Vikas Gupta, MD at Wiley India, shares how Indian education can use technology to get better at teaching millennials.
While we try and teach Indian Millennials to try and read books, they’re speed-reading blogs & e-books. When we ask them to solve an equation, they’re browsing search engines, posting queries on expert forums & crowd-sourcing the answer.
The way we expect millennials to learn and the way millennials actually learn are two parallel universes. And these two universes need to meet soon for Indian education to grow further. The only way for them to meet – introduction of technologyat every stage of a millennial’s education. Their fast-paced, tech-savvy learning approach needs to be matched by the school/college/university they attend. “The expectation of the millennial generation is a clear indicator of how education systems need to evolve and the future of learning models in India need to adapt.” Says Vikas Gupta.
Let’s shift our focus from millennial education to millennial employability. The current average shelf-life of skills is reported to be 5 years. Keep in mind that 5 years is just an average. Meaning that the shelf life for jobs that entail repetitive tasks or low critical analysis is even shorter.
How to elongate shelf-life? There’s no way. The only thing a professional in the 21st century can do is acquire multiple skills & constantly reskill as per emerging standards. And by helping professionals learn quickly, ed-tech tools will enable such endeavours perfectly.
All learning - be it a toddler learning ABCs or a professional taking an Advanced Management Course—is subject to three key criteria. These are –
- Learning is a quid pro quo deal – Both parties, the student & the teacher, have to learn from one another.
- Learning should always be available anywhere, anytime.
- Experience is the best teacher – Learning should be experiential, along with being theoretical.
There are numerous tools being introduced to help people learn as per these criteria. The tool that most enthrals is AI-induced adaptive learning.
Taking help from pre-set algorithms and machine learning tech, the tool first learns about the learner before disseminating knowledge. Even in the middle of a lesson, the tool will ask questions based on the knowledge disseminated till that point of time. Thus, always being able to successfully adapt to the learner’s personal abilities and style. AI-induced adaptive learning perfectly meets the first criteria of quality education i.e. learning being a quid pro quo deal.
To meet the second criteria (learning should always be available anywhere, anytime), a “netflixisation” of educational content is highly necessary. Netflixisation of content means distribution videos, e-books, modules etc via mobile applications &online portals. Making this content downloadable will make education truly available anywhere & anytime. And especially help Millennial professionals in reskilling / upskilling themselves. Key features of such apps can also include bilingual options and subtitles. However, the effectiveness of such dissemination of education is debatable. And to overcome the effectiveness barrier, such apps should be considered more of a consolidated knowledge bank than end-to-end educational portals.
The third criteria (experience is the best teacher) is best met by introducing flipped classroom models in institutions. It’s one of the easiest tools to implement, you simply share the theoretical content before the class begins, and focus on activities, discussions and live projects during the actual class. Students can also be asked to repeat or demonstrate what they’ve learned, effectively strengthening the concept in their collective cognitive memories.
Implementing these tools, along with others that follow the key criteria of quality education is how we can meet the rising expectations of millennial students and professionals.
We must remember that this change is not making millennials match our expectations, but matching their expectations from us, the educators of India. “As educators, it's our job to bridge the gap between college graduates and industry ready individuals and do this effectively and nimbly” concludes Vikas Gupta.