The Kick Start
Talking about technology, from the days tracing back to the era of “guru-shishya” tradition, The students used to study under trees and lived their lives in accordance to “guru vidya” (Knowledge given by the teacher).
There were times in India when the students residing in rural India used to study under lanterns and candles. Electricity was a luxury for that time. Today we have come so far that the covid-19 situation has confined students to their homes but the studies continue. Online education is going to be a prominent thing now because of technology.
Programming Language Germination: In World and India
What is a programming language? In simple terms, you can understand it as the mediator or a language to communicate. It enables the communication between the computer and the programmer. The commonly known languages such as C, Python, Java are high-level programming languages. The first functional programming language was ShortCode. It was developed in 1949 by John Mauchly and William F Schmidt. Later, in 1952 Autocode was developed by Alick Glennie. This was the start of new programming languages being developed in the coming years with more advanced features and increased functionality.
Different paradigms of programming languages came up with increased utility. The most used and popular programming paradigms are functional programming, procedural programming, and object-oriented programming.
Programming Languages Introduction To India
The first computer in India was developed by the India statistical institute, Kolkata. It was an analog computer back in 1953. Soon after in 1955, HEC 2M was imported and installed in the institute. This was the first digital computer. The first Indian digital computer was TDC12. It was built by Vikram Sarabhai at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1969.
Everyone involved in the coding and programming world knows the language python. It is one of the most popular and accepted programming languages for computation and machine learning purposes. India has altered the paradigm by the innovation by an Indian co-creator of a new language “Julia”. It has become quite popular and is giving tough competition to already established languages such as MATLAB and Python
It is widely used for advanced applications. It is easy to use syntactically and faster when compared to its competitors.
Ordinary Men == Extraordinary Work
Programming and IITs have had a huge name in the Indian household. Indians previously who were software engineers migrated to developed countries. In recent trends, India has a huge market of employment opportunities in the Indian market itself. There are numerous MNCs setting up their offices and headquarters in the Indian Silicon Valley, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. The more important role has been played by Indian startups such as OYO, CRED, Flipkart, and Ola. These were all developed by a talented team of software engineers.
Some of the most renowned software engineers or you can say programmers in India are Sujayath Ali. He is the co-founder of the online marketplace for women’s fashion named Voonik.
Other famous billionaire partners are Sachin and Binny Bansal. They are the co-founder of Flipkart. The list would be incomplete without the mention of the co-founder of INFOSYS, N.R. Narayana Murthy. There are more influential and path-breaking achievers in the programming world in India.
Another interesting change in the education sector came with major companies such as Google and Tesla making statements that they don’t require degrees or certificates to employ. They are focusing on the skills, Isn’t it amazing?
Education has evolved highly with time. There are so many new ventures and ideas evolving it even more.
Their Role on Education and Coding
The technological era has made major changes in the way students study. The time of paper, pen, eraser, and markers is being slowly replaced by a stylus, iPads, phones, and laptops.
This is a remarkable change. The educational reform in India made in 2020 has made coding mandatory from class 6 onwards.
Now, the question arises why everyone needs to learn to code? Isn’t it for software professionals only?
The answer to these questions is hidden in our current lifestyle changes. If you observe around you, every profession in some or the other manner involves work around computers. Alone the software industry offered around 7 million jobs according to burning glass in 2015. This number is just growing every year. Coding is an essential skill. It keeps you relevant in the job market. Computer literacy is important for all fields.
Now let’s take a step ahead and explore how coding blossomed in India.
Success Factors of Online Education
The phones and smartphones that everyone carries today hold the power to bring education to their fingertips. It is all possible because of the “Internet”. The internet has given students an affordable and portable model to study. The global Internet originated back in 1986, India first became a part of the online initiative Educational Research Network (ERNET) which was jointly started by the Department of Electronics(DOE) and the United Nations Development Program(UNDP).
It was for the educational and research communities. The first cyberspace for the public in India was established by Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL).
The recent development that in 2010 with the 3G spectrum and later 4G has revolutionized the extent to which internet is being used for various purposes. There are cybercafe, wi-fi on the railway station, and WiFi’s setup at home. The majority population using the internet is under the age of 35. The affordability of smartphones and internet package rate had a major role to make the internet accessible to all.
eBooks are a major milestone in bringing education online. Books and notes have their own evolution chain. In the ancient era where manuscripts and transcripts were written on plant barks with ink and faced a major threat by being eaten by insects. It came all the way to the printing press, books could now be produced in mass quantity.
Now, books have come into the phones that give us access to any author across the globe within seconds!! This is really amazing to think, how far we have come where technology changed the way we access and store things.
