Edufest 2016 held at IIT Chennai last week was an excellent initiative EduExcellence, which brought together principals and teachers of schools, psychologists and the EdTech industry. The 3-day event reinforced the importance of schools and students being future-ready in a fast-paced learning environment.
It was an excellent opportunity to meet principals and teachers who brought a lot of insights to the table for everyone to benefit from. The adaptive challenges they all faced while adapting technology in their daily school activities, from biometric attendances to leveraging large data in decision-making. The speakers were experts in industrial and organizational psychology, child psychology, student profiling and data-driven methodologies, all to which Navigus aims to add a technological advantage.
Many of the speakers were eminent educationists and psychologists with decades of contribution to the education sector. To sum it up, the sessions revolved around 5 important topics that cover the entire spectrum of relevant education.
1. Understanding the Child – It is most important to understand the student’s innate capabilities and interests so that a uniquely suitable method of teaching can be devised.
2. Approaches to Pedagogy – Schools will have to be more than an educational system by exploring and addressing social challenges to education.
3. Parental Involvement – Parents also need to be educated by schools so that they can help accomplish the learning outcomes set for their children.
4. Empowering Teachers – Instead of being a disciplinarian, teachers should be more of a facilitator who encourages children to explore, and creates a learning-centered environment.
5. Data Driven Approach – Digitizing and effectively leveraging large data from attendance to student management systems to identify and foresee students’ performance.
In a round-table discussion on how reliant we are on data-driven methodologies, it was astounding to know the unorthodox practices of schools and their reasons behind those decisions. An interesting scenario was put forward by Indian School Muscat, which has around 10000 students, and has been operating till date without much automation. Now when trying to use all accumulated data, and use them in arriving at decisions, the major bottleneck is inhibitions of parents and authorities. Again, the adaptive challenges that keynote speaker Dr. Lata Dyaram pointed out in her speech.
All the faculty members we interacted with, had realized the importance of technology in education. When we explained the problem we were addressing and how we were doing that, they immediately expressed their enthusiasm. They all agreed that technology and data-driven methodologies can add substantial value to education on a level that humans are not capable of. Be it schools, colleges, teachers, parents or students, being future-ready is no longer an option. Embracing technology is the new survival instinct, and the only way to revolutionize any industry is to get rid of inhibitions.
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