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Safer learning is integral to digital transformation in education sector

The recently organised Education Technology Conclave looked at harnessing pedagogical possibilities opened up by digital technologies

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Express Computer, in association with Axis Communications, organised the first edition of Education Technology Conclave recently in Noida. It aimed at bringing the leading educational institutes on one platform to discuss technological advancements in education systems. The conclave brought together key decision-makers of India’s education sector and engaged in elaborate discussions on the use of emerging security solutions and innovative technologies in this sector. The event looked at harnessing pedagogical possibilities opened up by digital technologies, in order to enable a revolutionary shift in education from individual content acquisition to collaborative intelligence.

Rishikesh Patankar, Chief Operating Officer – Education, Skill, Insurance & CSC Academy, CSC e-Governance Services India, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology was the keynote speaker, who shared an overview of how CSC is driving various initiatives for bringing quality education for all. He believes there is a need for building integrated digital education platform for students and the role of digital technologies in enabling a shift from “transmissive pedagogies” to “transformative pedagogies”.

In his opening speech, Patankar touched upon the ongoing MHRD initiatives such as DIKSHA, ePathshala, NROER, SWAYAM, NCSL, SWAYAM and many others. He was of opinion of providing “Real Learning and Relevant Education”, setting up of AI experimental labs for preparing students for new opportunities.

Dr Manoj Sinha, Principal, Aryabhatta College was the next speaker who shared his views on the adoption of technology in government-run educational institutes. His session was based on information versus knowledge. Dr Sinha said, “Technology can help students in giving vast information, but teachers are the ones who impart knowledge to students. I am in favour of technology adoption in government institutes, which is growing faster and bringing better results.”

His session was followed by a panel discussion on ‘How emerging technologies are improving the quality of education’. The panel discussion brought to light various viewpoints from leading professors on how this fraternity can add value to students and the entire education system in India.

The panel discussion was moderated by K G Suresh, Emeritus Professor, Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication, and Former Director General, Indian Institute of Mass Communication. The panelists were: Dr Vikas Singh, Executive Director, ITS Education Group; Dr Ashok Mittal, Chairperson, IIIT Delhi; Dr Vijaya Katti, Dean, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT); Jayant Bose, Director General, ACCMAN Institute of Management and Jose Thomas, National Sales Manager, Axis India SAARC.

The panelists deliberated on fundamentals and pre-requisites by which educationalists can add value. They also raised questions on the role of the technology to create value amongst students within the country. Also, experts in the panel informed that improving access to technology is one of the most important goals of the education system.

The panelists also informed the audience that focusing too heavily on the concept of innovation and implementation of new technology without clear outcomes could prevent change. The panel, which looked at reimagining education for the future, recommended universities to continue to heavily focus on how they engage students in terms of learning experience.

“The classroom is changing. Everybody has a laptop or mobile phone in front of them, so are the professors talking to the computer or are they talking to the students? From our practice, we try to engage with students working on a real project, so they group together and learn by doing something, which is another way to engage students,” said Dr Vikas Singh.

Dr Katti agreed with Dr Singh, noting many of the skills that students need to prepare for the future of work could only be learned by experiencing them. She said, “Technology is not the only means to achieve innovation and universities should identify other opportunities to improve the student experience.”

“I think there is a misconception often that innovation necessarily involves technology, and while that’s often the case, it’s often as true that innovation involves anything that results in better learning on the part of students,” said Thomas.

Moving forward, panelists also discussed how emerging technologies like AI, ML and AR/VR are going to impact the education systems, and how digital transformation is changing the teaching practice. Dr Singh shared real use cases of AI in selecting courses and future job placements for students. The audience also joined the discussion and raised pertinent questions.

In his session, Romit Roy, Key Account Manager, Axis North, spoke about how the education sector is undergoing a paradigm shift, with digitisation happening at the pace at which technologies are evolving. Security is one of the main priorities for all educational institutions. From schools to colleges, universities and other learning facilities, the need for an effective, efficient security solution is paramount for keeping students, staff and teachers safe. With the right security system, customers get peace of mind that they have a safe environment in which students and staff can work and study.

He shared a plethora of products and solutions which can be pathbreaking for the educational institutes.

“Most schools have limited security budgets, so getting the biggest return on your security investment is important. An integrated video surveillance, access control and audio solution from Axis gives the best possible protection, while letting you better allocate your resources and save on costs,” Roy highlighted.

A live demo of the network cameras was also on display for better understanding by the audience.

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