We are living in the era of computers, the internet, and technological advancements. It is a different matter whether we like it or not, but no one can wish away computers and the internet from their lives. Digitalisation has come to stay in all occupations including our education system.
You do not have to go very far to witness the change. It is visible in every house in town. Compare the education that you had with what your children have today. The change is evident.
The Traditional System of Education
India was following the conventional system of classroom coaching even as late as the end of the twentieth century. There was a focus on learning by rote without truly understanding the original concept. All we had for reference was printed material. Therefore, there was over-reliance on printed material. We also had a one-dimensional way of looking at things because we used to depend on a single teacher’s knowledge to understand the concepts.
The Changing World of Education Today
Even today, you have classrooms coaching in India. However, there is a sea change in the methods of teaching. You can see the emergence of technology in the use of the internet, video solutions and PowerPoint presentations to understand the different concepts. Instead of relying on the knowledge/experience of a single teacher or printed material, the students of today have free access to the wide world of internet. Therefore, you widen your horizon by learning to look at problems from different angles.
Shortcomings of the Traditional Education System
The conventional education system consists of brick and mortar structures like schools, colleges, universities where teachers and professors explain the various concepts in classrooms. This aspect is present in modern-day education as well but with significant changes. These changes are necessary to overcome the shortcomings of the traditional education system. Let us discuss some of them in brief.
In the traditional system, the involvement of the human element is the most significant factor. Human intervention is necessary at every stage from teaching to conducting exams and from the correction of the answer papers to the announcement of the results. It is not only time consuming but also prone to errors. The errors can be due to anything from human limitations to human emotions.
You eliminate this area of concern in a digitalised environment. You can take the example of the IIT JEE Main examination. The IIT JEE Main is an all-India level examination where students from all parts of India appear in their respective towns. Imagine the level of inequality/partiality if we follow the traditional education system, especially in the correction of answer papers and the announcement of results. The digitalised environment ensures a level playing field for each IIT JEE Main aspirant. The standard of questions is the same throughout the country. Similarly, the method of checking the answers is common, as it eliminates all chances of human bias.
The teacher has the most significant role to play in the traditional method of teaching. Everything depends on the perspective of the teacher. He/she imparts knowledge based on their understanding of the subject. It becomes a one-dimensional affair in many ways. Students do not have much choice as they have to rely on the available printed material for reference.
The scenario is different in the digitalised environment because students have access to the internet where they can look for every possible solution to a problem. It eliminates the one-dimensional approach to understanding the concepts. Thus, the use of the internet helps in widening the scope of knowledge by expanding the horizon. Students get an opportunity to learn from different sources instead of depending on the perspective of a single teacher.
What does Digitization Offer to Education?
Let us see the shift in the education pattern from the traditional education system to the digitalised environment.
Classroom Teaching to Online Courses
As opposed to classroom coaching in the traditional system, there is more reliance on online coaching in the digitalised environment. The benefits of online coaching are many.
- The most significant advantage is the convenience factor. You can study online courses from almost anywhere in the world. For example, you do not have to go to Kota to attend the specialized IIT coaching. You have the liberty to study for your IIT JEE Main exam from the comforts of your home.
- Another benefit of online coaching is that you can refer to the same lectures on multiple occasions to understand the concepts better.
- You also save on the time factor, especially in commuting from your home to your classes.
- The educational institutions benefit from online coaching in the sense that they do not have to invest in constructing huge infrastructure. A stable and reliable internet connection is the only investment they need to make. Hence, it is cost-effective.
Traditional Exams for Online Exams
The shift from the conventional exams to online tests is beneficial for students as it presents a level playing field to all students across the country.
- The critical benefit of online exams is that it eliminates cheating. Your question paper in the IIT JEE Main exam will be different from the aspirant sitting next to you. Of course, the standard of questions will be uniform throughout India.
- Similarly, it is easy to correct the answers in an online examination. There is no chance of any bias thereby ensuring complete transparency. The declaration of the results also becomes comfortable.
Printed Educational Material to Digitalised Textbooks
You have access to digitalised books in the form of e-books that are compatible with all internet-accessing devices like laptops, tablets, e-readers, and smartphones. The advantage is that students can access video and interactive presentations through hyperlinks. It becomes easy to study on the go as well.
Videos say it Better Than Words
Students can actually see things that happen in a video presentation. Therefore, it becomes easy for students to grasp the fundamental elements of physics, chemistry, and mathematics, all of which form a critical part of the IIT JEE Main exam.
Better interaction Between Students and Teachers
Students can interact with their teachers either through online chats or through other methods like emails, social media interactions, and so on. It enables students to understand the concepts better thereby ensuring a higher level of education in a digitalised environment.
The world is moving ahead on the technology front. The need of the hour in India today is to have a suitable environment for digitalization in the education system. It is imperative that our students get an even platform to compete with their international counterparts. We are already experiencing the changing environment due to the digitalisation of the Indian education system. The online IIT JEE Main exam is a prime example of this change.