Prepare for a life of ‘micro-education,’ says ed tech expert Maruwada


This is an excerpt of an article written by Sophie Edwards and published on the Devex website on 22 March 2018

Educators need to prepare for a coming “education revolution” that will see learners breaking from traditional models to embrace shorter spurts of education throughout their lives, according to technology expert Shankar Maruwada.

However, policymakers also need to make sure they are well equipped to manage the technology and are able to regulate and moderate this trend, he said Maruwada, former head of marketing for India’s biometric identification system, now runs EkStep — an open-source education platform designed to host digital tools and infrastructure to deliver primary education to 200 million children in India.

He predicted that learners will move toward shorter courses of education and lifelong learning in order to equip them for the growing “gig economy,” where more people are taking on freelance or short-term work, including through platforms such as Uber, AirBnB, and TaskRabbit, rather than being hired for a long-term position with a regular wage.

Speaking on a panel session during the two-day Global Education & Skills Forum, a Davos-style event aimed at raising the status of global education in Dubai over the weekend, Maruwada said “micro is the new mega-trend” when it comes to jobs.

He believes this employment shift will necessitate a similar transition in education, asking “if jobs go micro then can learning be far behind?”

As part of this change, “learning will be a lifelong journey as opposed to the current stage of learning being a rite of passage where you learn, then you earn and then you retire. The future will be about … lifelong cycles of learning and earning,” he suggested, and the next generation “may not have the luxury of retiring.”

The shift will also put greater emphasis on applied learning, Maruwada said. The focus will no longer be on “what you learned or how you learned … but how you can apply what you’ve learned.” 

As a result, students will start to move away from traditional education models, including four-year degree programs, and instead take short courses in order to learn specific skills they need at that time, which he described as “just in time expertise.”....for more, click here.