How do edtech start-ups enhance the educational ecosystem?
An Ernst and Young report titled ‘Higher Education in India: Vision 2030’ reveals that private schools account for 40% of student enrolment in the K-12 sector at present, and an additional 1,30,000 private schools are required to educate every child in the country. This demand, combined with issues such as rote learning, poor student-teacher ratio and lack of personalised learning has created a need to raise the standards of the K-12 sector.
The spurt in edtech companies, including start-ups, has accelerated the much-needed revolution in education. Such companies have started providing products such as online and offline curriculum solutions and teacher training programmes to private schools.
Whereas big names only look at the established markets and cater to the conventional demands, start-ups are driven by the urge to create a market for their innovative products. Today, India’s education scene is thriving with technological innovations of edtech start-ups.
The Association for Educational Communications and Technology defines educational technology as the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. Let us check out some forms of educational technology that are available today.
Learning Management System
Communication among all stakeholders of the K-12 sector is vital. Learning Management System (LMS) is a software that facilitates communication and creates, administers and documents content and its delivery. The software helps teachers to share lesson plans and course overviews with students. In-built applications such as spreadsheets, word processors and presentations can be used to create test papers and course materials. LMS can generate student performance reports, which can be shared with parents. Parents and teachers can connect with each other in real-time to discuss students’ progress.
Adaptive learning, or intelligent tutoring, is an educational method, which provides a computer-mediated, personalised learning solution to learners. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), adaptive learning helps students to move away from the dreaded one-size-fits-all learning approach, . The assessments created by adaptive learning systems are designed to meet every learner’s individual needs. Learners’ learning process is gauged, learning gaps are identified and progress is ensured. Hence, adaptive learning is the ultimate personalised learning solution available for today’s learners.
Game-based learning (GBL) engages and educates learners. GBL balances subject matter with gameplay and helps learners apply concepts learnt in the classroom to real-life situations. Learning is achieved via digital modes such as augmented reality, virtual reality and simulation and is not restricted to textbooks. GBL thus taps the engaging abilities of digital modes to help learners become active participants in the learning process.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
An abstract concept can be excellently explained using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Involving the blend of digital information with the user’s physical environment, Augmented Reality (AR) enhances the latter. Augmented reality (AR) provides an enriching multimodal experience by manipulating the spatial aspect of physical objects and thereby catering to the visual-motor learning skills of a child. The major advantage of AR is that once a particular object is coded, the AR app will be able to read the object present anywhere.
Much of the educational curriculum and content are developed in such a manner to support VR-based instruction in the classroom. Initially, learning using VR tools was centredaround science subjects like biology, geology and astronomy as the interaction in a 2D or 3D environment heightened the learning experience involving objects and animals. Now, VR is also used to recreate historic sites and figures.
There was an utter dearth of age-appropriate standard curriculum in the country. Edtech companies developed the curriculum and then with the help of technology improved the content delivery means too to make it accessible at any time, anywhere.
This article has been authored by Beas Dev Ralhan,CEO & Co-founder,Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.