The first two decades of the 21st century have witnessed the unprecedented impact of technological innovations in creating new markets as also to create tremendous pressure on global competitiveness in all sectors of the economy.
With the age of innovation, we are also in the age of uncertainty and massive disruption caused by mind-boggling advancement of science and technology applications ushered by the creative and innovative genius of youth the world over. As in economic sectors, education is also under tremendous pressure for innovation and technology integration.
How the focus on learning has shifted
The focus of learning today is shifting away from the brick and mortar classroom to much of the learning outside the classroom, in groups through minor or major projects, self-learning supported by digital tools of learning, to on-demand anytime and anywhere education.
Learning today is no longer is unidisciplinary rather it is interdisciplinary, necessitating team learning in a multidisciplinary environment that promotes the capabilities of integration of knowledge and expertise.
All this is causing compulsions to move away from conventional systems of education and assimilate educational innovations for learning in the new digital age.
Education innovations to manage disruption
Disruption of education is on the cards and is being fuelled by innovations in digital technology. The increasing role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making large size data analytics far more efficient and decision-making tools more effective.
Likewise, the power of simulation and modelling is revolutionizing the way we design and develop new products and improve the efficacy of processes and systems. Coupled with the pace of automation and machine intelligence is making the world of manufacturing as well as the service sectors far more dependent on innovative technologies and human capabilities to drive the Industry 4.0.
Education is not immune to this dynamic of the digital age. Traditional educational practice is built around an implied hierarchy of learnedness in which teachers, given their age and background, are presumed to have the knowledge worth sharing.
The traditional model of education relies on the hypothesis that the “sage on the stage” is authoritative, while students are assumed to be compliant learners who assimilate knowledge and demonstrate their performance through standardized tests and assessments.
The conventional model based on a standardized curriculum, one-way delivery system and assessment based on what you know rather than what you can do.
Educational innovations are all about causing such radical reforms in the way education is imparted to a well-informed student community that is eager to learn how to utilize the vast information to solve the problems at hand and to meet the aspirations of ever-advancing frontiers of knowledge and technologies at the workplace.
A major shift from “learning to know” to “learning to do” and learning to work together is required.
Evolving job opportunities
The future of jobs in the coming days shall be dependent upon how the universities of tomorrow are able to transform their higher education system to respond to the requirements of knowledge and skills of the industries of tomorrow.
A rapid paradigm shift is advocated to create a greater space for learning by doing, making autonomy of learning a reality in the educational system and empowering students and faculty with ample opportunities for collaborative learning and making innovation a habit.
With Internet and mobile penetration increasing rapidly, more than 3.7 billion people using the internet and with Google processing more than 40,000 searches every second (3.5 billion searches per day).
The education innovations have an important role in contributing to human development for productivity, research and improved value chain interaction across various sectors of the economy.
Various modern techniques in teaching-learning such as smart classrooms, ICT in teaching-learning, MOOCs, flip classrooms and virtual classrooms should be implemented across the universities and institutions in India and globally.
It is gratifying that India is moving forward on innovations as the Global Innovation Index Report 2019 has ranked India as the 52nd most innovative nation in the world as compared to 57th in 2018.
It is imperative to make technology and innovation an integral part of the education system, as education is fundamental to the nation’s capabilities for growth and development of the economy and society.
Thus, it would not be wrong to say that ‘Innovations in education matter’ and our aim should be to cause innovations at all levels from curriculum design and delivery to building teams of autonomous learners to bridging the gap between the world of learning and the world of work.