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The Role of Technology in providing Universal Access to Quality Education
Technology is often referred to as a great equalizer. It has the potential to bridge gaps and homogenize experiences. Inaccessibility and compromised quality of education are clear fault lines that deter students from accepting online education as a norm. These fault lines are not restricted to India alone; these form the fundamental misconnect in education globally.
Today’s generation of students and consumers are growing up in a digital world and according to a survey conducted by Live Mint, 93% students in India access the Internet everyday. Increased Internet penetration and access to broadband connectivity has further improved the experience of consuming education via the Internet.
A key driver for democratizing education is the advent of MOOC, or Massive Open Online Courses. These are short-term certification courses endorsed by top universities that are available to students for absolutely no cost. Anyone with an active Internet connection can subscribe to certificate courses by top-ranked universities on a plethora of subjects from gardening, music to capital markets.
Education, as a medium, should not be restricted to a privileged few. Technology, in particular, MOOC platforms, has successfully bridged this lacuna and has resulted in a vast number of students gaining access to top quality educators globally.
Another development that has the potential of transforming online education is the advent of Adaptive Learning techniques. This allows consumers to customize their learning experience to their strengths and areas of development. Over the next few years, increased awareness and access to quality educators will help reduce the rigidity in the Indian education system and make the learning experience seamless.
In addition to our paid courses, Imarticus also hosts a series of free workshops on our Learning Management System. Students can undertake these workshops from our website for absolutely no cost. At Imarticus, we believe that inaccessibility to quality education should not deter students from learning.
Unlike traditional education, web-based education in the form of research websites such as Wikipedia and MOOC
platforms are agnostic of geography. Our students in Canada, Argentina, Ghana and China have access to the same content from the same instructors. The only push that is needed is that of awareness. Students, teachers and institutions in emerging countries need to be made aware of such platforms and solutions. This is where the real challenge lies.