How Emerging Technologies Is Disrupting The Indian Education Industry
With one of the largest student populations in the world, India’s education sector has immense potential for innovation and growth. The country is increasingly opening up to the idea of digitisation, especially with the widespread penetration of the internet and Government initiatives such as Digital India, within which education holds a key place. Such factors have led to a sudden increase in the number of Ed-tech platforms in the country in recent years, aimed at greater accessibility and affordability.
In conversation with Franchise India, Shobhit Bhatnagar, CEO and Co-Founder, Gradeup, talks about the emergence of ed-tech, growth and future of virtual classrooms and much more...
The Digitisation of Indian Education Industry
The rise of emerging technologies is revolutionising the Ed-tech sector in India, with many holistic learning experiences coming to the fore that are specifically catering to the needs of end-users. Using data and new technologies, platforms that were once fragmented in their offerings are increasingly integrating a number of comprehensive courses and features that are focused on engagement, the involvement of teachers and greater efficacy of learning outcomes. Given that the impact is measurable i.e. students’ progress is monitored and analysed, there is also a greater focus on continuous evaluation.
Moreover, the steady rise in the number of smartphone users has enabled these platforms to make their offerings more accessible to a much larger number of students and teachers within the country. This is taking e-learning to the next level and equipping platforms with the ability to deliver various forms of quality content to students, anytime and anywhere from their websites and apps. These developments have been greatly beneficial not just to those in urban areas, but to students in remote or rural areas as well, who most often do not have access to quality education.
Live Classes Emerging as the Hottest Trend
Though Ed-tech platforms have largely been able to tackle the challenges of affordability and accessibility, it is found that engagement-factor was missing, with a significant gap in the active usage and consumption of online content amongst students. It is not enough to put offline content such as recorded lectures and notes online and expect students to go ahead and prepare with the material. That is the reason why several courses are left incomplete or students are unable to retain what they have learnt, something that is all the more challenging when preparing for competitive exams – which is a huge market in India.
This is where online live classes are bridging the gap, as students have continuous and supervised learning from expert teachers who prepare and deliver content such as lectures, notes and tests, within a structured day-wise plan. The greatest benefit is that students have access to this from the comfort of their homes, and can solve doubts before, during and after lectures, keeping them on-track with their preparation.
The concept of online live classes is especially beneficial to students from Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities as good coaching centres and quality education are often out of reach, either due to the lack of facilities or high costs. Additionally, given that several students today are not only school and college-going, but are also working side-by-side, online live classes can fit into their schedules with ease, as opposed to going to a coaching centre. With this, a large number of students are beginning to choose these classes as their go-to preparation method.
The future of virtual classroom in India is when everyone has access to online preparation and can easily prepare for their exams from the comfort of their homes. The product (live classes tool) is going to become extremely engaging and interactive. This is true not only in tier 2, 3, 4 cities, but it is being widely accepted across the country.
Disrupting the offline coaching industry
Offline coaching requires great investments in terms of time and money, in addition to the actual time spent studying. Online Live classes are addressing these factors and adding several other interactive technology-driven features that offline coaching is unable to incorporate for increased engagement with every student. In India, the average size of offline classes is around 40 students per teacher. Therefore, with online live classes more students have access to the best faculty with classroom infrastructure, no longer being a constraint.
It has been found that with online live classes, students retain 4X more subject matter, while the faculty are able to reach 10X more students with their teaching, as opposed to offline modes. With this, a greater number of students, teachers and parents are able to see the difference and believe in the legitimacy and impact that online live classes can have over offline coaching.
Technology is the Key
Technology is a key factor in the growth of the global education sector. India, in particular, has benefitted with the extent to which Ed-tech platforms can penetrate the education system with quality resources for all, even in the more remote areas. The increased flexibility and scope for customization are encouraging the widespread adoption of learning through such platforms as opposed to other, more traditional methods.
The rise of automation and digitization has given the online learning experience a further boost, with smart technologies such as machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) coming into play. Technologies can study certain interactions and gather actionable insights for platforms through tracking various data points and keywords. This can include feedback, levels of engagement and interaction - before, during and after study sessions. Accordingly, platforms, teachers and students can respectively track the strong and weak points of different learning methods. This enables them to explore different approaches whenever it is necessary to make improvements to a certain syllabus, course or overall approach.
Education providers will have to cater to the dynamics of student needs as well as the changing trends in the industry. This can be achieved through emerging technologies, such as AI, that have made it possible to make frequent and seamless improvements to learning outcomes. In essence, this will strengthen education from both teachers’ and students’ perspectives, thus creating an ecosystem of holistic learning, resulting in the sustained growth of the sector for the foreseeable future.