Learning at Own Pace, Own Space

Dec 31, 2020

Edtech- the conglomeration of Education and Technology is the future of adaptive learning globally.

In simpler words, Edtech is the facilitation of education through technological tools to enhance the learning experience.

At home front, the growth of the edtech sector has leapfrogged within 2020 itself, bringing it to the forefront of our booming economy. There are over 4,530 active EdTech start-ups in India today, out of which 435 were founded in the last 24-months alone. The total funding raised by these EdTech firms since 2010 stands at $2.46 billion (Source: “EdTech Market is Booming in India”, Business World, 2020)

To put things into perspective, lets focus on a few data points:

The edtech market is estimated to grow 3.7x in the next five years, from $2.8 Bn (2020) to $10.4 Bn (2025).

(Source: Redseer & Omidyar Network Edtech Report, 2020)

So, Why the shift towards Edtech?

(Source: “Learning and Leading in the 21st Century”, New way of Learning infographic by Adidas Group)

Immersive learning- the innovative teaching methods have evolved with diverse learning styles, such as:

  • animation,
  • live video,
  • virtual reality, etc.
  • For example, a geography teacher using Google Maps on a digital board to take students on a virtual tour of the Andes.
  • Improves collaborative teaching: this allows for students and teachers to :
  • connect,
  • discuss,
  • share their opinions collaboratively.
  • Group projects can improve peer-to-peer engagement aided through text processors and spreadsheets to scientific calculators and online presentation makers.
  • Customised learning- by enabling teachers to track individual student’s learning curve, track record and capability development in real time, it allows for restructuring of course material customized to their skills and interests
  • Preparation for tomorrow’s jobs: By encouraging the use of digital tools such as calendars, websites, video calling apps, electronic whiteboards, emails, mobile apps, and more, educators can help students learn how to work with all those tools.

Current Technology Trends in the EdTech Industry

1. eLearning-

  • The educational content is delivered through computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones, wherein the courses include animation, podcasts, live sessions and videos that create a multimodal and practical learning experience.
  • It also encourages learners to make their own choices on what they will learn next
  • A good eLearning platform can also be combined with a Learning Management System (LMS) to keep track of your students’ learning outcomes.

2. Blockchain Technology-

  • With the advent of Blockchain Technology in education sector, it has enhanced the data storage capacities
  • BCT is used in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and ePortfolios to verify skills and knowledge.
  • The DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) systems will answer the problems of authentication, scale, and cost for eLearning agencies
  • It can help student applicants publish their accomplishments during the job-seeking phase.

3. Learning Analytics

  • These help educators identify blocks of students who may have academic or behavioral challenges and learning experience can be customized
  • Teachers are able to see what type of information (text, images, infographics, or videos) that students enjoy most and use it more in their following lessons.
  • This inturn requires instructional designers to have relevant information about learners’ experiences to customize and present the course in a suitable format
  • Users now focus on aspects such as the course's topic, learner enrollment, learner performance (time per course, completion, test result), and learner feedback (rating, survey).

4. Artificial intelligence-

  • Scope of integration AI with education is tremendous and ever-growing
  • AI can enables teachers to automate grading, such MCQs and fill-in-blanks questions

(Source: “AI in Education Market”, Global Markets Insights Report, 2019)

  • Monitoring of online tests is made easier through a web camera for face detection, live video streaming, and interacting with remote students in live chats.
  • It provides flexibility to adapt to the learner’s pace, allowing users to select their own learning path, set personal goals and milestones, and improve with the help of data-driven feedback
  • AI conversational tools- “Chatbots”- can be used, including teaching a lesson through a series of messages, by integrating it in the feedback loop.

5. Gamification-

  • By turning a learning process into a game, the process appeals to student’s inherent curiosity and competitiveness, and increases engagement, motivation, and focus
  • Winning games and solving puzzles causes the brain to release dopamine into our bodies, and this “feel good” factor makes the students look forward to problem solving
  • Narrative games- educating students through ‘story based’ content increases engagement and retention levels
  • Achievement badges- these shows users their progress and encourage them to work towards newer targets; layers can be added through “progression levels” to increase difficulty levels
  • Animations- visual cues set off the reward center in the brain and increase the gamification qualities
  • Unblockable content- offer to access exclusive unblockable content by earning points or the right combination of badges

6. Immersive learning through VR & AR

  • These help to explain complex concepts that plain images or even a lab’s hands-on experiments couldn’t show students.
  • Virtual world tours can be made possible for students , while even situated at a remote location.
  • AR-VR techniques can be used to make learning easier and engaging for students with disabilities
  • Statistics show that students remember 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, and upto 90% of what they do or simulate, thereby making experiential learning higher through AR-VR !! (Source: Edtech Review Report, 2020)

(Source: Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning, Project Tomorrow Report)

Conclusion: By 2022, K-12 education and higher education in India are estimated to reach $1.7bn and $1.8bn,respectively. Test preparation is the fastest-growing category within edtech, at a CAGR of 64%. (Source: “Online Education in India 2020-21”, KPMG Report, 2020)

The pandemic has catalysed the adoption of edtech in Indian households, integrating cutting-edge technology with pedagogy. It is estimated over half of India’s working population would need to expand their skill set to meet the demands of the labour market in 2022.

India is uniquely positioned to capture this growing market with students and professionals equally engaged in its wide range of learning opportunities. This could be an opportunity for edtech platforms specializing in upskilling to grow their user base.

With an expansive boom of startups in the edtech industry in India, the key differentiating factor would be who can capitalise on this opportunity with a sustainable economic moat!

Author(s) :
Swadha Agarwal     
Brijesh Damodaran Nair