Sanjaya Sharma, CEO, Tata Interactive System, speaks to Prachi Rege on the fundas of learning anytime, anywhere.
Q. How has the education technology industry grown over the years?
A. With the advent of technology across different spheres of life, education industry is also experiencing usage of immersive technology. Education is changing progressively. Students now have to understand complex concepts at a very early age. Thus, the teaching and learning process has become more nuanced and seamless. The learning pattern has changed from being textbook centric to experiential learning. The market for technology-enabled learning solutions in our school education sector has experienced a double-digit annual growth over the last five years. India’s supplemental education represents a $15-billion market opportunity over the next decade.
Q. Could you please share the new trends in the industry?
A. The concept of digital classrooms is constantly evolving. With an effective blend of classroom activities and interactive multimedia demonstrations, education technology providers aim to enhance student’s social skills as also his understanding of the curriculum content. The modules are interactive with the use of multimedia, quizzes and worksheets so as to make learning fun. Educational institutions are increasingly adapting to new age gadgets like tablets, smart phones, laptops, etc.
Q. What is the recruitment trend in the industry?
A. Lately, the education sector has undergone an enormous change. Technology has been a significant enabler and its role is evolving with newer innovations making inroads in the space. In response to this shifting trend, there is an equivalent requirement of the workforce who have the requisite knowledge, skills and aptitudes. There is an increasing demand for trained teachers and people equipped with giving requisite onsite school support.
Q. What skills are required to be a part of this industry?
A. Strong attention to detail, good problem-solving skills and personal organization are strong points. Additionally, an ability to collaborate in a team environment is an important trait that we look for. Apart from technological expertise, a creative and innovative bent of mind is essential. Inter-personal skills and language proficiency aids.
Q. Do we have enough education institutes to train people for education technology?
A. We don’t see a structured course especially designed for educational technologists who have detailed training on the subject. There should be specialised courses for training teachers in new age technologies and for onsite school support personnel. It will definitely help to have an organised and concentrated approach towards developing professionals for this industry which will see a lot of demand in the coming years.
Q. What are the different kinds of careers in this industry?
A. The industry provides specialised career opportunities in various roles like school delivery implementation. As more and more schools adopt solutions like ERP systems and robot labs there is a constant requirement for such technical experts. Further, the industry can largely be divided into content developers and on-field sales and marketing teams. Some prime careers include: training coordinator, instructional designer, web or multimedia designer, education software/games developer, teacher/professor, evaluation and assessment specialist, e-learning consultant, etc.
Q. Advise to youngsters who want to take up a career in Education Technology?
A. A consistent demonstration of knowledge is very important to succeed. Critical and abstract thinking, communication skills plus curiosity and a deep desire to know, will be of immense significance. There has to be a passion for teaching and compassion for children. You need to be passionate about authoring documentation and educational media.