“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela
The education system in India is undergoing a whirlwind of change. The country’s pedagogical system which was founded on the guidelines of the British Raj sought to produce a mechanized workforce of gullible and subordinate minions. The education framework was specifically tailored to complement and further facilitate the imperialistic and exploitative administration policy of the British.
Now cut to 2020, it’s almost been a century since the British left India at the wake of the Second World War. The Indian education system still is an age-old adherer of an unimaginative and obsolete framework conceived and permeated by our colonial masters. While there have been numerous amendments and changes being made in the national pedagogy over the years, the basic foundation and core of the educational framework, remains as disjointed and superficial as before.
The 21st-century world is witnessing a boundless technological transformation, a paradigm shift of sorts, with industries and institutions across avenue embracing the digital revolution. The latest tech advancements in science and innovation have ushered a consummate and robust tech-powered education vista, where the latest breakthroughs in AI, ML, IoT seemingly redefining and reimagining the way we talk, speak and learn. The rise of the edutech sector is merely an extension of this overarching technology optimization.
The Edutech sector is causing unforeseen disruption through a state of the art, cutting edge online learning platforms that simultaneously engage, educate and empower learners and teachers alike at the click of a button. Connecting a vast multitude of students, instructors, tutors, and experts and other significant stakeholders in the learning process through cutting edge virtual portals, online learning platforms are dispensing knowledge and learning at a nominal cost in all directions, even the remotest parts of the country.
Now imagine a far-flung rural village in India, without electricity or infrastructure or a government school, yet home to children studying on a smartphone provided free-of-cost either by the government or an NGO, under the guidance of astute mentors. This is the true power and potential of online learning platforms; transmitting knowledge to the farthest and marginalized corners of our country.
The e-learning industry in India has been mushrooming at a growth rate of 25 per cent year on year. As per a report released by KPMG and Google in 2018, the primary catalysts of online learning platforms in the country are the relatively low cost of online education, an increasing smart-phone user base, access to premium education and a greater employability proportion on concluding an online degree. Technological advancement and the resulting innovation has been the most crucial factor in making online education a feasible reality.
The Nielsen Primary Survey conducted an extensive study in 2018 for the Indian subcontinent. Its findings revealed that 57 per cent of the online learning audience relied on their smartphones for active content consumption enabled by the mobile-first focus of the Ed-Tech platforms. With smartphones becoming an intrinsic and indispensable part of urban and rural India, edutech platforms are ushering a knowledge revolution by seamlessly imparting primary, secondary and higher education, test preparation, online certification and casual learning where the need is utmost.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course designed for unlimited participation and open access through the web. The extant prerequisites to learning have seemingly dissolved with the dawn of Edu-Tech platforms and e-learning. All that is required is the desire to attain knowledge and a smartphone or computer. Ed-tech platforms today, proffer more than 5000 courses taught by educators globally with equal and open access to all.
Interactive classrooms allow students to be engaged in their learning by enabling a two-way conversation model between learner and the catalyst. Ed-Tech platforms offer courses for various competitive examinations such as JEE, NEET, K-12, UPSC and GATE preparation for students to participate in remote classroom discussions in real-time. This assists students in assessing their coursework progress, spotting improvement areas and receiving mock tests for totalistic exam preparation. Through the massive innovations in Big Data, experts are able to zero in on the feedback within the given blueprint; this allows them to ameliorate their offerings in exciting and novel ways to further benefit the students.
Use of AR/VR/MR in learning
If digital learning was the hottest knowledge centre in town, Augmented Reality, virtual reality and mixed reality are the swankiest kids on the block. VR essentially allows Ed-Tech learners to engage with their study material on a direct basis while ensuring greater engagement and therefore greater motivation levels to learning.
As per a Technavio report, the educational VR market is set to rocket at a compounded annual rate of 55 per cent and educational AR by a staggering 82 per cent by 2021. Students can directly learn, imbibe and experience the ever-expanding universe of knowledge and learning with the help of virtual teachers who promote real-time practical observation and participatory engagement in place of outmoded theories and didactic stagnation.
Armed with a 24 per cent internet permeation rate, the online learning vista proffers a colossal capacity for empowering growth and development in the country. Education and technology are verily the fundamental building blocks of industry and progress, as they are responsible for moulding the rest of the business world. With the furtherance of technology and innovation in India, online learning has found acceptance far and wide by teachers, students and the entire learning ecosystem. Technology is clearly paving the road towards the optimum digital calibration of a myriad of sectors in India, with edutech riding at the helm.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house