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Integrating technology with education

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Harshil Gala, the director of eSense, a company that is digitalising education through learning tools, tells Tanishka Sodhi why digital education is the need of the hour

We’re living in times when the world is at our fingertips- literally. Information, music, entertainment, are all just a touch away, thanks to technology. Since every aspect of our lives is becoming digital, it comes as no surprise to learn that education is slowly but surely integrating with technology as well. Harshil Gala, who has successfully developed eSense Learning,a fast growing digital education company that is focused on providing eLearning solutions to schools and students in India, talks about this shift in education. “Making education digital is definitely the need of the hour. The purpose of such a model is to compliment the teacher and give them the required aids and tools to teach. We replicate the whole textbook curriculum to animation format. Everything that you would require a teacher to teach on the blackboard can be put on a screen. The student can visualize the concept the teacher verbally explains . We are slowly erasing the culture of mugging things up, and replacing it with activity based learning. The same material that is available in the books, will be available digitally, with animation and images to make learning more interesting. Teachers can use the tools as they please- some prefer to use this only for revision, some hold entire lectures using it, pausing to explain pointers, while some run it on mute and explain the concepts.”

According to Gala, digital education is feasible for India. “Digital education will provide the huge mass of students across our state with the same education levels. It will standardize the level of outputs from teachers, regardless of the location. The tool is a low cost single hardware and software that are easy to set up. Weather it is the best school in the state or a small rural school in the village, they will receive the same education. Surprisingly, B and C towns picked up the software faster than the big cities. They were eager to learn and use the software. This is probably because metropolitan cities already have good quality teachers and decent administration, while the smaller towns are still somewhere lacking these facilities.”

When asked if the increasing use of technology in education could decrease the value for teachers, Gala laughs. “Having an application for a taxi ride does not mean you won't need a driver, does it? The very purpose of digitalising education is to decrease the work load for teachers and make their lives easier. Technology is here and it is here to make our lives easier. Why shy away from it? Teachers are always keen to learn and improve the level of education given to a student." Top Scorer, a software of eSense, allows schools to give access to the same software that is digitally used in class, to the students to use at home as well. "This gives the power to dictate what happens out of school as well. It becomes a controlled situation. Instead of spending an hour on YouTube, the student can spend the time learning through the application. Some subjects, in higher grades, are a task for parents to teach their kids at home. This provides them with the right tools that they can use at home.”

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