Impact of COVID19 on EdTech and Learning platforms in India

This era of EdTech is about the use of technology to highly personalize the learning experience, try new approaches, and to scale education in unimaginable ways.

September 22, 2020 9:07 IST | India Infoline News Service
EdTech has been around for nearly the last 15 plus years in a meaningful way. Learning methodology today typically covers a structured curriculum, interactive classes, labs, project work, and finally assessments. Technology has scaled to a level where all of this happens seamlessly online and delivers a great learning experience and great outcomes. This era of EdTech is about the use of technology to highly personalize the learning experience, try new approaches, and to scale education in unimaginable ways.
Present-day classrooms have moved beyond the clunky computers that were once the norm and are now tech-infused with tablets, interactive digital courses, and even robots that can take notes and record lectures for students who are not well. And it looks like technology in the classroom is here to stay — the majority of teachers believe tech is going to have a major impact on the way they educate in the near future.

Impact of COVID-19 on the learning platforms in India
The immense rise in EdTech users due to the nationwide lockdown has provided a significant push to the sector in India, which is relied upon to develop at a CAGR of 52% to turn into a 1.96 billion dollar industry by 2021. The key development drivers propelling EdTech in India are the capacity to serve a large audience at essentially lower costs compared to traditional classroom learning, critical growth in internet and Smartphone infiltration across India, steady growth in disposable income of the Indian families.
While the countrywide lockdown — due to the pandemic —shutting down of schools and universities saw the emergence of many EdTech platforms and services and a rise in adoption. The EdTech sector saw major investments and spending by governments, schools, universities, students, and professionals globally. While the growth has been tremendous, the industry suffers from challenges such as scaling up rationally, defeating infrastructure barriers, and retaining growth.
Lockdown boosted innovation and investment in the EdTech Sector
There are around 4,450 EdTech start-ups operating in the nation presently catering various segments including K-12, vocational, and professional training/skilling and school/college educational operations. While the K-12 and competitive examination segment is ruled by Indian players, the international players are centered on reskilling, vocational preparation, and certifications.
A lot of innovations have been tested within the Indian EdTech industry to balance the dynamics of teachers and students from a traditional classroom to a virtual one. Technology is turning teacher-driven education into a more teacher-student arrangement. Smart classrooms are making teaching transparent and equivalent for every student in a way close to the genuine classroom-like experience.
Initiatives taken by the Government to promote online learning
One of the many initiatives taken by the GOI to promote E-learning is through the SWAYAM program. This initiative is designed to accomplish the three cardinal principles of the Education Policy – access, equity, and quality. The goal of this program is to connect the digital divide for students who have not been able to join the standard knowledge economy.
Lastly, Online education is here to stay - both in India and globally - in light of principal benefits:
  • The physical limitation of infrastructure: By moving courses online, you are no longer limited by 'limited seats'.
  • Environmentally beneficial: Without paper books and examinations, there's a significant saving on paper, and that protects the environment by not cutting down trees for its production.
  • Time is money, i.e., instant content, instant results, and instant ready-retrieval: Online content can be created faster when compared to publishing books or journals. Similarly, automated marking systems are easy to implement for quick results, saving huge amounts of time waiting for traditional ways of declaring results after a long interval. Being online, the answer sheets can be recovered at any time from anywhere for either purpose of audit or re-evaluation.
  • Breaks down red-tape: Online enrollments, training, and assessments leave insignificant room for red-tape, bureaucracy, bias, and corruption.
The adoption of learning online with the use of technology will accelerate like never before. The platforms available in Indian markets are looking to conquer the global audience in the coming decades. There will be offline institutions and colleges; however, from a merely market-share perspective, the amount of education content that will be learned through the use of EdTech will be multiple times the learning that will happen in the campus.
The outbreak suddenly gave people a lot of time on our hands and a lot of energy with nowhere to focus on. Online stages are giving us all the chance to utilize this downtime to indulge in our favorite hobbies plus squeeze some extra money out of our skills:

You’re an Unstoppable Talker - Start a podcast
You’re a Great Gamer - Live stream is the option
You’re an Avid Reader - Create audio-books
You’re a style genius - Make tutorial videos
You’re a talented writer - Start a blog...

...and this rundown goes on, digitalization has given audiences the much-needed platform to explore their skills and also bring in cash out of it which has made EdTech such a big hit and everyday there are some new users helping the industry expand.

Offline universities and colleges will also shift to launching their online programs, issued in partnership with EdTech companies who will support them to power their learning delivery.

The author of this article is Captain Surinder Singh, Managing Director of Millioncenters - a social learning app

The views and opinions expressed are not of IIFL Securities, indiainfoline.com

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