Will Covid-19 bring edtech closer to overcoming challenges of virtual schools, colleges? Here’s what experts have to say

  Feb 12, 2022

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 interrupted all businesses across the world and forced organisations to look at alternatives for business continuity. A culture of remote operations emerged as part of the pandemic protocol. For example, work from home became the prime mode of working.

Likewise, remote learning and teaching became prevalent when institutions shut their classrooms. Digital technology and tools started playing a pivotal role in the delivery of education.

Educational technology (EdTech) entities have been operating since the emergence of niche technologies. The EdTech sector witnessed exponential growth following the disruption due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The continuing pandemic situation has boosted EdTech expansion; the global EdTech market was valued at around USD 85 billion in 2021. According to a report by market research firm Research And Market, the market will reach USD 218 billion in 2027 with a CAGR of 17 percent between 2021 and 2027.

India-based data confirms that the EdTech revolution is not going to subside anytime soon. It is an ongoing process with newer and better developments in the pipeline.

The industry was worth USD 735 million in 2019, and by the end of 2020, it had grown to USD 2.8 billion, thanks to growing internet users, positive government policies, and increased investments. Over the next decade, the EdTech market in India is expected to reach USD 30 billion, according to industry experts.

Currently, India has over 9000 EdTech start-ups operating in different segments, including K-12, skill development, test preparation, higher education, and online certifications.

Some companies are focusing on business-to-business solutions by developing learning management systems (LMS) for educational institutions, and other digital products and solutions.

The industry is growing by adopting more and more segments and introducing innovative solutions.

Technology for effective educational administration

The lack of a proper tool to operationalise the virtual classroom is the primary challenge in online education. Most institutions are just relying on video conferencing tools and messaging applications to run the classes.

These may be adequate for communicating with learners. But an ideal virtual class must be more than learning and teaching and must provide a near-classroom experience for students. The learning should be flexible for students to learn conveniently at their own pace.

The current mechanism also lacks the right tool to evaluate the progress of each student.

Online education is effectively delivered through a learning management system (LMS). An LMS contains all the learning resources for learners to study at their convenient time and pace. It helps monitor attendance and learning progress in real-time and updates students, parents, and teachers time-to-time.

Thus, the evaluation process becomes transparent and effective.

EdTech companies adopt new technologies:

At present, EdTech companies are adopting emerging technologies such as AI-ML, Data Science, Cloud Computing, IoT, AR-VR, and blockchain to develop Learning Management Systems that substitute the classroom in the virtual world.

These technologies are used in different areas of education to ensure smooth learning, teaching and assessment, thereby enabling effective administration of education.

These technologies also help automate the learning process and enable higher personalisation based on individual capacity and cognitive level. Adopting gamification in LMS facilitates fun learning and increased student engagement.

The LMS-powered virtual classroom with hybrid/ blended learning is here to stay. UGC has already recommended higher education institutions (HEIs) to adopt blended learning. Additionally, experience-based learning using AR/VR/XR and the growth of adaptive learning will contribute to the rapid growth of the EdTech sector.

EdTech companies are competing to provide a better educational experience for students in the virtual world. They are spending a considerable amount of money on research and development to improve their existing learning systems by developing innovative technology solutions to improve the efficiency of virtual education.

As a result of all this, the number of online learners is steadily increasing and this number is going to go up even further in the years to come.

-Article by Gaurav Vohra, Chief Business Officer, UNext Learning.

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