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Reimagining education for the future

Dreamtime Learning continuously strives to measure success not only by academic achievements, but also by the tangible impact the institution has on the lives of students, educators and communities worldwide, asserts Lina Ashar, Founder, Dreamtime Learning, in an exclusive interaction with Akanki Sharma

by Akanki Sharma
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What inspired you to create India’s first online 3D school? Tell us the story behind its inception.

The inception of India’s first online 3D school was inspired by a belief in reimagining education for the future. Traditional educational models, with their emphasis on rote memorisation and standardised testing, were no longer deemed sufficient in a world evolving rapidly with the technological advancements and unpredictable shifts. We recognised a pressing responsibility to equip learners with the skills necessary to thrive in this dynamic landscape. Thus, the idea of creating a place that transcends the limitations of textbooks and conventional teaching methods emerged. The vision was to cultivate a learning environment that encourages students to challenge the status quo, envision the unimaginable, and venture into
uncharted territories.

The world is undergoing profound transformations driven by digitalisation and shifting economic paradigms. By 2030, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are poised to reshape the global workforce. With AI algorithms working more effectively than experts in specific industries, it’s evident that human traits like empathy, creativity, intuition and ethics are becoming increasingly valuable.

Recognising the importance of nurturing these human skills alongside technical competencies, the online 3D school was conceived. By leveraging immersive technologies, interactive learning experiences and a curriculum designed to foster creativity, critical thinking and collaboration, the Dreamtime Learning School aims to prepare students not just for the jobs of today, but for the challenges of tomorrow.

How does your school differentiate itself from traditional educational institutions or other online learning platforms?

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; educate him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. That’s the beauty of education. It’s the key to unlock greatness. All centuries-old customs are on the verge of extinction. Things that were
popular yesterday are out of style today. The modern world demands novelty, a fresh approach that can improve today and tomorrow. “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn
and adapt,” Carl Rogers famously stated.

Today, the country’s educational system is sprinting towards online learning, which gives students access to high-quality education, and opens a wide range of learning and skill-development opportunities.

At Dreamtime Online School, we strive to be liberated from the limitations of the educational system and aim to go beyond conventional education. We trust that education equips students to meet future challenges. It’s crucial to develop problem-solving and critical thinking abilities now more than ever since the world is changing quickly and technologies like AI, automation and digitisation are altering how we live and work.

We believe in an inter-disciplinary approach to education, where students are encouraged to investigate the connections between different disciplines and to think critically and creatively about their surroundings. We are dedicated to create a safe,
accepting and inclusive learning environment where each student is recognised.

What are your primary objectives, and how do you plan to achieve those?

Dreamtime conscious learning is dedicated to revolutionise education in India through its core objectives and innovative approach. Our primary objective is to offer the best learning system at a cost that empowers as many children as possible. We achieve this by optimising our resources and leveraging digital technology to minimise costs without compromising on quality.

We aim to foster creativity, ingenuiqty and intuition in each learner. Our curriculum integrates project-based learning, creative problem-solving tasks and real-world simulations to stimulate innovative thinking. We provide opportunities for students to explore their interests through extra-curricular activities, clubs and workshops, encouraging them to think outside the box.

Further, ensuring comprehensive integration across subjects as recommended by the National Education Policy (NEP) is crucial for us. We align our curriculum with the NEP guidelines, emphasising inter-disciplinary learning and skill development. Our teachers undergo training to facilitate holistic development, addressing not only academic, but also social, emotional and physical aspects of learning. Our goal is to cultivate learners who are self-motivated, reflective and reliable self-leaders.

Our curriculum is designed to streamline learning processes, focussing on essential concepts and providing targetted support for areas of difficulty. We incorporate active learning strategies, spaced repetition techniques and collaborative projects to optimise learning efficiency and retention.

What kind of technology and resources do you deploy to facilitate learning?

We have developed multiple technologies to make education easier and more powerful for children to imagine and implement their learning through classes. Our Learner Management System (LMS) for students offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes. From interactive dashboards and live class participation tools to access to learning materials and personalised progress portfolios, students have everything they need to succeed at their fingertips.

For parents, the LMS provides real-time notifications, the ability to book parent-teacher meetings and extra help sessions, access to their child’s progression portfolios and seamless communication channels with teachers and staff.

