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How innovation and digitisation is changing the face of education

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As students, parents, educators and law makers get dissatisfied with the state of education, there is shift towards relying on innovation’s key tenets, collaboration and experimentation to find better strategies to educate generation next.

As students, parents, educators and law makers get dissatisfied with the state of education and its inability to prepare students for a tech savvy and increasingly connected tomorrow, there is shift towards relying on innovation’s key tenets, collaboration and experimentation — to find better strategies to educate generation next.

 

Collaboration

Though one has heard of “Crowd funding” and other such collaborative efforts, some European cities have reached out to neighborhoods and involved them in “crowd sourcing” solutions to the current educational systems. The primary pay off of collaboration is perspective.

When you open yourself to the opinions of others it allows you to approach challenges through a different lens and gain insights that you could have missed from your singular vantage point. It also provides the perspective necessary to introduce, evaluate and validate ideas. Innovation is a group effort and technology is only the platform that supports it and in education this becomes even more important as it impacts the next generation.

Educational workshops, today, no longer have fixed agendas with stipulated outcomes but encourage collaborative approaches to finding solutions with moderators who only guide the sessions and not rule them. People no longer have to be in the same room to collaborate, innovative use of technology makes it possible to sit in different continents and time zones and yet collaborate.

 

Experimentation

Taking a cue from the success of the lean start up model in product development education has also moved towards experimentation and opened its doors to new technologies and approaches to learning. Educational pilot programmes and start up schools encourage an experimental landscape for new ideas to be vetted by students and parents willing to take a chance and educators and technologists committed to continuous improvement.

The benefits of starting innovation in education with the lean start up methodology and built in scalability reduces the risks financial and others for other players to venture into the model.  In the quest for changing education mired in 19th century methods, creating a strong business case for change is an important first step. Minimized risk is especially important with the high stakes of children’s future.

Collaboration and experimentation in education is a solution to reinventing education. This is playing itself out in classrooms of innovative schools in the form of ‘hands on learning’ and experimentation often used in conjunction with STEAM ( Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) programmes that fuel students interest in learning the sciences but allowing them to think creatively, act autonomously and challenge themselves to invent new things.

 

Digitisation in education

With a variety of new softwares available in the market, more than 100,000 schools and colleges in India have immediately taken over  various forms of these technology softwares.

The process of digitisation in the field of education is emerging at a very fast pace in India. New technologies are being adopted quickly by private schools so as to satisfy the educational needs put forward by the GenNext students. Digital tools are extensively being used to enhance the system of education in rural India.

PM Modi’s emphasis on the Digital India campaign is going to increase the scope of technology in the country. It aims to ensure better connectivity and maximise the potential of India’s demographic dividend.

Adaptability, a key 21st century skill, lies at the heart of INNOVATION and its core principles, collaboration and experimentation. In adopting these tenets education is experiencing a cultural shift towards a willingness and ability to change at the same pace as the world around it and this is a brilliant step towards evolution. INNOVATION shall forge this merger, there is no other way!

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        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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