Sharing is good. Easy to share with digital technology and a digital university. This will continue in the future as well. However, it is also important that we do not forget our human connection.
Teaching in a digital or face-to-face mode must include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training and focused research. From the time of Vishnu Sharma in Panchatantra, storytelling has not been used at any level as a medium of instruction. Guru-disciple tradition or face-to-face learning was enriched in antiquity when scholarship developed. It still has to be the most preferred way. However, Eklavya, after being rejected by Guru Dronacharya, embarked on a disciplined program of self-study for many years and became an archer of exceptional skill, proving that teaching and imparting knowledge can take place in formal or informal settings.
A job market, optimally warm, lack of quality faculty, poor networking, poor leadership, growing student numbers, rising costs, inadequate curriculum intervention, infrastructural deficits, painfully low teacher-student ratios and a sadly low government share, Space, they have all contributed to the alarming decline in the quality of our education system.
Where existing universities need to be transformed into “Velcro Institutions” in consciousness, where they must be different and reunite in new ways to respond to changing opportunities, perhaps, this is when ‘digital’, ‘virtual’ and ‘networked’ institutions begin to cross borders. By Further, fulfilling the ’50 GER ‘prescribed by NEP is possible only by going digital and not by building more brick-and-mortar institutions.
In the recent budget, it was announced that the government is in the process of setting up a digital university that will provide world class education. This is an announcement that we must welcome, in the context of the above. Therefore, beyond all the limitations of face-to-face learning, technology must be used effectively so that it cannot be reached. What would be the contour of such a university, however, should be drawn carefully because it must be acknowledged that not everything can and should be done online.
For those struggling with the cost of higher education, it is easy to see that Internet-based learning opportunities can come at a fraction of the cost. Expanding the possibilities, if one can create a model that provides personalized education online, be it for teaching or for competitive exams, or for value-added courses for working professionals, Digital University could be the game-changer of the future.
Currently, around the world, virtual schools and virtual universities offer a complete curriculum online. Many private, government, non-profit and non-profit organizations now offer distance education courses from the most basic instruction through the highest level degree and doctoral programs. The level of recognition may vary. Widely respected universities such as Stanford and Harvard also offer online courses. The education system has to be innovated accordingly. Lifelong learning, virtual learning or blended / hybrid learning are all needed today.
The heart of any mode of content delivery. Synchronous or asynchronous. The government’s efforts to develop the platform itself, of course, can fill a gap. Content in various Indian languages and ICT formats will be able to reach most students across the country. Private players should also make active efforts to collect the best content. Expanding the program from 12 to 400 TV channels, one class, PM e-learning to one TV channel can also solve some delivery side problems. An online learning platform where lessons are conducted via video chat and a virtual whiteboard with file sharing function by various teachers / experts could be the future.
A central digital university whose center can be built in each district on the basis of a ‘hub and spoke’ model. However, the construction of digital infrastructure, virtualization of services and integration of various software and applications will be essential for the success of this national university.
A major problem with current delivery models is the regimentation and structure that it seeks to implement. There is a lot of information available in the public domain, and it is essential to allow children who are addicted to social networking sites to breastfeed and learn and understand at their own pace during their leisure time. Visual media is at least 30% more effective than any other. YouTube is the most popular social network. Like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and many more, almost every major social network has made it easy to upload, view and share videos in their respective applications and websites. Teaching and learning methods at a digital university must evolve and not stagnate over time.
Teaching methods need to be changed with new learning concepts (e.g., flipped classrooms) and new learning infrastructure (e.g., tools for the virtual world). Even digital rights management will be crucial for a digital university. Teachers need to be guided to become teachers. New learning infrastructure such as computing capabilities and AR / VR devices may be required. Virtual and next generation labs such as Code Lab, Pop Up Studio, Cloud Innovation Lab, Gaming Garage, AR / VR Studio, Makerspace, Innovation / Venture Development Center, AI and Robot Park will be required. Finally, teaching-learning methods need to be student-centered and personalized.
Adi Shankara’s teaching method was completely student-centered. Whether it is’ Shravan Vidhi ‘or’ Manan Vidhi ‘, or’ Nididhyasa Vidhan ‘, or’ Question and Answer Vidhan ‘or’ Argument Vidhan ‘, or’ Explanation Vidhan ‘, or’ Adhyrop Apovada Vidhi ‘, or’ Drishtint Vidhan ‘, or’ The word-of-mouth rule, or ‘rule of advice’, was a revelation in every way. Unfortunately, without the ‘Shravan Rule’ and the ‘Admonition Rule’, our schools or teachers today do not want them. These pedagogies will also be effective in virtual / digital universities.
Some online content providers are actually experimenting with these pedagogies in their online content distribution and even some media organizations and ad-tech companies are addressing these realistic modes of guidance and distribution, affordability and access. They even meet a social and egalitarian policy associated with cultural education, alternative curricula, community education and independent education.
The digital university must give time for individual exploration through discussion with others and the opportunity to study work that broadens the mind and builds the skills suitable for a decent living.
Digital universities can serve as pressure points for our traditional universities to perform better and deliver or close. In a world where machines interact with each other and where manufacturers create cyber-physical production systems (CPPS) and industries integrate the real world into a virtual and enable machines to collect live data, analyze them and even make decisions. To them, can we leave our university or our children behind? A properly competent digital university may be the answer. Jack Barjun, a French-American historian and philosopher, once said, “Education is not a lost art, but respect for it is a lost tradition.” This is true regardless of the mode of delivery. Let’s bring back the dignity of teaching through this digital initiative.