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Alternative ways of learning & role of artificial intelligence!

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Classrooms nowadays are no more the same old conventional classrooms. They are evolving and so are the learning techniques, says Harshita Mann, Director of Lancer International School

With every major aspect around our life undergoing a change, academics is no exception. An educational institution is no more just an institution where a teacher would come, give a lecture and teach the kids. It is no more same for the students who just used to rely on what is being delivered to them. Bottom line is- classrooms are no more the same old conventional classrooms. They are evolving and so are the learning techniques.

As the times are changing and the economic landscape, it is very crucial to teach the new generation in accord with the changes happening in other spheres. There are new learning techniques that schools should adopt as these are going to form the basis of future employability. Future of kids is set right in their childhood and it is important to imbibe right skills in them at the onset of their education.

Learning starts at a very young age, the first thing that these young minds ought to get comfortable is- language. It sets the edifice of the education that is to follow. Old methods like text book or pen & paper based approach are the mainstay of learning in India but this has started to get phased out with new tech based methods like laptop/tablets. New forms of teaching are already being employed by institutions at various levels to make students grasp the knowledge in the best way possible like use of graphics in text books, animation, abacus, doing and learning to name a few.

Digital media has taken an eminent role in our lives and their imprint can be seen in academics as well. Be it a very basic parent-teacher communication or sharing class lectures over websites via a podcast, digital media is truly making education convenient and personalized. As a parent, you would know what was taught to your kids in school and how you can reiterate it to them for their better understanding.

Other than this, almost all the students today are aware of the websites and app that can be used to look for their text book solutions or YouTube channels which can act as their alternate tutors. For students preparing for various competitive exams, there is a huge reliance on YouTube channels which are imparting coaching for various subjects.

AI Making a Special Place
Technology has penetrated in all the segments of our life and education is one of them. The fact is un-debatable that the most effective technology today is Artificial intelligence as it is altering a variety of human activities from daily chores to high-tech roles. AI is known to have created the concept of “personalised learning”.
Various educational institutions are using AI algorithms in order to personalise learning by crafting content as per each student’s need and learning capabilities. AI is considered to be a specialist in gauging aptitude and skill set of different people and provide relevant results.

The modern concept of “smart” classroom is also being facilitated by the AI and IoT and its benefits are incontestable. AI-enabled smart classes are redefining and redesigning learning spaces.

“Education, like nearly every other industry, is impacted by artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. From my point of view, academic institutions will increasingly benefit from more expansive datasets. From administrators perspective - Better understanding student populations helps schools make better choices on behalf of their students. For teachers (and across numerous other industries), personalization of the learning experience can enable educators to provide a richer experience for students. For students, the learning process can become more automated and effective--providing opportunities for students of all kinds to advance at a pace and using a learning style that works for them. As always, I’d expect AI to enable humans to do more, more efficiently.” Said Sachin Dev Duggal, Founder & CEO, Engineer.ai

Another major benefit that education sector has accrued out of AI is in the form of chatbots. These AI-enabled chatbots help students a great way with their homework, evaluation of the quality of curriculum and content and bringing in place intelligent tutoring systems. They do not replace teachers always, but also complement them.

‘Technology has made distance learning more feasible as the trainer and learner need not be in the same location any more. Modern technologies have also added
new dimensions to the training process through audio-visual and interactive media. Learners do not need to rely on text books alone as digital medium can provide simulations and a more hands on learning experience. On top of that, AI can connect the entire world and create a global classroom for exchange of ideas and inspiration.’ Said Girija Jhunjhunwala, Director, Campfire Graphic Novels.

Apart from technology there have been new engaging mediums which are disrupting the academic space which is not limited to maths, physics, chemistry or biology. New mediums and concepts like graphic novels, learning by doing are being employed for students at various levels to understand and imbibe the cultural fabric of society.

According to Ritesh Rawal, Founder, Dudes & Dolls, “Technology acts as a re-enforcer of in-house based learning. Life concepts, academic concepts can now be re-enforced through these new medium and it helps the most if these students have already experienced these things, so the whole process of experiencing and learning become easier for student to grasp the content matter. AI will only gel the recent developments in academic space in something more meaningful for institutions, educators & students.”

Gone are the days when classrooms are used to be about quiet and dedicated students, listening to their teacher patiently and noting down from a blackboard. New learning ways are being devised and tablets and online are replacing texts while online tutors complementing the teachers. Isn’t this what the changing times call for?

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