Technology as the harbinger of global connectedness – A revolution in education spectrum

Venu Gopal

Educators are an imminent part of the landscape that built the foundation of students.With the development of technology aspects to the educational ecosystem, the faculty is also pushed to adapt to the new normal of education. Well, everyone is doing so with utmost credibility and acceptance. To know more about the same, Sheeba Chauhan of Elets News Network (ENN) interacted with Venu Gopal, Principal, MIT Pune’s Vishwashanti Gurukul to put the challenges and opportunities forward from their vision and how an educator looks forward to these changes. Edited excerpts:

Being associated with the education sector for such a long time is bliss in itself. How has been your journey? Please elaborate.

I am blessed to be associated with a field that holds the power to transform societies, nations, and the world. Association with the education sector is indeed blissful – intellectually, emotionally, socially, psychologically, and spiritually. My journey as an educator and now as an education administrator has been filled with moments of delight as I saw my students do well academically, with moments of pride when my students brought a positive impact to society, and now when my teachers win accolades for our school through their work. My admissions, marketing, and HR teams similarly awe me with their dedication. As their leader, I hope to have played my role in formulating processes, procedures, vision, and pathways that have led to benefiting everyone.

Your academic journey has been closely related to Mathematics & Statistics. Do you think the emergence of technology into the education landscape can bring easy aid to such complex subjects?

Technology is the harbinger of global connectedness, and it has revolutionised the field of education as never before. The power of technology to make education accessible to students in the remotest parts of the world; and to make the process of teaching and learning interactive and fun is unquestionable. The remarkable shift in thinking from the local to the global can be attributed to technology.

Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has institutionalised the applications of digital technologies in education exponentially, which has made a paradigm shift in the entire education system; with technology as a co-creator of information, a mentor, and an assessor. Technology has also facilitated school connections, buddy programmes and virtual competitions, internships, and collaborative opportunities among global institutions.

You are presently associated with an institution that is right at the “Centre of Excellence in the field of Education and Research”. What are your thoughts on the evolving education ecosystem with the technological push?

Ed-tech seamlessly bridges the gap between educators and students with its ability to go beyond geographical barriers. Technology is also enabling innovation, commercialization, and enterprise, which are the need of the hour.

At MIT Gurukul, being an IB School, technological innovations are arguably necessary, simply because of the nature of the said education program. Globalisation and student-centric educational pedagogy are central to it, and inclusivity and inter connectivity are the cornerstones of our tech-enabled educational approach. We at MIT Gurukul have the inherent intent of shaping the individual as a whole, and many can attest to its inimitable benefits. The level of education the students receive is unmatched and has been made world-class with technology amalgamation.

You have more than a decade of experience in teaching the CIE/IB curriculum. What could be the salient features and advantages of the IB Board in comparison to others?

From among the many national, international, and state boards, IB is certainly one of the most comprehensive, rigorous, and all-inclusive programmes that offer holistic education for the students.

The programme lays emphasis not only on academics, but also on sports and extracurricular activities, necessary life skills, and social values so that the students grow to become responsible global citizens. The IB programme makes the students future-ready by preparing them for higher education while instilling in them skill development for jobs so that they can compete with the outside world.

Being a CIE/IB teacher I also gained high-quality professional development training that encouraged my critical thinking, and self-reflection and provided me with diverse education frameworks, unit planners, teaching resources, and evaluation tools.

Maharashtra Academy of Engineering Education and Research (MAEER) strongly believes in the virtues of the Guru-Shishya Parampara. In the fast-paced world of Machine Learning/AI, what are the possible challenges you face to equip the students with instructional technology in the Gurukul ecosystem?

MIT Gurukul features a modern learning process along with maintaining the Indian ethos. We believe that technology is integral to learning new methods that bring out the full potential of the child. Yet we uphold the Guru-Shishya Parampara at the core of our education where teachers enable and support students as they develop the approaches to learning they need – for both academic and personal success. The curriculum is designed in ways that enable teachers to invoke an interest in students’ learning.

Teaching and learning at MIT Gurukul celebrates the ways people work together to construct meaning and make sense of the world. We firmly believe that education empowers students for a lifetime of learning and independent decision-making.