Parul Uppal, Co-Founder, Inkclick

Creating solutions that maximize creativity, engagement, and the development of learning is the main vision of Parul Uppal. She believes that a culture of curiosity and learning fosters the best in children that’s why Inkclick is a NON-Subscription Learning Platform so that learning can never be stopped. She also believes that everyone has an equal right to have an education irrespective of class, region, and economic standards, keeping it in mind learning here is democratized in every region of the world with cost-effectiveness. Along with this network access, the motive is to provide an online Marketplace for Students to build, optimize, and measure a best-in-class learning program to pursue learning goals.

 

Education is the backbone of any individual. On social and economic fronts, it empowers him to make informed decisions, helps him to choose and work for his livelihood, to socialize better and to contribute to the nation’s progress. On the personal side, education brings self-satisfaction, a sense of contentment and pride to him. Education is a means and an end too. Everyone acknowledges the power of education. Hence, everyone must have access to quality education.

What to teach? vs how to teach?

While it is important to focus on what to teach, it is also important to answer the question of how to teach or the ‘education delivery techniques’. Gone are the days when the lessons were taught in the school’s classrooms using chalk and a blackboard. Today, the classes are delivered just on the palms of the students at his choice of location and at his convenient time. This is made possible only through the use of technology. 

Technology – augmenting processes

Technology, in today’s context, is a process improvisation method. We can observe in any field that, while the result remains almost the same, it augments the delivery process. For example, in the case of person to person communication, earlier posts or messengers were used. With improvement in technology, the telegraph became faster mode, followed by landline phones. Further innovations introduced mobile phone with text and call features and now we see text and call with a video call feature. But the result is the same- ‘person to person communication’. Hence, technology helps in making the processes efficient and faster.

Further, it has to be noted that technology is not niche to only one industry, but, synergies are found overlapping across many domains. For example, drones delivering posts, phones helping in education delivery, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality applications in architecture. 

Improving classroom experience

As technology has touched almost every field, education is no exception. While the basic goal being the same, it is transforming the way it is provided to students. From the classic backboard and chalk method to whiteboard and marker to smartboards and projectors, technology has evolved the classroom learning experiences. These innovative hardware devices help the teachers to impart the knowledge in a better manner to students, while the students can recognize and recollect the topics efficiently. Technology has enabled the use of videos, audios, animations, graphics and other audio-visual aids to supplement the teacher’s efforts. This has shown a phenomenal increase in the retention power of students. 

Going beyond classroom 

While technology has improved the classroom experience, it has taken the lessons to the doorstep of the learner. Almost two decades ago, with the advent of portable storage devices like floppy discs, CDs, DVDs and pen drives, the lessons in form of text files and videos were being shared by many notable publishers. Today, another advancement in technology is providing live lectures to the participants in their homes. Several new start-ups like Inkclick are engaged in providing an online platform for learning. 

Acceleration due to pandemic

Much before the pandemic, many universities and colleges were engaged in providing online education to working and experienced professionals, but due to COVID 19 pandemic, online education delivery which was once available to senior professionals now became common. It was aided by the presence of smartphones and education delivery applications like Inkclick. From KG to PG, everyone was hooked to laptops or smartphones to attend classes. Teachers had to learn new ways of controlling and monitoring the class.

While it has its own merits and demerits, which are yet to be evaluated, but, it certainly helped millions of students and teachers to continue their education. 

Organizational learning

It is not just that schools or formal education systems are influenced by technology, but the training and development function of organizations too has become advanced with the technology. Automated Learning Flows via Learning Management Systems (LMS) have been deployed for employee training. The scores of these modules are used as one of the metrics in the employees’ career progression. 

Learning the technology

While technology is a process enabler, it is a discipline too. It has also developed and evolved rapidly in the last 15 years. This is quite evident in the advancement of hardware devices and software. On the personal computing front, from 1.44 MB floppy disc to today’s hard disc having storage capacity in TB indicates the advancement in data storage. On the software side, the DOS of the early computer to the present day’s Windows, MAC, Android operating systems too, reflect the technological advancement.

Today, much more advanced techniques such as AI, ML, Big Data, Blockchain, Robotics are evolving which are impacting other domains. These open up new courses for the students in hardware and software development offering them a wider choice of study, thus broadening the horizons of education.

Issue and challenges

While technology has its benefits, it poses challenges too, the most important being the abuse of technology. Some new terms such as virus, phishing, spam, viral, cybercrime, dark web, data theft, identity theft, privacy issues, cybersecurity etc are all because of technology. Technology is a double edge sword and has to be handled carefully. It is more harmful to people who are unaware of it, hence everyone must learn the basics of cybersecurity.

In the education sector too, all the above challenges exist, but there is another challenge that is related to the user group. In education, the users are children who are innocent and do not understand the complexities of technology. Hence, utmost care must be taken while delivering content to them.

At Inkclick as an education technology platform, we have ensured robust cybersecurity architecture for data security and privacy. But, we have also ensured that the user interface is navigable for even people with low digital education. We curate and moderate all the content uploaded by the contributors i.e. teachers and students so that the content for consumption is free from irrelevant matter. 

Conclusion

Technology is today a part of life and cannot be done away with. However, wiser use of technology can help mankind as it helped the students and teachers during the covid pandemic. Hence, we must be careful and alert from the abuse and misuse of technology. 

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