IFIM Business School, Bangalore, hosted their 10th annual international conference called ‘Convergence’ from February 4-6, 2016 & the theme for the conference was ‘Digital Business: New Frontiers in Management.’ In a conference where over 50 papers were presented in different streams, the one stream that stood out was ‘Digital Education.’ Athiya’s very own Shirley Rose Louis, Project Lead (Blended Learning), co-authored & presented a paper along with noted academician Dr. Shubha B.N. on “Digital Learning: A Substitute Process to Traditional Learning.” Needless to say, Shirley has gained valuable experience in the field of research – a requisite of every trainer.
Shirley’s paper not only delved into the possibility of a future digital transformation, but also on the aspects that need to be carried forward (and not ignored) from traditional forms of learning. The argument of whether digital learning is in line to replace traditional learning is laughable to say the least. This is not an argument; rather a well calculated prediction. Certain papers that were presented discussed this transformation in detail and ruled that it wouldn’t be productive to digitalize education & learning. What these presenters fail to realize is that the world as a marketplace has already transformed into a digital hub. Make no mistake about it – this is the digital era where a person living in India can purchase a product from USA with only a single click of a button and the speed of delivery of the product is only getting quicker.
One initiative discussed by Shirley during her presentation at IFIM was Athiya’s ‘ExceliNet.’ ExceliNet is a cloud-based immersive learning solution. It is conducive for both group learning as well as independent learning. ExceliNet offers a comprehensive English language program based on Business English Certificate offered by University of Cambridge. In today’s flat world, English language competencies and superior communication skills are key contributors to one’s career commencement or progression and ExceliNet helps in this regard as it offers an in-depth curriculum of the four essential components for English language mastery – Reading & Comprehension; Writing; Speaking and Listening & Comprehension.
If one thinks that digitalizing education cannot be done or should not be done, one must only take a look at historical evidences – CDs replacing vinyl, MP3 replacing CDs & streaming replacing MP3. This clearly is a precedent to digital transformation.
In a world where 4 in 10 households have a smart device, it is imperative to learn and understand digital communication. Digital learning not only helps students learn through technology, but also helps them learn about technology. Technology provides a dynamic learning environment and this is what teachers & trainers crave for. The attention of students/trainees may wear thin under a normal lecture but with the usage of technology comes ease of understanding. It helps trainees to understand the concept in a theoretical as well as a practical way. High importance is given to the application of the concept rather than just a discussion. Digital learning is slowly creeping in to the societal structure and will be a norm sooner rather than later.
- Naresh Mulkunte