What is Education 4.0 & How is it the Future of Education?

June 14, 2024 | By: Extramarks

what is education 4.0

Education has remained at the forefront of a developing and evolving world and has been a step ahead to lead this evolution. Inventions and discoveries have been the engine for world development time and again. Education is the fuel that drives that engine. Every time new ways of thinking, imagining, and doing emerged, our world saw a big shift, a new industrial revolution.

Today, our world is seeing increasing use of artificial intelligence, robotics, and big data. Due to sheer volume, many things that were beyond the human mind and reach are now possible in moments. Many tasks that took skill and specialisation built over the years can now be done through automation. And still, newer roles that require human intelligence, guidance, and discretion are emerging every day.

With such a fast-paced evolution, today’s children need skills such as creative thinking, problem-solving, analytical thinking, self-learning, fast adaptation, and continuous learning. In addition to these skills, they need to be comfortable with developing technology and able to use it to their advantage.

This is where Education 4.0 comes in. 

What is Education 4.0?

Education 4.0 is an educational approach that leverages current technology. It integrates learning through smart and adaptive technology and leverages experience-based learning via digital mediums to work through simulated scenarios that help students prepare for futuristic challenges.

Over the last three centuries, our world has witnessed four industrial revolutions. First, the world saw the advent of steam engines and water-powered production systems. The second revolution worked through the division of labour for mass production. The third emerged in the form of electronics, information technology, and production automation. The current and fourth large change is driven by artificial intelligence merging boundaries between the real and digital world.

Higher Education: A Journey from 1.0 to 4.0

  • Education 1.0 – This initial model of education sets the basic standards. It was based on the authoritarian model where the teacher transferred knowledge to the student through instruction. The student remained a passive recipient and tried to internalise this knowledge through repetition. The objective was to prepare students for life in society and specific jobs with the focus on following a laid down process.
  • Education 2.0 – The next phase involved newer, more efficient, and varied methods of transferring knowledge to the student through practical and memorisation methods. The teacher was still in the central role of transferring knowledge to the student who received and internalised it through memorisation and demonstration. The objective of education during this time was to prepare students for multiple specialised roles and a place in society.
  • Education 3.0 – This third approach has been more hybrid, transitioning the focus from teacher-led to student-centered learning. The teacher plays the role of a facilitator. Multiple modes of access online and offline are open to the student for the transfer of knowledge in an interactive personalised manner. The key objective of this phase has been skill development.
  • Education 4.0 – An emerging approach where the focus is solely on the student, with a stress on the joy of discovery and experiential knowledge. The role of the teacher is that of a guide and facilitator, where the student progresses in an interest-driven, self-paced, time and place-neutral manner. The rigid structure of the syllabus is being replaced by fluid outlines of the curriculum. The objective of this approach has been to power human intelligence and creativity.

Benefits of Education 4.0

  1. Place and Time Neutral Education – With Education 4.0, students will be able to pursue their education in the place and time of their choice. With information accessible to them wherever they are and in a manner they find easy to grasp, education will no longer be bound to a physical classroom structure.
  2. Individualised Learning Experiences – Each student processes information differently, making different learning methods more efficient for their personal growth and learning. With Education 4.0, each student has the opportunity to learn in a manner most suitable for them to retain and apply the knowledge gained. Education 4.0 makes available multiple learning tools suitable for students with different learning capabilities.
  3. Flexible Learning – With a more personalised learning structure, students can pace their learning based on their interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Students can move at a faster pace, sometimes ahead of their grade, to gain knowledge in subjects of their interest, while continuing to work on concepts and subjects they find tough to master before moving on.
  4. Progress-Based Learning – Students will need to work through varied evaluations and topic applications to gain mastery over concepts. This will give them continuous opportunities to further their learning instead of a single high-pressure examination. With frequent evaluation comes regular progress and improvement.
  5. Preparing Students to Keep Pace – Information and skill lifespans are shortening dramatically with the extremely fast-paced evolution of technology. What is current today will very soon be outdated. The ability to adapt to changing technology, upgrading previous expertise to emerging requirements, and the ability to identify trends through unprecedented data accessibility are essential skills that students need to learn. Education 4.0 facilitates this through its dynamic and robust learning model based on the principle of creative freedom and wide access to information.
  6. Automating Administration – Automating administrative aspects of education frees up time for educators who can then focus on the crucial human elements of learning. With the development of smart technology in education, it has become possible to delegate lower-order time-consuming tasks (like activity grading) in order to focus on higher-order aspects that technology cannot deliver (such as one-on-one student interaction)
  7. Providing Timely Feedback – With the opportunity to learn outside of the traditional set-up, Education 4.0 equips students to learn in a self-paced manner. This might pose a challenge when they need real-time guidance and feedback. With the help of smart edtech and AI solutions, Education 4.0 can assist students with prompt inputs and feedback which can be further discussed and explored with the help of their teachers.
  8. Equal Opportunity – One of the biggest advantages of Education 4.0 is offering equal learning opportunities to students of all capabilities. With assistive technology, screen readers, audio guides and visual support, Education 4.0 makes learning accessible to every segment of learners regardless of their limitations or abilities.

Extramarks Smart Class Plus

Role of Teachers in Education 4.0

Education 4.0 allows teachers to free up time to provide more quality time, input, and guidance to their students. Automation makes some aspects easier, freeing up time spent on manual tasks, while assistive platforms with smart edtech offer numerous tools that can serve as a base for lesson plans and education design. In this way, Education 4.0 empowers teachers to work more closely with their students offering more personalised feedback, guidance, and resultant growth. It offers them a central, strategic, and key role in the development of students while taking care of the operational burden.

Role of Educational Institutions in Preparation of Students for Education 4.0

role of educational institutes for education 4.0

The transition for students and teachers into this holistic approach to education and learning can be a challenging phase and the educational institutes can help by easing their transition into it.

  • Revisiting the Curriculum: For students to become comfortable with the challenges of the real world, the curriculum today needs to prepare them to leverage their knowledge. A key aspect of this preparation is to be familiar with futuristic avenues, technologies and skill sets. Educational institutes need to ensure that both the curriculum subjects and learning methodologies reflect these.
  • Developing Digital Process: With the industry increasingly moving into a cyber-physical space, educational institutes need to reflect that reality – building modern digital learning space, while grooming students in life skills such as problem-solving, analytical thinking, creative applications etc.
  • Digital Tools for Virtual learning: Educational institutes can revamp the teaching-learning process through the latest technology thus equipping educators and students to adapt to this open paradigm of learning and accessibility with online course content, prompt feedback, troubleshooting chat rooms, digital collaboration, blended learning etc.
  • Classroom Tech: Early and optimal exposure to assistive classroom educational technology can broaden the learning experience for the students at the same time provide them with wider exposure to the latest learning material. Another key attribute of classroom tech is to keep students engaged through enhanced interactivity. Smart Edtech platforms like Extramarks make your classroom future-ready through multiple Smart Classroom Equipment options.


  • Education 4.0 is the future of education, aligning with the evolving world and preparing students for the digital revolution.
  • It emphasizes holistic learning to develop free-thinking students and utilizes systems that enhance human intelligence in high-order tasks.
  • This approach helps teachers grow their expertise and competencies while reducing their operational and administrative burdens.
  • Education 4.0 benefits all stakeholders involved.

Last Updated on June 14, 2024

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