Learning continues throughout the lifetime of an individual. However, the intensity at which learning occurs is maximum during school years, especially below the age of 6. It is necessary to place children in an intellectually stimulating and enriched environment to provide high-quality education. To achieve this objective, choosing the right school is very important. While choosing a school, the usual conundrum is choosing between the kind of education system put in place by a specific school. Traditional education system or smart education system? What is the right choice? Read further to make an informed decision.
The traditional Indian education system was the ‘Gurukul’ system. In 1835, Lord Macaulay successfully westernised education in India. The traditional western education system is a product of the industrial revolution. We have been following the factory model of imparting education for over a century now – large classrooms delivering the one-size-fits-all type of education. The smart or digital education system, which now has global foundations attempts to break free from this by offering a more organic and personalised approach to K-12 education.
What does the term education system entail? Education is an integration of two activities –
Contents of the syllabus remain the same across all education systems The method of implementation – teaching and learning – varies. The pedagogy differs for schools that function on the traditional education system as opposed to the digital or smart education system. The pedagogy of traditional education system focuses on ‘What to learn?’ In contrast, pedagogy of digital or smart education system focuses on ‘How to learn?’ The digital or smart education system focusses on more instrumental, memory-based, and fun ways to learn. Research shows that using educational technology can enhance mathematics learning and retention in children. The difference in the pedagogy of the two education systems is further illustrated in the following table –
Challenges Faced by the Traditional Education System
Traditional education system works on the principle of the one-size-fits-all approach. Since it does not offer personalised learning, it deters children from initiating the process of learning on their own. Hence, a child finds traditional learning to be a mundane experience. With a continuously increasing population, it is difficult to adopt a holistic and organic approach towards K-12 schooling without the digital or smart education system. Further, the fear of exams is what drives the traditional education system, not the love of learning.
Advantages of Smart Education System
- Flexibility – The traditional education forces students to learn within a classroom only. Smart education allows the student to gain knowledge beyond the four walls of a classroom. The technology of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and 3D makes this possible. A student can use these tools to enhance their creativity and understanding of a particular topic. These tools aid student learning even beyond the four walls of a classroom. Exposure to myriad audio and video stimuli aids student learning and retention power.
- Capital Reduction – The school management software supports the edifice of a smart/digital education system. It automates several banal yet important activities like marking attendance. Further, administrative tasks also become hassle-free. Automation allows more work to be done by less number of individuals by increasing efficiency and decreasing the workload per person.
- Ease of Communication – The applications provided as an EdTech solution to empower schools has communication portals. These portals facilitate the exchange of information among all stakeholders. Good communication between parents and educators is key to the all-round development of a child. Collaboration through communication portals ensures that no one is misinformed or uninformed.
Limitations of Smart Education System
Technology is always under question for it is time-consuming and distracting. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is good, but those who practice it excessively are often diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Similarly, excessive use of technology is ill-advised. If children are exposed to educational technology under guided supervision, then there are no disadvantages to limit its positives. It also teaches children the soft skills associated with this process – collaboration, moderation and time management.
The Better Choice
A study undertaken to compare the results of children enrolled in both education systems has proved that students enrolled in digital or smart educational systems perform better academically. Human civilisation is constantly evolving, and so is the suitability of education systems for children. Variety and flexibility are important in the classroom. Technology-based learning empowers these features hence, we cannot adhere only to traditional ways. Blended learning is the need of the hour. It uses technology to provide a more personalised approach to learning which is enhancing the capabilities of the younger generation. Further, if the recent pandemic has taught the world anything, it is that smart education is a better and more reliable choice.