As the Technology director of his own start-up Splashgain, since 2009, Swapnil has around 15 years of extensive experience in the fields of design, development, and management of large scale Information Technology (IT) projects. Before establishing Splashgain, Swapnil worked at TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) and Geometric Software. His area of expertise is software prototyping, scalable web architecture, cloud computing and information security. Swapnil is working on advanced innovation with AI-driven assessments, remote proctoring with intelligent face recognition, onscreen evaluations for education and corporate sectors. He has also developed a technology process in the patent field. The education domain is one of Swapnil’s goals to try and simplify & amplify institutes with technology.
Over the past two years, the pandemic has brought in dynamic changes across sectors and industries. Education has borne more than its fair share of this friction over the course of the pandemic. Even though the impact on learning has been unprecedented with subsequent lockdowns and shutting down of schools, this sector in particular has also seen a heightened pace of transformation, perhaps for the better from a long term view. A lot of the changes that were overdue but moving at a sluggish pace, have been forced into acceleration over the last two years. As the boundaries of physical learning collapsed, the education dynamics in India changed dramatically. There are two schools of thought that have emerged. One believes in the new, highly beneficial hybrid ecosystem for Indian Education. The second is convinced that the sudden shift to online without any prior planning has resulted in inefficiency. The pandemic, however also sowed the seeds for a digitally equipped and future-ready education system backed by the EdTech industry.
As we march towards a digitally equipped environment, EdTech players can play a catalyticrole to help upend legacy processes and system and create room for new modern efficient processes in its place. A welcome change for any sector. The government, private and public schools, tutors, coaching institutions, students, and instructors have all been receptive to embracing the digital form of learning as a result of these disruptions, resulting in the EdTech boom we are experiencing today.
EdTech innovators will have a vital role in the Indian education system not just now but well into the future, if the focus remainson being able to push the innovation envelope. The Indian EdTech businesses garnered $16.1 billion in venture capital financing, up from $500 million in 2010. Global EdTech is projected to reach $350 billion by 2025. Moreover, with the growing popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and distance education India’s EdTech industry is poised to reach $30 billion in the next 10 years. The growth spurt in this industry is driven largely by K-12 Segment, higher education, and upskilling categories. Even before the crisis, there was a high adoption of educational technology. From language apps to virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, and online learning software, there has been a significant surge in its usage since the pandemic.
Moreover, online learning has been shown to increase the retention of information. Over a million students attended live classes conducted by online tutoring platforms. Students who study online learn faster (up to 50% faster), and their retention rates are higher (between 25 and 60% vs. 8%) than offline learning. The ability to travel back and forth, learn at your own pace, keep schedule flexibility, contribute towards students’ learning quality and better result outcomes. EdTech companies have reaped the benefits of this change and have experienced robust growth.
Technology plays a far more significant role in schools. Whether it’s through the digitization of textbooks, 3D imaging, smartboards or the use of natural language processing to generate questions, technology is transforming the classroom. Students are no longer constrained to being passive listeners while studying. Teachers can make classes more exciting and enjoyable. EdTech benefits students by supporting schools and teachers with live courses, meetings, interactions, and sharing academic content. Through the innovative makeshift EdTech models, several schools and teachers built their own methods of creating and disseminating content.
During the last two years, the industry saw a disruption when exams were frequently delayed or cancelled. It confused students and left very little room for learning and evaluation. Entrance and professional degree exams were sometimes postponed indefinitely without much clarity, creating havoc among students. Additionally, our education system took its time to deploy a secure pathway to conduct exams. This further led to difficulty in adjusting to a digital model. Furthermore, with the ongoing chaos, students could not complete the admission processes that required them to be physically present. Many schools and universities postponed their admission processes, disrupting the schedules even more.
The solution to the disruption caused by the pandemic lies behind EdTech. EdTech companies and educational institutions can work together to provide objective assessments and conduct examinations using online platforms. EdTech can enable admissions from home with a single click by digitizing admission applications and fee collection processes. EdTech platforms today are enabling an agile and robust ecosystem, for conducting examinations across levels. With secure and safe platforms, monitored by advanced technologies like AI, ML, Analytics, the traditional processes of conducting examinations will change dynamically for both students as well as the educational organisation.
Minimizing Existing Gaps
Given technology’s potential to bridge the geographical obstacles, EdTech can minimize the existing learning gaps. In comparison to traditional schooling, online education is significantly more economical. According to industry reports, the cost of schooling from kindergarten to grade 12 has expanded 6.3 times in 2022 as compared to 2019. Because of their cost, accessibility, and flexibility, EdTech platforms have allowed students from many socioeconomic backgrounds and social levels to get access to high-quality education.
Most schools and institutions in the country have been affected by the crisis. This may have a long-term impact, especially on young learners in their formative years. One of the most striking aspects of the Indian educational system is that it is still built on an ancient paradigm that has seen only minor alterations or upgrades in recent decades. Covid-19, on the other hand, might be viewed as a blessing in disguise. It ensures that EdTech is set to transform the whole education system with its arrival in the field.
The Indian education industry will become more tech-savvy and adaptable. Its focus is shifting to continuous evaluation, allowing for multiple options of executive education and a more student-friendly admission process. While COVID-19 has advanced the incorporation of technology into education by shifting mindsets, there is still much work to be done to maintain engagement and bridge the existing digital gaps. The future of learning may increasingly rely less on physical infrastructure and more on digitization. Thus, leading to technology driving affordability and equal access to quality education. EdTech brought digital tools into the contemporary classroom and changed how we perceive education.