Further, the collaboration with a leading digital library enriches our students’ educational journey by granting them access to a vast knowledge base, powered by cutting-edge AI tools and engaging interactivities. Through this collaboration, students gain access to a wealth of information, fostering academic excellence and expanding their horizons.

As India’s first 3D school, we have integrated cutting-edge 3D learning directly into our LMS platform. With this technology, Dreamtime Learning School opens up a world of possibilities. Imagine learners delving into the intricacies of biology by virtually exploring the human body or stepping into historical events through immersive simulations. The immersive advantage of 3D education brings subjects to life, making learning an exciting journey rather than a passive experience.

One of the key benefits of 3D education is its ability to bridge gaps in comprehension. Complex concepts become more accessible as learners can visualise and interact with abstract ideas.

How do you ensure effective engagement and interaction among students in a virtual learning environment?

In our virtual classrooms, engagement and interaction among students are at the forefront of our educational approach. Students join live classrooms alongside their dedicated learning coach, facilitating real-time engagement and collaboration.

Moreover, through collaborative projects and activities, students not only learn from their coaches, but also from each other. This peer-to-peer interaction cultivates teamwork, communication skill and a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Learners showcase their learning from each episode to their parents and peers four times a year.

Peer learning, breakout room sessions and collaborative activities provide ample opportunities for students to develop empathy, resilience and self-awareness.

Apart from it, we refer to our educators as “cheerleaders” because they play a pivotal role in energising and encouraging students to participate actively in class. Like cheerleaders on the sidelines, our teachers inspire enthusiasm and create a supportive atmosphere where every student feels valued and empowered to engage with their peers.

What steps do you take to address the challenges like access to internet connectivity for students across different regions of India?

One major hurdle is the digital divide, where access to internet connectivity varies significantly across different regions. However, India is in the digital revolution phase. Recognising the increasing importance of mobile devices, the government has implemented various schemes to provide laptops and mobiles to students. This, coupled with India’s position as the country with the highest number of digital users, signifies a strong foundation for digital inclusion.

Furthermore, the country boasts of one of the most affordable internet costs among developing and developed nations, making it increasingly accessible to a wider audience. This affordability, combined with the government’s initiatives and ongoing digital revolution, offers promising avenues for bridging the digital divide in education.

How do you measure the success and impact of your online 3D school?

At Dreamtime Learning, we gauge the success and impact of our online 3D school through several key indicators. Firstly, our vision of revolutionising the education system in India has transcended borders, as our technology-integrated curriculum has garnered attention and adoption in over 20 countries, worldwide. The incorporation of 3D technology into our curriculum has
propelled the learning journey of children into uncharted territories, fostering imagination and innovation like never before.

The positive response from both parents and children underscores the transformative power of our approach. Witnessing students engage with our 3D learning environment and witnessing their enthusiasm and curiosity firsthand is a testament to the profound impact of our methodology.

Moreover, the trust placed in us by over 25 schools across India speaks volumes about the quality, effectiveness and adaptability of our curriculum. Being chosen by these institutions affirms our commitment to provide an education that not only meets, but exceeds expectations, empowering students to thrive in an ever-evolving world.

At Dreamtime Learning, we continuously strive to measure success not only by academic achievements, but also by the tangible impact we have on the lives of students, educators and communities worldwide.

Your plans for future growth and expansion?

Dreamtime Learning is poised for expansion, with plans to introduce our innovative curriculum to more countries, worldwide. Our goal is to provide children everywhere with access to our enriching 3D models, particularly valuable in today’s era of AI and Machine Learning (ML). We aim to collaborate with educators who share our vision, expanding our reach to schools globally through a hybrid model.

We are committed to foster a community where curiosity thrives, and each learner is supported in their
journey of discovery.

Advice to aspiring educators looking to venture into the online education space?

As an educator with 30 years of experience, I believe the future of education lies in empowering children to face the challenges of tomorrow. For those aspiring to join the online education space, understanding what children need, is crucial.

Focus on creating feasible technology that is affordable and accessible to everyone. This ensures that every child, regardless of background, has the opportunity to thrive in this ever-evolving world. Remember, it’s not just about the platform, but the impact it has on young minds.

Let’s not just teach our children, but empower them with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to become confident, responsible and resilient individuals, ready to embrace the future.

editor@thefoundermedia.com

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