When we look back in retrospection about the advancements that we have been able to make with the help of technology, we see that the impact of technology is not limited to modes of transportation and communication. The evolutionary changes in our current education system with the introduction of online learning is a precursor to the major transformation in education we are about to witness, thanks to technology.

Be it learning a new subject, a new skill, or a new language, today there are plenty of digital learning platforms such as Coursera, Udacity, edX, IIMBx, etc. helping learners accomplish their goals. Digital learning has not just imparted ease of access to education, it has also made us more productive and efficient by allowing a thoughtful and judicious use of time, cost, and resources. Learning has become more flexible in which an individual can take up a course after analyzing their requirements and identifying what the course can offer to meet the requirements. This leads to deeper learning in which course is driven by the learner.

To exemplify how digital learning is bringing the change into the lives of the learners, let me share with you the story of Amol Bhave’s journey to MIT . It is an extraordinary story- one that stands as a testimony for the immense potential of online education. Because, with the knowledge he gained through the OpenCourseWare lectures that he took from his home in India, he had created his own MITx course even before his admission to MIT!

After watching many OCW lectures and taking courses through MITx — including 6.002x (Circuits and Electronics), Bhave organized and started his online course, named 6.003z (Signals and Systems), which more than a thousand students took part in.

Following the success of 6.003z, Bhave reached out to MIT Professor Anant Agrawal, the founder, and CEO of edX, thanking him for 6.002x and sharing how it helped him to create. As Ananth responded encouragingly, Bhave decided to continue his studies at MIT. He took the SATs and took a leap of faith applying to his dream university. After spending many restless nights waiting for the results, finally, he received the news of his acceptance to Massachusetts. [Source: MIT News]

 Amol Bhave’s story stands as a testimonial to the power of digital learning. A high-quality content course content designed and delivered by an experienced, competent faculty to a dedicated, self-motivated student- this is all it takes for an online course to make a difference.

 It has been always challenging for rural India in terms of quality education, availability of expertise, lack of institutional presence, affordability, etc. The transformational pedagogy of Digital Learning has enormous possibilities as it can provide engaged learning, quality education irrespective of socio-economic constraints. 

Reference link for Amol Bhave’s journey: http://news.mit.edu/2017/online-courses-paved-the-way-to-mit-graduation-amol-bhave-0606


– Aroma Yadav

    (Aroma is a Pedagogical Research Associate at IIMBx)