Amol Ghemud is the Co-Founder and Optimizer-in-Chief at upGrowth, a Pune-based growth marketing consultancy. A serial entrepreneur, he uses his past experience as a founder to catalyse business growth for businesses using strategic & data-driven methodologies. With a decade of experience in the field of marketing, he has donned multiple hats, from channel optimization, data analytics and creative brand positioning to growth engineering and sales. He helps companies evolve and adjust to the new digital landscape, and has improved business performance for clients in diverse industries, from consumer tech to healthcare fintech, edtech and e-commerce.
If the buzz and success around Byju’s and Goa-based startup Stoa School is anything to go by, it’s clear that the edtech space is only going to get bigger and more diverse from here on.
Byju’s brought app-based learning to millions, while Stoa challenges the traditional MBA with an accelerated and economical course that gives students the skills they need to succeed in a startup. Both target vastly different learners who are eager to purchase their offerings.
Edtech isn’t going anywhere in the years ahead and is likely to diversify and make use of newer tools and techniques to cater to a learning ecosystem that is in flux. These are some of the trends we see our clients and other edtech companies picking up on for 2022.
From rural schools to urban ones, educators are taking a blended approach and combining traditional, tactile tools and methods with online learning and digital properties. Both these methods have their cons when used exclusively, so taking a blended approach allows students to take in the benefits of both. Using the best of both these methods is called blended education and it’s likely to see more adoption in the year ahead.
Pratham, a non-profit organisation that works in the field of rural education, launched its PraDigi initiative that takes digital tablets with learning materials, videos, lessons and games to rural areas. This gives rural learners an opportunity to experience digital learning in addition to the stand and deliver teacher model.
Digital textbooks are likely to become more popular amongst students who have access to them. As learning moves online and remote because of the pressures of the pandemic, digital textbooks serve as an easy, all-in-one tool for learning and research.
They are accessible to students anytime and anywhere, and students can highlight and find what they are looking for with ease. And, they give students the ease of searching for meanings, listening to audio clips and more, while reading.
The Indian model of education is still focused on rote learning and the primary method of evaluation is via written examinations. As learning becomes more technology-driven, methods of evaluation are also set to change and move away from writing on reams of paper.
During a written exam, the onus is on the student to learn a theory and replicate what it means, on paper. Practical knowledge is not put to test. Going ahead, evaluations are likely to become more project-based, practical and experimental, with an increase in on-the-field or non-theoretical education assessments.
Gamification and VR
Gamification and VR have become popular ways to engage customers and potential customers for businesses — but it’s also an effective way to get students to learn more and have fun while they are at it.
Gamification involves using traditional game elements like points, badges and levels to engage learners during a lesson or session. You may not need to develop a game with characters and levels, but you can add certain gaming features to create a quiz or indicate a student’s progress within a module or chapter. Gamified models also give educators a chance to assess learn more about their students, by collecting, saving, and analysing data from users’ actions. Gamification is a great way to make activities engaging, fun and build confidence as students learn.
VR or virtual reality technology puts students in positions where they are able to experience situations and simulations, which in turn helps them absorb materials faster. The application of VR and AR (augmented reality) is expected to surge in the coming years. These technologies can enhance learning across the education spectrum and give students opportunities to experience immersive learning.
Lifelong Professional Learning
The past decade has seen online MOOCs explode, for any and every kind of profession. As technology catches up with us, it’s becoming essential for professionals at every stage of their careers to acquire new skills and upgrade existing ones.
Universities at the moment do not upgrade their syllabus at the speed with which the market and technology are moving. Students and professionals, on the other hand, need knowledge that is practical and future-proof. Edtech is the answer, with courses that are relevant to the time and market, which are practical, shorter and economical.
The trend of lifelong learning will continue and gain steam, with more platforms offering sector-specific courses for professionals at all stages. (The popularity of platforms like Coursera, Skillshare, Masterclass and Domestic are proof that people are willing to invest in short specialised courses that impart skills that can help them get ahead at work.)
So whether you are a learner or an educator, these are some of the trends you may see (and want to incorporate) in the new year!