and practical in their daily lives than a regular piece of information where the students can not relate to nor associate the provided information to any places of practice or scenario. Thus, Digital Education helps the teachers to put theory into practice with a Digital approach.
From the work of Mehendale (2018) he presents the case of Digital Education in terms of policy reformations and politics by arguing that “Promotion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems in school for adult education, new knowledge, pedagogies and varied approaches for the teaching of math, science and technology in schools to improve learning outcomes. The manner in which the MHRD delivers on these two themes will be of particular interest to the small yet emerging community of educationists in the country. It is expected that the new policy provisions will commit to leveraging technological affordances for enhancing classroom processes, strengthening the role of the teacher, and creating digital pathways of learning.” As mentioned in the article The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has taken special care in realizing the future of education that is the utilization of Digital Education. For an idea to be realized and put into use it needs to be drafted and agreed upon as a policy reform by the government and other educational institutions.
With this reform, all educational institutions can be supported by the government through various means. The curriculum and pedagogical systems that were once found to lack in promoting higher quality education can now be improved and utilized to empower teachers as well as students. Eventually, the all educational systems across the country will have the potential to bring forth students who are well prepared to face any technological changes, trained in the highest quality of education possible, and well equipped to understand how to put what they have been taught at school into better practice. It is also important to understand that there are various non-profit organizations across India that help finance and promote Digital Education in urban and especially in rural settings where they have no means to do so in the first place.
From a curriculum and pedagogical point of view, digital education can work wonders in enhancing and effectively powering the means of teaching and as a result the mode of learning. This is such a practice that helps the teacher in utilizing technology to make knowledge and topics that the students have studied in theory to better practice. The only fact that remains is that the awareness of such a technology is not that widespread especially in the Indian Educational Context. This is much more obvious in the case of the rural schools in India who have minimal knowledge of the utilization of technology to promote Digital Education. This is because of the fact that most rural schools in India still are not given the awareness of how the digital scenario can give the students an edge in learning and the teachers’ empowerment to help them understand the modern practices of the world around them.
Thus, in order to understand the effectiveness of Digital Education, awareness must be generated among the masses of the rural and urban educational settings so that with time they can help each other in realizing and understanding the fact that in the future, curriculum and pedagogical systems powered by Digital Education would be the only survivors in a world constantly influenced by modernization. Soon, it will be too late to participate in the educational changes unless they are ready to understand, relate, and implement Digital Educational practices in their current educational scenario with the help of various non-profit organizations across India who are ready and willing to help in any way they can.