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Education sector ripe for major disruption

Education sector ripe for major disruption
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Almost every industry known to mankind has already been radically disrupted or transformed, thanks to technology. But for the most part, education has ...

Almost every industry known to mankind has already been radically disrupted or transformed, thanks to technology. But for the most part, education has remained undisturbed and is hence, in my opinion, ripe for a major disruption. Let me then ask — is it possible that the generations of tomorrow won’t have teachers teaching them like we had?

Consider that the last 2 centuries belonged to ‘mass’. Mass production, mass communication and mass distribution. Even mass education. Universities have had thousands of students with one teacher teaching over 500 at a time! The focus was on cost reduction based on massive numbers.

Penetration of Internet

Today, however, the Internet and digital technologies are making sweeping changes, with ‘personalised content’ becoming a buzzword of sorts. Like Netflix that has been using Machine Learning algorithms to produce content — movies, dramas, documentaries — personalised to your tastes and viewing preferences. You can doze off in the middle of a binge-watching session and start from the same point you left it at. For Netflix, and brands like Amazon and Spotify, personalised content is providing a clear competitive edge over others.

Personalised education is the need of the hour

So, is it not obvious that education too would need to be personalised? This has many moving parts. Who would teach or importantly, how would students learn? How will learning be personalised to each student? Will this merely reduce costs or enhance the overall quality of learning? Will students need to come to a physical campus? Can soft skills and human skills, like empathy, be taught and learnt in this fashion? What about creative and critical thinking skills? My goal is not to expound on each but to give a sense of where, in my view, education is moving. It is clear that there is a lot to think about, but in my opinion, our first step should be to recognise that the current system is inefficient.

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