About Education 4.0:
Education 4.0: is the phrase used to describe education in the fourth Industrial Age driven by AI, Machine Learning and other current transformational technologies such as the Internet of Things, 3D printing and Blockchain.
I have been an academic for more than 50 years having seen the education systems and processes transform through several stages of ‘ chalk and talk’ to the use of OHP with acetate sheets, followed by PowerPoint to use of SmartBoards, and global education with LMS such as webCT, Blackboard, Wiziq and others. Then satellite based education facilitated in India by EDUSAT, and then Internet based conferencing with Skype, Google Hangouts, WebEx and Zoom. With my long innings in EdTech enabled education, I am fortunate in having directly first hand experienced the power and limitations of these. So far, all technologies in education have facilitated the broadcast model with recent successful MOOCs having touched millions of students.
In the year 2008, my elder son Gaurav introduced me to a book by Clayton Christensen with the title “ Disrupting Class” drew my attention to the fact that the desirable disruptive manifestation of technology in education is the personalisation of learning. This was also the optimistic expectation of Benjamin Bloom, which he articulated as ‘the 2 σ’ problem. Ten years later we have been able to move towards greater personal choice in the landscape of learning, and can have reasonable expectation that the new learning driven by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will lead to greater personalisation of learning.
In January 2016, Klaus Schwab drew attention to the arrival of the 4th Industrial Age, and during the last 2 years we have been studying its implications for the future of education. In 2017, the MIT Press published a book with title “ Robot-Proof: Higher education in the age of Artificial Intelligence”. In the same year in July 2017 my younger son Herschel wrote and directed a play “ Beyond Singularity” which in a humorous and light hearted way, drew attention to situations when humanoids could have emotions.
During the last 2 years I have been exploring teaching through Whatsapp on mobile phones and have demonstrated its features to thousands of learners across several countries in a range of courses varying from Learning to lead a Quality Life with Diabetes to Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence. The overall mission is to promote public understanding of emerging technologies: their applications and implications.
There is a very fundamental difference between the 3rd Industrial Age in the 1970s in which the key beneficiaries were the IITians and others who were created in their image.
This time around, the story will unfold differently.
In the pre-Industrial age, India was very prosperous and probably the richest country in the world. We lost out in the 3 Industrial revolution. But in the coming Age of AI, every producer in the country will be able to multiply the productivity by an order of magnitude and the country’s GDP could rise by more than 20% leading India to the top place in global economic order.
So, the elements of education 4.0 that we are implementing are : all the time and everywhere access to the content, cohort and resource person for the course; content structured as ‘knowledge nuggets’ in the form of Whatsapp posts; an a-synchronous model of learner engagement; the spirit of flipped learning; three strands of learning comprising ‘ learning and thinking’ with 22 courses, ‘ Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence’ with 21 week-long courses and ‘the entrepreneurship program’ with 23 courses. This is a pool of 1000 Whatsapp posts in all. More courses will be continually added as per the demand or needs.
The courses are listed in 3 pages with the respective titles. The Schedule of courses from July to September 2018 is also given as 3 different pages.
But any listed course can be offered ‘ on demand’ if there is a request from a significant number of learners.