Dear Technology: Sorry but you are not my favorite tutor

Dear Technology: Sorry but you are not my favorite tutor

  • Bharat Sharma
  • 2019-02-01



Have you ever enrolled in an online course or e-learning program?

If yes, here is a short story you’ll relate to.

Shruti is currently studying in 12th standard and preparing for upcoming board examinations. As she turns the pages of his economics book, she faces a complex problem.

Even though it is based on a concept known and understood by Shruti during her classroom lectures, she simply cannot come up with the solution.

 

So, what does she do next? She pulls out her smartphone from the pocket and taps on the YouTube app to find help. Luckily for her, there’s an online tutorial explaining the same concept that she wasn’t able to understand to solve a problem.

Shruti then starts taking notes and feels relieved for a while only to come back to a similar problem few pages later in his textbook.

She again feels frustrated and wishes if she had a teacher who could explain the concept better than an online tutorial.

 

The Era of E-Learning

In the era we live, learning is synonymous with a screen – whether you are a K-12 student or a professional wanting to upgrade your career skills. Technology is a great leveller and has brought everyone immense opportunities to learn anything new on tap and on demand.

This sounds like a perfectly utopian future – a world where learning new things isn’t limited by lack of money, availability of tutors or opportunities.

The real world scenario, however, is different from this ideal vision.

As per the 2018 ASER report, India’s education system is still not equipped to deliver quality education to more than 2/3rd of students in the rural areas.

This brings us to an important question - if a teacher cannot make them solve basic mathematical problems, how can a computer be of much use to them?

In the age old debate between human versus machine based learning – too many technological advantages have overshadowed the core concept of gathering knowledge to learn something new.

 

 

Shireen Vakil who heads the Policy and Advocacy unit of the Tata Trusts, believes that technology itself cannot be the only way to gain knowledge, understand concepts better and apply them to solve real-world problems. She asserts that technology should not replace teachers; in fact, it should be utilized to empower teachers of the future.

Of course, this is possible only when significant reforms in the education and training sector are made. Teachers need to be offered skill upgrade programs, students must be encouraged to develop a sense of curiosity rather than cramming, government needs to allocate more funds and implement smoother reform policies to build classrooms of the future.

The need of the hour isn’t limited to classroom or online learning - it is about holistic learning.

 

How MillionCenters is building the future of holistic learning

 

As MillionCenters, we share the same sentiment – technology is a great tool that can be used to leverage the flow of knowledge between teachers and students.

However, relying solely on technology is bound to create long-term problems in exchange of short-term benefits.

 

 

With MillionCenters, we are building and empowering a community of teachers, trainers and learners who believe in the benefit of learning from a real person.

As compared to an online class or a course, a real teacher-student interaction offers a more empathetic, systematic and pragmatic approach to learning.

Our online platform encourages people to bond over learning and teaching – instead of merely serving as a technology enabler, we act as a community based bridge that brings both teachers and learners together under one roof.

If you are a student or a parent, here’s what you need to know -

 

1. Time Management: when we learn from a real teacher, a human, we are compelled to manage our time better.

A computer or online course won’t punish you if you’re running late everyday to class, but a teacher or trainer will ensure you learn the valuable art of time management.

When we learn in the presence of a teacher and other students, we are bound to keep better control of time.

Sticking to a schedule comes naturally to a student who learns in class as compared to someone who likes to open their computer or smart phone to learn something new.

 

2. Participation: we learn best in the company of others, as it helps us develop a sense of competition and participation.

A traditional classroom offers the important advantage of allowing each student to participate in a discussion, ponder over a debate and bounce off ideas with other students.

Online courses also evaluate students on their participation levels but their methodology is more disciplinary than voluntary.

An online course demands participation whereas a human teacher commands it. The difference is significant.

 

3. Student-Teacher Relationship: in a classroom, students get the wonderful opportunity to know their teacher/trainer better.

Education isn’t only about learning textbook concepts, it is also about learning important values, fundamentals and concepts of life.

A computer or online course will limit your learning only to the subject in discussion, whereas a human teacher will want to share his experiences and life lessons with you and build a personal relationship.

If you ever had a favorite teacher in your life, you will know the feeling and value of forming a personal connect with your teacher(s).

 

4. Networking: in the professional world, your network determines your net worth.

Making meaningful connections and partnerships is easy when you are part of a traditional classroom or course.

When you share the same interest with people in a shared learning environment, it automatically enhances your chances of knowing them better and fostering a habit of professional networking.

Your chances of meeting your future boss, co-founder or business partner are much higher when you learn in a coherent, real-world environment.

 

In Conclusion

 

 

A human interaction still is the best way to inculcate knowledge, understand concepts and build solid foundations over subjects.

E-learning might be convenient in the short-term but when it comes to building the future of education in India, we need more tutors than computers. 

Be it at classroom level or employee training level, we learn best when we are in the company of a human, not a computer. And that is not going to change even in the future.

Also Read: 5 reasons why classroom learning still works



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