Having spent about 18 years in an education system of a developing world, its imperative for me to see the advantages it brings in. Let it be at the school level or the at university system, digital education has a lot of potential and hope to bridge the gap created by below par teaching standards. However over the years, as this model is tried and tested, the results are not so encouraging. I feel so especially after experiencing the education system in a developed world.
I recently read a news (Source: Deccan Herald) where an engineering university boats of having spent crores of rupees in equipping its class rooms with state-of-the art teaching gizmos. Unfortunately, in the middle of all this hype, an institution fails to realize that the best minds are not built with high end teaching gizmos but with enough freedom to think and also by having the right teachers who encourage the young minds to think. I more so felt this when I moved over to a fairly new (25 years) university in Germany for my Masters.
Unlike the effort being put on digital education in Indian education system, the class rooms over here are fairly simple with bare minimum infrastructure. A typical class room consists of a moving multi-foldable blackboard, a white board, bunch of chalks, marker pens and a projector. The wonderful nature of this setup is that the wall is used a screen for the projector and the rest of work are done on the board (in the traditional style). This setup is good enough to stimulate the thinking in us. But eventually its the professor who with his thoughts and perspectives makes the students think. And by far too, the quality of education is high when compared to back in India. This can be gauged by the university’s research output and the number of students option for further education.
Hence I feel the institutions in a developing country to should stop riding on the hype of digital classrooms but instead invest time and space in acquiring the right teaching talent and in developing a through proving & stress free environment.