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Edu Tech

Edumoms

Written by – Mona Sutrave on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Technology has been re-shaping and re-organising the economic dynamics of the world. The Internet brought about the revolution at the turn of the century.

Today, Technological advancement in almost all fields is NORMAL. Technology drives daily life. From a simple purchase of vegetables to complex algorithm driven activities. Technology has crept into our lives like we have never realised before.

Consumerism has shifted gears from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market. While marketplaces created demand for products. Today, demand for a marketplace of convenience has brought the market place virtually to the customer. Making customers’ access products from different regions. Without having to travel the distance.

Education has its fair share in this technological revolution. The information available to the world at a click of a ‘mouse’ has been astounding. Just that one needs to access their relevant information with care.  

Online videos are in millions which speak about various topics. But little do they teach in a way a mother or a teacher would teach.  Content companies show content as they have understood a concept while in their college days.

The real challenge is how a young mind is wired? Does that young mind fire connections like a 25 year old? Does someone doing so make a school teacher obsolete? The Answer is a simple ‘NO’.

The growing years are so important in framing a personality. What one is at 10 is not the same as 14 and 16 and definitely not the same as while one is 25.  This goes on to prove that ‘ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL’. 

Each child is unique and each of their needs are certainly unique.  One needs to step into the mindset of the student and help them nurture their learning skills to adapt to the challenges. That One person, is the Teacher

A Teacher is not just educated, they are “QUALIFIED”. They understand every child in their class. They understand their abilities and Capabilities. They do not treat the child as a robot to max marks sheets.  They treat the child as a human being and help them with the abilities to form the very basis of LIFE SKILLS. The choice to PICK n CHOOSE.

DHII came into existence for the very fact that there were so many contents, videos, pdfs of chapters, but the whole personal touch was missing.  Kids are kids, they need to be nurtured, spoken to, cared and loved while teaching, which technology still hasn’t achieved.  It’s just not the topic which the kid is learning, but the whole universe around that particular topic, which only a teacher sitting across can bring it down.  

We at DHII believe in this very concept of teaching.  Help the students realise their true potential and enable them to experience the HIGH POINTS. We are available to the student through-out the duration of the course, in person. We proudly say, we just don’t teach subjects, but we BUILD CONFIDENCE.

We call ourselves, the new era EDU MOMS, simply because the first guru for any human being is a MOM. The affection which MOMs can give, can be compared to none! 

The onslaught of content companies camouflaged as edtechs are widening the gap by denying reasonable opportunities to the lower end of pool.  

We propose to take our ONLINE Teaching to Tier II and Lower areas, make quality education affordable to the aspiring students to cross the hurdle first.  Break the barriers of the regional languages and enable them to realise their dreams.

Technology is indeed making this possible. We have started this journey of providing customised education to the far and beyond corners of India with an initial investment. We now hope to achieve our mission with right investment opportunities sooner than we imagined!

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The Evolution of Education

Written by – Deakin Daney on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

The thirst for knowledge is as ancient as the sea. Every generation of knowledge seekers is hungrier than the last. But is just education enough to quench our growing desire to know more?

Innovation and ideation are two important parameters to assist in our education journey. With the launch of the New Education Policy, the country is now moving into the future with a strong focus on STEM and assisted and alternative teaching methods. What this now brings to the forefront, is how we impact the thoughts, abilities, and actions of our young generation.

How do we excite them, and make them think beyond the pages of their books? 

The answer lies in engagement, team building and working on real life problems which lead to world class solutions which help build a sustainable and enriching environment. 

Hackathons started as a technical competition, aimed at a 24 or 48 hour finale, which involved writing code, creating technical prototypes and , during the finale , proving the product / code actually worked and could be used in real life scenarios.

While those kinds of hackathons do still exist, they focus on a very defined solution. Now, these hackathons have opened up not just for technical students , but also non-technical ones , including management , social media , the arts , and more. These events are no longer aimed at 24 & 48-hour timelines. They extend for a few months and have various engagement activities which make the whole program so very interesting.

As the Head of Innovation for i4C we work in the niche space of Hackathons and Ideathons. With a proprietary idea submission and evaluation platform, we provide school and college students and corporate employees alike the opportunity to participate in multiple events and showcase their strengths and solutions.  

At the heart of a hackathon event is the theme. One could do a specialised event on IoT, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, EV infrastructure etc. They can also do a social event on Sustainability goals, climate change, water conservation, Air Pollution, Waste Management, and many other themes. One could even have an event involving multiple themes to engage a larger target group and audience. 

The strength behind the Theme is the Problem Statement (PS). These statements are carefully curated problems faced currently. Sometimes these PS are given by Industry – Banks, Manufacturing Cos, Aggregators, Cloud Computing etc , all because they want to see a fresh take on how to tackle these problems .

This becomes very interesting for students because here they get a real world problem faced by a large company, and if they are part of the team which solves it, well.. it can lead to an offer of employment for them, or at the very least an internship. It could help them start their career on a good note. 

We have recently conducted a few hackathons for government bodies, private companies and are currently working with a large Blockchain entity now. The thrill that the students get from such a participation, needs to be seen to be believed. We have students from Tier 2 and Tier 3 colleges attempting to solve a real-world problem of a Trillion Dollar Company. This is the Engagement which the Hackathon Platform provides. It helps see things from a very large perspective.

These events also lead to team management and team playing skills. Since these events are all team based with a minimum team size of 4, the students and employees get to work with each other in proximity. This helps them understand the life lesson of team dynamics, kindness, sharing and above all, the desire to win as one.

