IssueMarch 22Opinion

EdTech and how it’s influencing the current environment

The current EdTech landscape will keep on evolving with new products that provide an experiential learning experience for users, reveals Wendy Dsouza, Senior VP, Enterprise Ireland and Education in Ireland

EdTech has revolutionised how the education industry is currently functioning. Not just our classrooms, but also training programmes in our offices had to go online overnight. All this was unimaginable 18 months ago. The EdTech industry uses digital technology to deliver a new form of learning architecture. It is instrumental in driving all kinds of pathbreaking changes to our environment, and has emerged as a sought after, dynamic, but also a lucrative business. For instance, there is a product that enables educators to create a “learning DNA” profile of each student. The software has been built to continually adapt content and resources according to their performance, style of learning and interests. This intuitive product can help educators develop content tailored for their students. With EdTech, the barriers have been blurred, and ease of access to content has been possible to a greater number of people. But yes, consumers are looking for quality over quantity now. Artificial Intelligence, automation and digitalisation are redefining norms in education as more efficient and engaging forms of educational delivery channels emerge.

In this competitive world, one has to be a life-long learner, and education is no longer something you leave behind after your schooling. Ambitious and career- oriented professionals are expected to keep up with current trends and developments, and sometimes even to re-train for a new career in their middle age. Upskilling and reskilling is the need of the hour. Thankfully, advancements and innovations in educational technology offer professionals the flexibility to study while they work with minimum disturbance to their working life.

Even though the mode of delivery of education training keeps changing, there remain some constants: students will always need teachers and professionals, the trainer. But as in other sectors undergoing rapid technological advancement, only those teachers/ trainers who can use IT to increase productivity and performance will prosper. In the light of this, it’s fortunate that India has a young, employable population eager to attain training and certification. There is also a growing demand for reskilling, hence even with the economy opening up and normalcy slowly returning, remote learning is here to stay.

EdTech is allowing a hybrid model to thrive. This is the definite future for not only educational institutions but also corporates. But a hybrid model has its challenges with limited resources. The resources must be optimally divided between face-to-face interactions, which impose highest cost on institutions and corporates, and asynchronous virtual learning, which lower costs. The biggest segment in EdTech is K-12, with LMS leading its way followed by corporate training, test preparation, etc. In the future, we will see a growing demand for teacher training, performance monitoring, upskilling of hobbies and interests, gamification of content and also AI proctoring. We will also see a growth in semi-urban and rural population-focussed products as Internet and smartphone devices increasingly penetrate these areas. EdTech is enabling personalised and adaptive learning. Online platforms offer flexible and convenient learning environments which allow students to learn at their own pace. Adaptive learning ensures that students are engaged in a way that brings out the best results. Cloud-based EdTech platforms are additionally gaining popularity.

Academic content, online assessments, school management, parent-teacher communication, etc. which are cloud- based will help real-time tracking, instant reports and much more. While the pandemic has given the
EdTech industry a boost, the current EdTech landscape will keep on evolving with new products that provide an experiential learning experience for users, well after the age of lockdowns and curfews comes to an end. In the
coming years, online education will be the new normal, where the mantra will be to learn anywhere, at any time, at one’s own pace.

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