Personalised technology in the classroom will ensure you come out on top
Some of you might be intimately familiar with the terrifying experience of waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, worrying that you’re late for an exam that you completely forgot to study for. Except you’re an adult, well past the age of being forced to down your itchy uniform every single day, and haven’t had to sit for an exam in ages. This is all just a bad dream.
Exam anxiety seems to last well into adulthood. And why not? Studying for them seemed to be the pinnacle of your existence for a good chunk of your childhood – especially having to study about things you weren’t the least bit interested in. That night-before-exam anxiety involved consuming copious amounts of snacks and coffee to stay awake, frantic comparisons with your best friend about how much of the portion you had left, and existential crises largely centered around the question, “Why must I know when the Battle of Plassey was fought? Will I ever even use any of this stuff after I grow up?”
That last question is one that educators and education researchers have been tackling for a while now. Do future engineers need to know how to make papier mache mask? Why must the authors of tomorrow learn probability today? We seem to be personalising everything, so why not our learning in school? Surely focusing on what interests us and what we’re good at would be a more fruitful use of our time.
Silicon Valley seems to agree. EdTech innovations that have been on the rise, with the market growth projected to hit $252 billion by 2020.This is unsurprising with increasing demand for quality higher education. Physical universities can no longer keep up and specialisation is imperative with artificial intelligence already taking over process-oriented jobs. Simply put, to ensure we are the ones who run the machines, and not vice versa, we must innovate education.
Alternative smart schools have already broken ground with implementing this thinking, allowing students to work how our most agile start-ups do. Students design projects with goals that take into desired learning outcomes and their own personal interests and then set metrics for success. They think about how they could solve real-world problems using the latest classroom technology at their disposal. These students seem future ready.
India is still far away from this seemingly utopian model of schooling. Our system is still built extremely on exam-driven and marks orientations.It certainly seems to have worked for us so far, especially in STEM focused fields, where our ability to quickly parse large quantities of information and use them to generate effective results have stood us in good stead.
Perhaps there exists a middle ground between being an all-rounder and a specialist. As we continue to work with our exam oriented model of schooling, we must leverage all tools that empower young learners to create a more personalised system of learning – whether it be individualised assignments for each student tailored to their abilities, group discussions that delve more deeply into the nitty gritties that interest a learner, or personalised, yet comprehensive feedback from teachers, platforms like Fedena allow a level of personalisation that can be customised to whatever education board the school falls under, learning model one believes in, or personal learning goals a parent and child have set for themselves. A happy byproduct of this customised schooling would be the sharp reduction in those persistent “I failed every exam and have brought dishonor to my family” nightmares, replaced by the eager excitement one experiences when embarking on something new.
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