Feedback from many events conducted by us, has led us to this important conclusion, as students themselves commented on feeling as a family, with immense gratitude for winning being shared by all. 

During an event, the teams which take part, are evaluated by industry experts, who interact with the students and share their thoughts and ideas on what can be done to make the solution to the PS more compelling.

Many of these experts, if not all, are usually Subject Matter Experts (SME) in their chosen field , and hence approached by us . These kind of interactions between young minds and experienced SME, goes over and beyond what is taught in a classroom, and it liberates the young minds to think more clearly and more long term.

It gets even better, once the teams are shortlisted for the finals based on their solutions. These teams are then assigned mentors who help guide them and take their idea, prototype, vision, product, or service into the Finale.

These mentors spend long hours with the team and patiently answer all questions in support of their team winning the Finale. These hours and moments spent with such experienced mentors is usually a defining moment for students. 

During the Finale, all teams compete hard to prove their solutions are worthy, but it is usually the Top 3 who end up victorious. These 12 students across 3 teams, get to share their Intellectual Property with the companies who find their solution effective, they get prize money, they get certificates and trophies, they get internships and job offers, but most importantly , they learn to win on their own , through their efforts and those of team members. This, to me, is probably the defining thought on why we need to have more such idea based events in India.

Having our young generation think out of the box, solve Big Corporate problem statements, work as a team, and enjoy the success of winning, at a young age, on a big platform all adds up to our country’s growth and economic success.

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AI for Inclusive Education Personalized Learning systems

Written by Dr. Sandeep Bansal on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership)

Everyone knows that different individuals possess different capabilities, comprehension abilities, problem-solving skills, and hence the learning needs vary across the students of a class with their varying interests, abilities, performance, pre-requisite knowledge, etc.

In order to address such needs, the adaptive/Personalized learning/teaching systems are being worked upon with the involvement of technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning etc. These systems provide different learning paths with different paces to different learners based on their needs & performance but they use the same study material for all the learners; though it may be delivered to them at a different pace depending on their needs and performance; while the learners need study material as per their need, capabilities for the same topic. This gives a rise to the need of not only developing different study materials varying with variations in different parameters but developing the machine learning models also which would take care of not only the learning needs being dealt with by today’s system but other needs being discussed further here.  

Countries like India have lots of diversities with respect to language, culture, regions, etc. Such learning systems can play a key role to bring inclusivity in education as we note:  

  • Learners with physical disabilities (Divyang Jan): In India, around 1% of school-going children are children with physical disabilities and need transformation of e-content.
  • Learners with learning disabilities: In India around 5% of the school going children are affected with learning disabilities (dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia etc.. Each type of disorder may coexist with another). In such cases also the study material needs transformation.
  • Learners with different socio-cultural identities, socio economic & geographical identities with the needs of study material in different languages, dialect & culture.

The fundamental principles of  NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY (2020) of Indian Government include –

  • recognizing, identifying, and fostering the unique capabilities of each student
  • focus on regular formative assessment for learning
  • extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers,
  • increasing access for Divyang students, and educational planning and management

Therefore the role of AI based adaptive system delivering the right content at the right time to the learners in personalized manner has a very important role to play. The machine learning models need training data also for their adaption to the different learner’s need with regard to their learning attributes (like some emerging system) & varying needs of different content for the same topic (not common & to be evolved). How it all would work may be understood with a simple architecture of the whole system. The basic building blocks including the content would be as follows:

  1. Artificial Intelligence-based Decision System: This would be the core of the whole system to interface with the front-end i.e. learner’s interface, with the learner’s repository where the learner’s attributes would be stored and with the content repository where the content of different languages, formats, and levels to choose from for the learners would be stored.
  • Learner Interface: It provides the test material to the learners and based on performance captures different attributes of the learners e.g. learning disabilities, problem-solving skills, comprehension abilities, misconceptions, gaps in prerequisite knowledge which are then sent to the “Learner’s Repository” module. The whole process is controlled by the core AI-based Decision system. The interface may be equipped with conversational AI (powered by Natural Language Processing, Speech recognition to interpret the intent of the user and providing smooth interaction with the system) in his/her language.
  1. Content Repository: Different type of content e.g. Content for physical disabilities, Content for learning disabilities (the content of different levels of explanation with a provision of need-based detailing of basics & prerequisites involved in the concept to enable the learner to drill down), The content to address the needs of study material in different languages, dialect & culture etc.
  • Learner’s module: The attributes of the learners captured by the AI system through the learner’s interface would be stored in this repository consisting of attributes of different learners with their respective learning attributes and learning paths to be followed by them.

Learning Path (sub module of learner’s module): To decide on the appropriate learning path for the learner, the system first evaluates the learners with respect to different attributes, different learning issues etc.. For example a learner first needs to understand the concepts of Motion to understand “Simple Harmonic Motion”, then waves, then Light’s concepts, then concepts of reflection & refraction and so on. During assessment of the learner, if it is found by the AI system that the learner is lacking somewhere, the system would advise the learner to go back to the basics.

Content Selection by the Decision system: The content selection logic of the system would take care of the content selection at all stages from the content repository based on different attributes & need of the learners. Based on various factors of the learner’s as summarised below, the AI based system would choose the appropriate content for the learner.

For the proposed system the availability of content for training the models & e-content for the learners in different formats is a bigger challenge. The initiatives of the Government of India e.g. Natural Language Technology Missions (targeting content in Indian languages), guidelines, policies for e-content development (including those for children with special needs) by Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment would play a key role to make such content available. As an outcome a lot of content is expected to be made available in different languages & formats which may be used for such solutions.