Why Edtech? Companies or essentially startups are working towards changing, improving, replacing, and sometimes even supplementing traditional education for students and teachers.
Since January 2014 India has seen the rise of more than 4500 Edtech startups. However as obvious as it is 25% of them have shut down and a huge chunk of them are still struggling to survive in the industry. Around 4% of these Edtech startups have managed to acquire funding from investors and are managing to stay ahead in the race. In 2017 Edtech startups raised nearly $10bn in funds. It is evident that the Edtech industry is not as nascent as it was in the previous years and the conditions for innovative startups to capture newer opportunities and grow are massive. It is estimated that the global expenditure in education technology will reach $341bn by 2025.
Currently, as all of the nations seem to be shut down in this precautionary lockdown, people are adapting and finding ways to be productive during these times. And of course, the Edtech industry has seen a sudden surge in demand for their offerings and few of them have managed to make the best out of this situation. It is predicted that 2 sectors namely e-commerce and Edtech may survive this difficult phase.
However, it would still be a long shot if someone says that the Edtech industry in India is at its peak. It has yet to gain mass traction, according to experts, and the coming years will see a boom in Edtech as people are adapting to newer ways of learning and the lockdown has actually acted as a catalyst to it.
Edtech has already ventured into a number of categories. We have listed some of them below to better understand how the industry is at its core and how they are augmenting traditional education with their unique offerings and innovations.
Includes learning material for kids to better prepare them which includes high-quality videos with visuals and graphics to better accompany their learning. It actually helps the kid to get rid of their boredom and to actually help them in their learning.
Helping students to prepare for standardized tests and exams such as GRE, CAT, JEE, NEET, etc.
Broad Online Learning
Includes a plethora of subjects and topics. Most startups focus on this type of learning as this helps them to increase their sales potential. Includes courses in the fields of but not restricted to music, photography, math, science, data, etc.
Mainly includes technical learning content for programming and software development.
Providing for tailor-made educational loans and also assisting them to apply for scholarships.
Networking, Communication, and Portals
They create a platform for students and educators to network and also provide for mentoring programs.
As the name suggests they help people learn new languages through a fun way and gamified mobile apps.
Also, some startups develop applications and software to help and teach specially-abled children with the help of technology.
Early adopters have already begun adapting these Edtech offerings including various schools, colleges, educational institutions, and are responsible for being the ones shaping the new education system of the future. It has a few ups and downs as but has immense potential in the coming years.
It is very important that we understand that it isn’t enough to change what we teach at schools but to reconsider how we teach at school.
According to experts, five major ways that Edtech is changing how technology is aiding education are as follows.
There is a rise in Edtech startups making the use of AI to impart educations that are personalized individually. Some of them have created competency-based adaptive learning which is actually very useful to the student on an individual level.
2.Efficient Formative assessment
Students can be better assessed over their learning. Traditional assessments only provide measurable data in the form of attendance and mark scored but the technology with the right applications can give insights on the students’ efficiency, ability on conceptualizing, time taken to answer, etc.
The student to teacher ratio has been declining in recent years and it is difficult to interact with every student individually. Mentoring is a luxury in educational institutions and is available to a very select few. The content that they are taught traditionally too fails to instil curiosity and thinking in the students’ minds. By using the right digital tools we can enhance student performances and curiosity by taking learning to the next level by providing for better and augmented techniques of learning and foster better engagement.
Students don’t have to rush themselves in learning topics In the fear of them being left behind. They can access the learning material anytime and repeat their missed lessons. This also provides for flexibility and provides for self-paced learning.
5.The shift in traditional classroom roles
Education technology altered the roles of teachers as well as the students in the traditional model of learning. Essentially in the form of a philosophical shift in their roles. Edtech has reversed the classroom design to make it more student-centric. Students are no longer passive learners who learned through listening and memorizing.
However, in the end, we should keep in mind that technology is just a tool to enhance performance.
Dedicated and fun teachers cannot be replaced by AI or any technology for that matter. At the same time, learning can be made much more interactive, innovative, engaging, and interesting for students with the right use of technology. As education systems are evolving and getting enhanced one thing the newer generation must understand that longer screen time won’t ensure better learning it has to be backed up with enthusiasm and passion for learning among students.
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