Professor Janat Shah is the Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur. He spoke to Digital Learning magazine about the use of technology in education.
What has been the biggest innovation in higher education during the pandemic period?
The pandemic has hugely affected people’s lives and the way we do things. COVID-19 has opened up new opportunities in education technologies to help engage teachers and students. Lockdowns have pushed people towards virtual models. E-learning has seen many infrastructural developments and the adoption of platforms such as zoom and google meet to fill the void. The shift to hybrid classrooms has increased the prospects for collaborations between universities and businesses. The growing number of webinars has given students the opportunity to interact with faculties and professionals from various industries around the world, giving them a leap forward in their education and career. These advancements make education more flexible, open up more ways to connect with the community, and expose students to real-world scenarios to research solutions and apply their learning.
How do you think the use of technology improves students’ skills and makes them more industry-ready?
Covid has prompted people around the world to learn and adapt to different technologies to be ready for the industry. From studying in physical classes, to being present on the online medium and interacting virtually with peers, the learning has been immense, motivating students to hone their technical knowledge. Students can now access 24/7 personalized education and the availability of recorded sessions that help them gain a high-quality education no matter where they are.
NEP advocated for the addition of technology in the curriculum. What do you think might be the best way to do this?
With the onset of the Covid pandemic, the importance of technology has increased enormously. Businesses have begun to adopt new and old technologies to operate efficiently within this unique framework. Some of the ways to do this are –
• A special course dedicated to technologies: To deal with new technologies, it is essential to know them. Disciplines such as digital business execution, digital technologies, digital transformation, etc., can be incorporated into the curriculum to give students a true understanding of these areas.
• Fintech courses: As fintech is becoming extremely popular, including it in the curriculum will help students gain knowledge on the use of technology in banking and finance and will also help them explore new opportunities in the banking industry. domain.
• Exposure to digital tools and skills: The use of tools such as AI, blockchain, etc., is gaining popularity in the industry. To prepare for the modern workplace, hands-on experience with these concepts and tools can be provided.
Can you share some best practices for using technology in higher education?
Technology trends can encourage a holistic learning environment with the inclusion and feasibility of staff and students. Recent trends such as AI, data analytics, e-learning, and hybrid models have revolutionized the entire education system. As a leading management institute, we also embrace technology to enhance our students’ learning experience. We have invested decisively in improving our infrastructure with our existing connectivity. We want things to return to normal because for high-quality management education, face-to-face or on-campus learning will always be the dominant and preferred mode of instruction. For Tier II and Tier III institutions, which are currently in significant numbers in our country, I believe COVID-19 has opened up an exciting set of opportunities.