Was I skeptical? No. I was more apprehensive coming as I did after 16 years of ‘chalk-and-blackboard’ teaching. I started my career with an organization that aims at taking knowledge from expert teachers digitally to students in tier 2 and tier 3 cities supported by offline facilitation.
I did not grow up learning that way. But now I appreciate that as the current generation of problem solvers, we are trying to solve the problem of scale through online learning and education technology. Higher education has pioneered creating excellence; the challenge is reaching out to all who need it.
While facilitating classroom-based digital learning in the early days of my career, I was bound to keep my intervention to a minimum for delivering knowledge. I was still present on the podium of a classroom, and that made me introspect on my utility among students, where I didn’t necessarily need to impart knowledge. My presence meant a constant source of motivation, confidence, and mentorship.
Motivation, confidence, and mentorship have also been essential for me in my career. I often go back to the learnings from my teachers, experiences they shared and the values they exhibited in the ways they dealt with regular situations. I remember convent school discipline and perseverance to practice from my engineering entrance classes. These attributes have contributed significantly to shaping my behavior and habits.
I often think that more than the technical skills and knowledge learned in school and college, it is the soft skills and attitude of learning that have contributed to my growth trajectory. With these experiences, I feel more confident in my current endeavor about solving the problem of scale in higher education.
Along with the focus on workplace skills, I believe Harappa makes an immense effort to preserve the uniqueness of a classroom by bringing in expert faculty. The persona of a teacher is the magic element in a classroom whose experiences stay with the students.
Contributing to a product that builds a much-needed curriculum while bringing in the magic of individual industry experts inspires me as I contribute every day to create a world of learning.
Ankit Batheja is Manager, Learning Impact at Harappa Education.
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