The first eBook in the world was “The US declaration of independence” under Project Gutenberg in 1971. There were major breakthroughs such as eBook readers started to come up, free eBooks became available through various websites, and Google became a thing for the first time. All these jointly worked to bring up the concept of eBooks to the people and people adopting it.
In 2007, the ebook market and audience faced a major jump. Amazon launched its famous “Kindle” eBook reader in the USA. In 2010, Apple launched the iPad along with iBooks and iBookstores. More than half a million eBooks were sold in less than a year. Google also launched its eBookstore.
Technology entered the classrooms in India in 2004. Smart classrooms was still a new term. “EDUCOM” was the first to launch a smart class in 2004 in India. The concept of smart classrooms was to involve advanced hardware and the latest software technologies to unleash the capabilities of teachers to deliver content creatively and students to take interest and value.
The smart classrooms generally consisted of hardware equipment- (desktop, laptop, tablets and iPads), microphone, DVD/VCR combo, and interactive whiteboard. Various startups came up to drive this innovation and make it reach every corner of the country. Some of the most prominent ones are next education, Byju’s, Vedantu, UnAcademy, and Extramarks.
Educational Technology – AR/VR
The education industry has seen the most advanced technology ahead of time. The coming times will embrace Virtual reality and augmented reality to impart education. The researchers and inventors are already working on technology that will bring digital information in visual forms. These can be so interesting and engaging for students involving practical and live demonstrations. Students would feel like a part of sci-fi movies where they work for their hands across 3D objects.
Imagination and gamification would be the key to the utility of AR/VR technology. Imagine students seeing DNA strands breaking in front of them and forming duplicates. This would be more like a dream come true for the students of the 1990s who just had those boring complex text with not even proper diagrams. It will make learning difficult concepts easy and give hands-on practical training.
Who would have thought a few years ago that the classrooms will come into our phones? Video conferencing has become a routine activity for students across the globe. It has helped in the most difficult times of covid-19 pandemic. It has saved millions of students from the loss of education due to closing on schools and colleges.
The software industry is building amazing tools for students to manage their studies online. There are notes making apps such as EverNote, keep and OneNote. The time table planners and reminders are connecting with the video conferencing apps to make sure you don’t miss your sessions. There are platforms for career guidance and mentorship. There are collaborative platforms for presentation, designing and related works. It doesn’t seem to be stopping here. The everyday new software is coming up with new functionalities and features to help students learn with ease.
YouTube and online teaching
YouTube has emerged as the biggest open and freely available resource for students. Teachers and mentors got the platform to share knowledge and make it reach the masses. YouTube has now become the go-to source for the students to learn from mathematics to science to coding to anything you can imagine. Students prefer YouTube for the wide variety of videos that they get for a single cause and the options they have. Students involved in higher education heavily depend on YouTube for their course work. There are various massive open-source courses available freely on YouTube.
With the current pace of growth in the education system, various startups are coming up every day. It has been observed that Educational technology startups grow at an average rate of 55%. Google and KPMG reported that Indian education online will have a market of around 2 billion dollars by 2021.
The major reasons that contribute to such adaptation and increasing demand of Educational startups is the accessibility, ease of learning, latest curriculum, highly trained mentors and educators, and the focus on skill development. The current educational startups can be broadly categorised as for test preparations and skill development.
In India, various highly competitive examinations such as JEE MAINS, JEE ADVANCED, USPC, NEET, CLAT, and CAT are conducted. These examinations are difficult to crack with improper guidance, lack of learning resources and proper mock tests. This is where educational startups come into the role. The best part of the technology remains in the level of accessibility they provide. Now, students no more necessarily need to migrate to study hubs across countries such as Delhi, Kota, and Hyderabad. They can study from the comfort of their homes.
In the current market scenario, skill vs degree has always been a question. In India, we hold an absymal record that out of all the engineers graduating every year not even 10% are skilled enough to be employed. Now the big question, why this scenario? There are various reasons.
The most important one remains that the skill in demand and the book text taught in the classroom are two different worlds. The curriculum of our colleges and universities is still not changing with the pace of evolvement of the professional world. This creates a gap between skills one needs to be employable and the skills one learnt in college.
This loophole in the education system gives startups the opportunity to upskill the youth. The government has also taken steps in the same direction with the launch of the Skill India mission, NDL(National Digital Library), and educational platforms such as SWAYAM(sTUDY Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) and NPTEL.
Another interesting change in the education sector came with major companies such as Google and Tesla making statements that they don’t require degrees or certificates to employ. They are focusing on the skills, Isn’t it amazing? Education has evolved highly with time. There are so many new ventures and ideas evolving it even more.