The Covid-19 pandemic has posed a threat to all aspects of the society including education. Starting from March 2020, several countries implemented school or university closures impacting billions of students. To avoid further disruption in education, many educational institutions started offering online courses. In such critical situation where everything seems to have come to a standstill, education is among the worst-affected sectors. In order to continue imparting of education, educational institutions across the country have had to quickly adapt to the situation. Schools and institutions offered many educational plans to the parents for their children that restructured the way of educating. Many ed-tech companies came to the fore by bringing new ways of learning during this crisis.
Technology in Education or Education-technology (Ed-tech):
Ed-tech— integration of technology and education is not a new concept. We started using educational technology many years ago. The best example of this is the use of computers. The computer is one of the greatest inventions of technology. Initially, we had used computers for a long time in education for keeping records and data of students. Now, the use of this technology is not limited to keeping records only, as it has become a source of practical learning in modern times. Ed-tech companies have gone way ahead with some innovative and amazing use of technology in transforming education.
Ed-tech provides an opportunity for learning, practice, and assessment from your computer or smartphone. It offers study material as well as smart interactive tutoring to enhance learning. Today education can be attained virtually with online smart classes. Students with the help of various digital gadgets can enjoy this new mode of learning. In the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of ed-tech has increased rapidly. Parents, teachers and children started schooling through the e-learning apps of various ed-tech companies.
Rise of Ed-tech during the pandemic
In India, the pandemic has forced people to adapt to the transformation across the work culture and several life activities. As people were restricted from going out, they have been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic. They are conducting meetings, running businesses, etc. online. Similarly, in education also, educators have been teaching through Internet technology. Though, in many developed and developing countries, education technology is not a new concept. They have been using an online mode of learning years before this pandemic.
The outbreak of COVID-19 virus proved a huge hurdle for the people. They could not live their life freely. They were facing many problems especially in the sector of education. But only because of education technology learning has become possible during this crucial time.
While the GDP was falling due to the pandemic outbreak and most of the sectors of the economy collapsed, educational technology managed to make a little contribution to the GDP. Educational apps like BYJU’S, Unacademy, Vedantu, etc. became the household names as their use has been increased since the lockdown. In the time of social distancing, people are avoiding going out in public places. So, to ensure proper learning people adopted the distant mode of education. Technologies involved in distant learning are similar to remote work. These technologies also include virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, gamification, cloud data storage, etc.
What is the future of Ed-tech in post-Covid India?
The use of education technology (ed-tech) in comparison to the world was limited in India. However after the pandemic, India is forced to use ed-tech now even more frequently and largely. Today, most of the country’s population is familiar with this technology. During the lockdown, some families of farmers purchased smartphones for e-learning so that their children could study online.
Since March, BYJU’S has seen millions of new users on its platform. The market size of ed-tech in India is likely to grow post-covid in the upcoming years. So, educational institutions will use it in the future too. The government is trying its best to include ed-technology as an integral part of the education system. The government announced to launch new TV channels (one for every grade from Kindergarten to the 12th standard). This comes as a massive and unparalleled step towards increasing ed-tech in India.
If educational technology will be utilized properly and effectively then it may improve the entire system of education and learning which will eventually lead our country towards success in the global competitive market.
Trending Factors that will change the shape of Ed-tech in India
Every aspect of our lives is changing with the advancement in technology. The pandemic has brought online learning to the forefront, making it an integral part of mainstream learning. In education, the online mode of learning has been preferred by everyone. Ed-tech involves some factors that are trending and gives a new direction to online mode of learning. Many digital or e-learning platforms are using these trending factors for modifying the pattern of education. The tremendous use of these factors will poise the ed-tech in the future. Here are some factors that will lead the use of ed-tech to considerable heights.
Virtual Reality (VR) in Ed tech:
Students absorb information much better if they enter a 3D environment that makes learning more exciting and enjoyable. Online education is capable of creating an experience by integrating and adapting VR technologies and by designing virtual lab experiences. It provides an environment where students can interact with an experimental apparatus or other activity via a computer interface. Though virtual laboratory experiences have worked for several industries, it is still in the testing phase in the field of education due to its limitations. However, digital transformation has nudged the technological industry upwards and it is amongst the top trends to look for in the coming years.
Augmented Reality (AR) in Ed tech:
Augmented reality (AR) is one of the biggest technological trends right now, and it’s only going to get bigger. This trend in education can serve many purposes. It helps the students to easily process, acquire and remember the information. Unlike VR, AR doesn’t require any expensive hardware. Additionally, AR makes learning itself more engaging and enjoyable. Augmented reality also enhances the learning abilities of students like problem-solving, collaboration, etc. Thus it better prepares students for the future.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Ed tech:
Artificial Intelligence technology brings a lot of benefits to various fields, including education. It is one of the disruptive techniques to customize the experience of different learning groups, teachers and tutors. Many researchers claim that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can increase the level of education. Artificial Intelligence builds a personalized study schedule for each learner. This facilitates personalized learning that helps to find out what a student does and does not know. It also produces smart content with digital lessons and information visualization.
Gamification in Ed tech:
Games in any form increase motivation through engagement. Gamification in education can be done by abandoning the grading system and implementing an experience points system where after completion of each assignment, the students are awarded with badges. Gamification also includes the integration of educational video games in the curriculum. These features help to modify the teaching-learning process so as to enhance the learning experience. Thus, the adoption of gamification technology in the form of simulation of concepts will help to develop and design a more customized learning for individuals.
Cloud Data Storage in Ed tech:
Cloud data storage is gaining popularity because of its advantages such as simple structure, lower costs, accessibility along with the removal of maintenance and storage management. Just about anyone in the academic space can use cloud storage for education. It is beneficial to all in educational field as teachers can store modules and lessons. Students can store important papers and files related to schoolwork online and records, and academic data can be stored for administrative purposes. This trend reduces the burden of hardware storage.
Why do Indian teachers need to be upskilled?
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought schooling into our homes. It’s been a challenging time for teachers who have had to rapidly switch from the board and chalk to Zoom and PowerPoint. This urgent need for digital education requires technological skills. Upskilling of teachers is as important as it is for students. Although younger teachers are more familiar with these skills, but the older educators or teachers who use traditional methods of teaching face some difficulties.
In the future, our education will be more digitalized. So for this, we also require teachers who are well skilled and can use ed-tech effectively and efficiently. The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 also provides a provision for the training of teachers to upgrade their digital skills. Digital or technological education facilities should be extended to the technology backward educators. This training of teachers is important for our education system to establish a base for ed-tech. To know about the what will be best e-learning app for you click here.