How EdTech Can Connect With Offline Students
Updated: Jun 9
As the world advances in artificial intelligence and technology, digital learning is becoming increasingly personalized. However, this progress does not come without challenges. The majority of learners worldwide still study offline, often due to the digital divide and limited access to technology [1,2]. This gap can make it difficult for EdTech platforms to reach offline students in no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech demographics. So, how can EdTech platforms address the needs of these offline students?
Pencil & Paper: A Medium for Digital Connection
Offline students produce a wealth of learning data on workbooks, notebooks, worksheets, and other paper-based activities. By writing on paper, students generate valuable information about their learning progress. This data holds particular significance in early grade levels, where using paper-based materials is ubiquitous.
Low-cost consumer smartphones can collect paper learning data from all students.
See how a camera click can collect math ability data for a student:
A math fluency worksheet automatically scored by Smart Paper AI
Paper worksheets completed by the students can provide a detailed picture of student learning over time. In the example above, Smart Paper AI was used to convert photos of paper worksheets into digital data. The data collected from paper sheets can be integrated into any EdTech system. Now, a teacher’s phone can provide teaching intelligence for adapting classroom instructions and management.
Workbooks and Formative Assessments: Offline students often rely on workbooks for their learning activities. The workbooks can be enriched with smart formative assessments that can be scanned later to know about the child’s progress.
NCERT Grade 3 maths workbook, auto scoring of writing by Smart Paper AI
Digital platforms can use these AI-energized workbooks to their advantage by incorporating them into their digital platforms. The data collected from the workbooks can adapt and modify future lessons, ensuring a seamless learning experience for the offline student.
Diagnostic Assessments & Quizzes: When it comes to assessing students, paper-based evaluations can go a long way in connecting offline learners with digital platforms. In another blog post, I shared how we can better understand learner misconceptions by analyzing handwriting data from paper. Diagnostic assessments can be designed to gather specific information about a student's performance and be converted into digital data. Smart Paper Quizzes can also be used to collect data from offline students quickly. See an example of a college quiz below:
Smart Paper quizzes in a college setting
Digital Inclusion: A Long-Term Goal
While utilizing available resources such as pencil, paper, and old smartphones is a significant step in connecting offline students with EdTech platforms, digital inclusion remains the ultimate goal. By providing greater access to the internet and digital technology, we can close the digital divide and ensure that students worldwide benefit from personalized, high-quality digital learning.
In a world where technology is rapidly evolving, EdTech platforms will play an important role in bridging the gap between offline and digital learning. By tapping into the wealth of learning data that offline students generate through paper resources and utilizing creative ways to include existing technologies, these platforms can provide a more inclusive learning experience for students with limited access to technology. By prioritizing digital inclusion in the long run, we can work together to create equal opportunities for all learners, regardless of their circumstances.