Gone are the days when people, upon hearing automation, visualised advanced manufacturing plants full of robotics. It is, of course, one of the prime examples of automation - replacing human labor with machine labor - but it is not the only example.
Automation is present in all types of modern businesses ranging from simple software applications to more robust implementations like self driving vehicles.
In the education sector too automation plays a great role from admissions to personnel management.
Every industry is looking forward to reducing their repetitive tasks and focusing on more decision intensive works that require thinking and minute calculation. In the education sector too automation comes with numerous benefits for administrators, administration staff, teachers and students alike.
The greatest boon of automation is that the primary work of teaching is enhanced as rote tasks can be automated and teachers and other academic staff can focus more on student development.
Let us consider how much time could have been saved in school had the teachers focused more on students and cared less for attendance of say seventy students and correcting notebooks.
The teachers could have focused that time on understanding the students. The teachers themselves would have been at peace with themselves enhancing their overall productivity.
Automation is here for help in such a scenario.
The role of technology cannot be discarded in the present scenario, especially when viral diseases are having their say globally.
Education experience has become online and more and more tech is being incorporated into it daily so that the experience can be enhanced with focus on learning key concepts.
It is crucial for educational institutions, be it school or college, to understand that education has now shifted from a group based model to an individual model where every student has a direct communication with the teacher rather than students sitting in a group in class.
And for the right transfer of knowledge there should be the right tools, means and resources.
One very important aspect here is automating all routine processes and tasks like attendance, grading, making time tables, correction of objective questions and answers.
To understand automation in the education sector as a whole, it is imperative then to understand what automation is as a starting point.
Simply put, automation refers to the process of completing routine, mundane and non-interesting tasks using technology.
It minimises manual work and repetitive administration work giving the organization more time.
In the education sector it enhances quality teaching and learning.
For students, automation helps in enhancing their grades, for example, by accurate checking of their answers, their time table management among others.
The teachers, instead of handling tons of paperwork, answer scripts, grade items and various different guidelines can now, through automation, simply automate and devote their time on student development.
The aforementioned tasks are a challenge for any teacher, and with automation the teacher can be made happy and relaxed thus increasing the quality of the academic atmosphere.
From the levels of preschool, high school to college, electronic admission applications benefit the student as well as the academic institution.
There are no hassles of coffee stained forms, torn pages and certificate copies, and missing pages. From the very start applications are processed automatically giving the final form to the concerned individual or department.
Automatic emails are sent to the candidates and automatic alert is sent to the concerned person when an application arrives.
The greatest benefit is that there is almost zero error and teachers can know their enrolled students very promptly.
Students are shortlisted based on entrance scores. A simple dashboard displaying all the student credentials and IQ, EQ test results can greatly simplify the shortlisting of candidates.
In the present education scenario, objective type questions and answers are in vogue. This process of marking and assessing a student can be greatly automated and has already been done at various places.
Also, quizzes, homeworks, tests, papers and projects can all be automatically corrected and given out to students. This saves the time and energy of teachers and students can greatly enhance their capabilities by having accuracy which technology generally offers.
With automation there is simply no need to keep large, old fashioned registers. Teachers and instructors can simply click absent or present and send the data to the concerned department.
Functions like HR, administration, accounts, marketing can completely eliminate the use of paperwork through the help of automation. It brings more efficiency with accuracy.
Transparency, which is a very important factor in maintaining any organization, can greatly be enhanced. Report cards, certificates, payslips and other reports can be generated automatically ruling out any manual error.
Every educational institution works on a schedule, whether that be the yearly calendar or the day to day class routine. This can easily be automated allowing administrators and teachers and staff to streamline their priorities and time.
The government plays an important role in the education sector and, in a way, regulates it. Thus it becomes imperative for educational institutions to comply with various rules and regulations.
Audits and paperwork related to all such compliances can be easily achieved through capturing pictures, signatures etc.
Students will be the first ones who will benefit from automation in the education sector. With quality time interacting with teachers, learning and creative thinking will take an upper hand.
Critical thinking, which requires a lot of time and effort from teachers and students both, can be imparted. Innovation of such a kind will also kindle the thirst of knowing about technology in the young minds.
Any good instructor or teacher knows that he will join an organization which will give him enough time to live a life, pursue his academic interests and make life easy. Thus, such talent will come only to those institutions which have automated menial tasks giving time to free thinking and acquiring knowledge.
Just as business process automation makes work of businesses easy, in the same way automation in the education sector makes the life of educational institutions easy and interesting. Automation allows teachers and administration and staff to fulfill their primary duty that is to give quality education by saving time and effort.