The advent of the internet in India in the 2000s ushered a new era altogether. While entertainment gradually shifted from televisions and radios to computers, a paradigm shift started occurring, quite stealthily, in the education landscape in the late 2000s.
Cut to 2019 and technology has revolutionized the very way students and teachers perceive learning. From integrating interactivity into as many aspects of education as possible and enabling teachers with intuitive aids of delivery, to empowering traditional institutions to cross the digital divide, technology is underpinning the EduTech revolution in India. The fact that India is one of the biggest telecommunications markets in the world has only helped ignite the revolution further, with rapid internet penetration even into the hereto underdeveloped regions.
Here are a few trends that will spearhead the Edutech revolution in the New Year.
Phygital, as the term suggests, is a blend of physical and digital. With advancements galore in augmented reality in the past few years, phygital classrooms will be a reality in 2020. Seamless integration of offline and online experiences will add a whole new dimension to learning, helping deliver a conducive environment that encourages students to simultaneously learn and apply the concepts in real-world scenarios.
"21st-century jobs are pretty demanding, and one needs to constantly keep learning to stay updated and relevant"
Every student has different needs and pace of learning. Gone are the days of the 'one-size-fits-all' teaching approach. With immense strides made in digital technologies, it has now become possible for students to learn in their own way and at their own pace. Interactive video content and emphasis on the development of subject matter knowledge along with building emotional and employability quotient will rule the roost going forward. This is made possible by blockchain technologies in the backend that make content delivery smooth, intuitive and glitch-free.
Concept-based DIY Learning
Shifting the locus of learning from teacher-centric to student-centric is, probably, the biggest disruption that EduTech has ushered. Digital transformation is encouraging concept-based learning among students, enabling them to build core skills and be job-ready. The rapid increase in digitization in urban and rural areas is pushing the concept of anytime-anywhere learning, making it more convenient and effective. Plus, technology has now brought Do-It-Yourself (DIY) learning to the forefront, giving students the flexibility to apply what they learn in a more focused manner.
Increased Access to Online Education
According to McKinsey, India is one of the fastest-growing and largest markets with 560 million internet subscribers in 2018. It also reported that Indians have 1.2 billion mobile phone subscriptions and downloaded around 12.3 billion apps in 2018. With such deep internet penetration, teachers and students no longer need to be in a common vicinity to impart learning. Longer commute distances, inflexible teaching hours, complex concepts shown in 2-D, and expensive fees have led students to opt for online education. According to a KPMG report, the current online education market in India stands at USD 247 Million and is estimated to witness an 8x growth over the next 5 years. There are six major categories of online education that are majorly opted by individuals, including primary and secondary supplemental education, reskilling and online certifications, test preparation, soft skills, and language and casual learning.
21st-century jobs are pretty demanding, and one needs to constantly keep learning to stay updated and relevant. People now understand that constantly upskilling themselves is what keeps them competitive in the job market. Moreover, AI, ML and data science will continue to dominate the conversation in the workplace. As such, employees are becoming increasingly focused on improving their soft skills as they play an important role in their holistic development.
AI and Gamification
The incorporation of gamification into video-based learning modules will be another major trend in 2020. According to the Global Learner Survey released by Pearson, 74-79 percent of Indians think that YouTube will become a primary learning tool in the near future. Capitalizing on this trend, EduTech companies are incorporating gamification elements such as points, timers and level-enhancement badges into video lessons to drive student engagement and improve knowledge acquisition.
In addition, gamification helps students analyze their performance through various data analytics algorithms. It also provides actionable insights for students to keep track of areas of improvement. Learning through games not only aid students in leveling-up their knowledge but also makes the whole process of learning fun and efficient.
Making Education Accessible to All
With advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning being adopted by corporations, it is predicted that automation will soon replace many traditional jobs. Gone are the days when a simple commerce or engineering degree was enough to establish yourself in the corporate world. To survive in this dynamic job market, it becomes important for students as well as employees to equip and upskill themselves with industry-relevant skills.
This trend is the primary driver of the rapid growth in the adoption of EduTech. It has long evolved from being a niche market and now caters to a wide spectrum of people across requirements and education levels, thereby making education accessible to all, irrespective of socio-political and cultural divides.
Rohit Jain, Co-Founder
Rohit Jain co-founded uFaber and Mexus education and led it to become a leading K12 education company in India with one of the most diversified product portfolios. Along with developing domestic as well as international sales channels, Rohit has also been advising several startups for product development and sales strategies.