Just imagine what would have happened if this disaster had struck us a couple of decades earlier. The entire world would have probably come to a standstill. However, now we have technology on our side. The educators can still disseminate education via online platforms and the students and teachers can connect despite the geographical limitations. Even the people who were against the idea of e-learning have come on board after experiencing its benefits firsthand.
Several edtech startups have seen their user base grow by up to 100% during the last 10 months in both the K-12 and post-K-12 segments! According to a report by RedSeer and Omidyar Network India, the online education market for class 1-12 is projected to increase 6.3 times in the next year and create a $1.7 billion market. The post-K-12 market is set to grow 3.7 times to touch $1.8 billion.
However, the growth isn’t just the pure e-learning industry that has witnessed tremendous growth; things are looking good for the traditional players too with the emergence of ‘blended learning.
Blended learning is a model that combines the best of both worlds (online and offline) to offer the highest quality education to the students. Since it is much easier for traditional schools to incorporate technology into their existing framework than start fresh on an online platform, blended learning is gaining popularity pretty quickly. While completely digitally-driven schools are the future, blended learning is going to remain the preferred model for teaching/learning as long as we stay in an intermediate phase.
The increased activity in the edtech industry comes as a blessing for the offline educational institutes as they can fine-tune their teaching mechanisms with the help of technological aids – which would further help in disseminating education to the students. Consequently, when students come into contact with the hybrid model of learning, they get a superlative, flexible, and engaging experience.
Let us take a look at some of the advantages of hybrid learning or blended learning:
• It is not possible for teachers – regardless of how diligent they are – to equally divide their attention over every student. Generally, the students who tend to be shy or reserved do not get the attention they need in a traditional classroom environment. However, blended learning makes it possible for every student to get personal attention from the teacher. It paves the way for personalized learning and total supervision.
• This model offers convenience and flexibility. Instead of commuting to the schools at a time when the pandemic is wreaking havoc, the students have the option to learn from the comfort and safety of their homes. It also leads to an increase in overall attendance. Also, the students can learn at their own pace, which, again, is not possible in a classroom environment. By adopting blended learning, we can finally do away with the “one-size-fits-all” approach.
• It saves a lot of time and money that is spent commuting from one place to another.
• Since most students today are comfortable with using technology, they engage better with material when technology is used as a tool for instruction. Also, by interacting with cutting-edge technologies on a day-to-day basis, the students become more comfortable and competent with regard to using technology.
• The students become self-directed learners. Since the blended learning model requires a certain amount of discipline and self-supervision, the students become better at learning by themselves. It is a great skill to develop at a young age since the market is becoming more and more dynamic. The employers are looking for candidates who can hit the ground running. Naturally, the students who’ve grown up learning by themselves by making use of the available resources will have an edge in this regard.
If we can create safe learning environments where the students aren’t bothered by the distractions on the internet or the remote learning environment themselves, then the students can make conscious decisions that can favorably impact their learning.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has been the cause of destruction for many of the industries, it has launched the e-learning industry towards unprecedented growth. With time, as we develop newer, better technologies, the e-learning methodologies will continue to become better and more resilient – paving the way for a truly digital India.
The author of this article is Nishant Agarwal, Founder, Proctur
The views and opinions expressed are not of IIFL Securities, indiainfoline.com