Sumesh Nair, Co-founder & CEO, Board Infinity

Sumesh Nair is the Co-Founder and CEO of Board Infinity, a career exploration platform. An alumnus of S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Sumesh is a highly talented and dynamic young entrepreneur having great understanding of various facets of business operations across industry verticals.

 

Covid-19 has dealt every industry a hefty blow but when it came to the ed-tech sector it enhanced the learning process. Not just students and educators benefitted from this but also investors and ed-tech startups. As per research, the year prior to the pandemic witnessed massive growth and adoption in ed-tech with global investments touching 15 billion dollars in 2019.

The pandemic has had lasting effects in the higher education field as well, which is a significant factor of a country’s economic future. A sizable number of Indian students, trailing behind China, enroll in universities abroad. Many of such students have been barred from leaving these countries. If this is the case, long term, a shortfall in the demand for international higher education will be imminent.

The more worrying aspect is the effect of this malaise on the employment rate. The current situation has led to corporates withdrawing their job offers. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy estimated that the employment rate shot up from 8.4% during mid-March to 23% in April and the urban employment rate skyrocketed to 30.9%.

At its peak in mid-April, covid-19 caused nationwide school shutdowns in 190 countries, having severe impact on 90% of total enrolled students, around 1.6 billion people globally.

While covid-19 left its lasting impact on the education sector, the ed-tech space saw a lot of advancements. In the higher education sector, learners were provided with digital first academic support and accessibility, smart assessment and novel types of curriculum in specialised areas such as science, coding and languages.

Courtesy of remote learning, adult learning has gotten much easier as well, with increasing no of online courses from institutions, income models focused on study now, pay later or boot camps & workshops to help them get ready for a new profession.

Case in point:

A prime example of personalized learning is when small-medium size companies adapted and implemented online training programs for freshers by collaborating with ed-tech platforms. It provides educators an opportunity to give learners a secure and integrated system to build a personalised learning environment.

The collaboration has helped working professions through content sharing, discussion rooms, soft skill training and even online exams.

Another successful case for 1:1 Personalized learning is college partnerships with edtech platforms for placement preparation. Through this, the graduates get online 1:1 training for resume, interview preparation and Group discussion directly from industry experts.  Such collaboration not only saves time and money but also equips the students with the best learning experience which will help them be ready for the corporate world.

Having spoke about how covid-19 has turned the education sector on its head, below are some positive impacts it has left in the e-learning industry:

  1. Efficiency:

Online learning presents an efficient way to deliver lectures. Online learning has a wide variety of offerings such as videos, PDF’s, podcast and more that coaches can use as part of their plan. By extending the teaching methodologies beyond the traditional approach, one can become more efficient educators.

  1. Accessibility:

Online learning allows learners to study from any part of the globe. It also permits institutions to reach out to a wider network of students rather than being limited by geographical boundaries. Moreover, online classes can be recorded, archived and shared for future references. This helps students to access course material at any time based on their comfort.

  1. Affordable:

Online learning reduces financial expenditures. This is because e-learning removes the cost of student transportation, student meals and lastly, real estate. Moreover, all course material since it is available online creates a paperless learning experience which is more affordable while being helpful to the environment.

  1. Suits Personalised Learning:

Every person has a unique learning journey and style. Some are visual learners, while some prefer the medium of audio. On the other hand, some students thrive in the classroom and others prefer self-learning. Online learning with its wide range of options and resources can be customised in many ways. It is the best mode of creating a perfect learning experience curated to the needs of each learner.

While the pandemic has posed many challenges, this disruption in order can be used to rethink how we educate and question what needs to be taught. This disruption can help define and pave the way for, what learning will look like to the future generations. Let’s look at the crisis as an opportunity to be a change agent for the education sector.

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