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Reimagining Edtech for Early Learners: A Guide To Smarter Early Education

Several schools across India are already reaping the benefits. This initiative not only bridged the digital divide but also improved learning outcomes. Educational technology, or ed-tech, is gaining popularity in both homes and schools as more parents use online learning materials to teach their children. Customized learning experiences, remote learning, rapid feedback and rewards, access to high-quality localized learning modules, and support for traditional classroom learning modules are all possible with EdTech learning.

However, with great benefits come great challenges, like the edtech not being specific enough for young learners. Specifically, according to a survey done for a report, more than 70% of PK–6 instructors said that the edtech resources they employ in the classroom don’t sufficiently address the requirements of young students.

The paper also draws attention to the incompatibility of tech solutions, such as Learning Management Systems, which were designed with older students in mind, and the demands of primary schools. This is not to argue that educational technology is not valuable; rather, it is to suggest that to maximize its impact on early learners, established methods of edtech development and adoption must be rethought.

Early Learners & Their Education Practices 

As mentioned above, present edtech solutions are designed with keeping older students in mind who can grasp concepts quickly unlike young and early learners. However, emerging technologies like AR/VR, AI, and machine learning have the potential to create more immersive, personalized, and interactive learning experiences for early learners.

The following fundamental ideas should direct the development and selection of educational technology for young learners:

Joyful Learning: Edtech tools should balance screen time with offline activities by igniting curiosity, creativity, and hands-on discovery.

Connected Learning: By facilitating communication, tools should make it easier for students, teachers, and families to collaborate.

Inclusive and Divergent Learning: By lowering barriers and offering a variety of engagement options, Edtech should adhere to the universal design for learning (UDL) principles to empower all young learners.

Joyful Learning Should be at the Core of Edtech

The value of play, curiosity, and joy in early learning has been shown by a wealth of studies. Primary schools use edtech to handle sometimes tedious chores like tracking and evaluating student learning. 

However, it’s simple to confuse “joyful learning” with “fun.” A gadget that offers kids an intellectual experience, like answering arithmetic problems, followed by an enjoyable one, like playing a mini-game, is not fulfilling the intended purpose. 

It is most probable that joyful experiences will lead to learning, therefore that’s where it should happen. Creating lively, interactive, dynamic, and imaginative hands-on learning experiences that offer captivating chances to acquire new abilities and foster a lifetime love of learning is what it means to design joyful edtech. 

This will help youngsters approach the work with confidence because they believe they are truly included in the learning process. These resources can be entertaining, but they should also stimulate interest and lead to deeper research. 

Edtech for the Offline Experience of the Child

First and foremost, edtech solutions must be thoughtfully created with these young children’s developmental requirements and the reality of the classroom in mind if they are to genuinely serve them. Effective early learning EdTech solutions shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. They must be meticulously designed with both a child’s developmental needs and the realities of a classroom in mind. While creating a learning app for young students might seem like a purely digital experience, good EdTech should integrate seamlessly into the physical world of learners, complementing and working alongside traditional methods. 

A great example is the Lego Education series. Lego bricks are a familiar and beloved part of many children’s play experiences. Lego Education apps take advantage of this by offering age-appropriate coding challenges that students can complete using physical Lego sets. This creates a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, allowing children to learn coding fundamentals through a familiar and engaging hands-on activity.

 When designing a solution, designers should keep the use case in mind: how will the tool be put to use? Solutions must supplement concrete encounters and chances for students to participate in the larger classroom setting, not replace them. In primary schools, the relationship between the school and the family is vital, and edtech should acknowledge this. Therefore, maintaining communication is essential not only between kids and instructors but also between classmates and parents.

Why is EdTech Important in the Coming Years?

India’s education system is transforming to leverage technology for a more inclusive and tech-savvy future. This focus on EdTech is crucial to address affordability and accessibility challenges, especially considering India’s young population. The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the need for tech-enabled learning. While delivering educational content is a current focus, EdTech is poised to offer a wider range of support services, including admissions management and personalized learning tools.

Recent policy changes reflect this shift. The Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan program, for instance, emphasizes equipping schools with technology and training teachers in its use and focuses on early education. 

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