Sushma Singhvi, Founder, Gunjan Foundation

Sushma Singhvi is a Social Activist and founder of the Gunjan Foundation. She is a true environmentalist and social worker. From her younger days, she had a strong desire to provide a platform to underprivileged children so that they may grow and lead respectable and productive lives. To draw the attention of Delhites about pollution she organized the first-ever day-long symposium on ‘Mind Pollution’ with a set of distinguished speakers in 2005. Founded Gunjan Foundation with the primary objective of betterment of the community by educating underprivileged children. With the same objective, she started a school in 2010 in Gurugram to provide quality education and to teach them to improve their living condition, to achieve social awareness, self-respect, self-reliance, prosperity, and enjoy a healthy, dignified and sustainable quality of life.

 

According to a UNESCO report, the pandemic is adversely impacting over more than 290 million students across many countries due to the closure of schools in the wake of the lockdown. In India, schools and colleges shut down with immediate effect with the countrywide lockdown in place. The structure of schooling was one of the first to be affected by this. In the aftermath of the havoc wreaked by the pandemic, there have been some landmark shifts in the Indian education system.

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused havoc in terms of health and safety, it has a forced a digital revolution in the education industry. It is ubiquitous to see our young minds of the country engaging with gizmos in the name of online classes and learning. PDFs have replaced textbooks; screenshots have replaced notes and the classroom environment replaced by Google workspace. In addition to the change in environment and mode of learning, screen time has seen a skyrocketed increase with as high as 15 hours a day for many children. This has led to an increased strain on our fragile eyes and a need for better focus by the brain. 

Online e-learning is described as a learning experience using various electronic devices (such as computers, laptops, smartphones, etc.). Online e-learning can be a platform that makes the process of education more student-centered, creative, and flexible. Online delivery of courses is cost-effective and easily accessible.

Since the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the WHO, there has been a sudden shift in online learning and electronic learning. Moreover, the uncertain future related to returning to normal life and containing this pandemic has resulted in maximum reliance on e-learning, especially in higher education. This crisis will see new technology being accepted by educational institutions that were previously resistant to adaptation. It has been a difficult time for the educational sector to deal with the current situation.

But, these are not the only changes that we’ve experienced. For many, Online Education Technology has been a lifeline – helping with remote teaching and assessment, or connecting children with teachers and support. A shift towards online learning has translated to better access to knowledge. We were already witnessing a trend where the internet was becoming the first option for our doubts and study material than teachers and books. Imagine the last time you picked up a dictionary to search for a word meaning and not simply googled it; ponder over the time it saves and an opportunity to learn wherever you are without carrying bulky books. The pandemic has proven to be a catalyst for this trend. Online resource banks have been created for the public benefit by the center and state a big step in ensuring ‘education for all’ and eventually a rise in the human development index. Indeed accessibility to knowledge has increased times manifold. 

Governments have been investing increasing resources to raise the availability of digital devices across schools and households, some academic literature has tried to establish the mechanisms through which the use of digital devices affects students’ learning. Developing strong attitudes towards learning can help students overcome some of the potential challenges posed by online learning such as, for instance, remaining focused during online classes or maintaining sufficient motivation. They are also crucial in supporting students using information and communications technology effectively and making the most of new technologies for learning.

Another area of impact is the quantity of content available. Private Ed-tech corporations have taken the pandemic to their advantage by launching courses, apps, and live call tutorials. More and more companies are venturing into Ed-tech and new ones are being created every day. In response to the growing demand, several online learning platforms are offering free access to their services. With the announcement of free live classes on its Think & Learn app, BYJU has seen a 200 percent increase in the number of new students using its products. A platform like Byju’s leading to the emergence of global EdTech leaders has a valuation of $15 billion. The EdTech industry has attracted private equity and our current market size is about $700-800 million. Even tutoring is becoming as easy as learning. You can simply make a video of what you want to teach and put it on YouTube which will benefit numerous unknown students of yours. Online learning systems have also proven to be economical in terms of time devotion. One no longer has to get up early, get dressed, take a ride and walk to his/her classroom; this is easily saving an hour a day.  

It won’t be incorrect to say that online learning has somewhat improved the quality of education as well. Students no longer have to attend classes of a teacher that they’re uncomfortable with just because their school has assigned him/her to their class. Online learning platforms allow students to choose their mentor from an array of teachers after considerable trails classes. 

Today is the era of smartphones and computers in which artificial intelligence surrounds us everywhere. Our daily activities are loaded with these Artificial Intelligence techniques which are a game-which are many areas. Artificial intelligence is far better at predicting behavior than the human mind. It helps the learning process more interesting and increases students’ motivation. It also helps to transform the traditional teaching methods and includes new and effective methods to improve learning.

Another major thing important for effective E-learning is Artificial Intelligence which is helping online learning teachers, students, and administrations to process data accurately, with the ability to process and analyze large data sets quickly and efficiently. Artificial intelligence technology can interpret the data of children’s reading and identify their reading patterns and trends. And Alert the user by gaining insight into the learner’s learning style, pace, and interval.

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to change the delivery, quality, and way of education. It also promises to change the role of teachers, parents, students, and educational organizations. Using Artificial Intelligence software, systems, and support, students are capable to learn at any time from anywhere in the world. Implementation of artificial intelligence technology in the education sector has gained momentum recently and helping learners to learn basic skills.

Artificial Intelligence is fast, accurate, and efficient when it comes to answering questions with all the arguments and explanations in real-time.

One major characteristic to highlight is that learning is becoming more and more centralized with a watchdog institution in every field and at all levels. For example, CBSE and ICSE control the secondary education system of the country while UGC is the body for higher education. These and similar institutions have control over subjects and the content of teaching as well. This is proven by the fact that even private universities that wish to be accredited by the state need approval on their course structure and content.

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