LA Hosts PraDigi: Transforming Learning Through Technology
On Saturday, May 19, the Los Angeles chapter of Pratham USA hosted “PraDigi: Transforming Learning Through Technology,” a panel discussion focused on Pratham’s recently launched EdTech initiative that looks to revolutionize how children in rural India learn. More than 150 guests from the greater Los Angeles area gathered at the Sheraton Cerritos Hotel to hear experts discuss PraDigi and the role of technology in combating India’s education crisis.
Those in attendance were offered in-depth expert analysis, both informative and passionate.
Panel leader Prof. John Jong-Hyun Kim, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, praised technology’s ability to create “sustainable and scalable innovations in education” and to transform learning by “personalizing the process to accommodate each student’s needs.” In his research, Kim has found that tablets, like the ones used by Pratham, are a more cost-effective learning tool as well as being more efficient at collecting and analyzing data.
Pratham USA National Board Member Raj Shah explained that with illiteracy still prevalent despite 97% school attendance, conventional methods of teaching-learning are not effective: “Technology is our only hope for scaling the delivery of education.”
Dr. Madhav Chavan, Pratham co-founder and president, offered insight into how the PraDigi initiative is being implemented and shared the team’s observations that contrary to popular belief, technology was being used as a “new way of engaging within the community and with each other.”
Despite the significant progress India has made toward enrolling over 97 percent of children in primary school, less than 70 percent will have gained a meaningful education by the age of 16 even if they remain in school. Faced with this challenge, many entities, including the Indian government, have shifted their focus to learning outcomes and turned to technology, such as PraDigi, as a means to accelerate children’s learning.
The event featured many other notable panelists including Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, principal and education lead at Google.org, Manu Shah, CEO of MS International Inc. and Sarva Mangal Family Trust, and Rajen Dhami, president of Pratham Los Angeles. If you missed the panel, watch the video to catch the full discussion.