Blackboard, a leading global Education Technology (EdTech) company, has seen an increase in the move towards digitization of teaching and learning in markets such as India as the education sector undergoes a major digital transformation, reinforcing a trend that started before Covid-19 and was further accelerated by the ongoing pandemic.
As indication of this shift, Blackboard reported a 39% increase in mobile app use in 2020, a 400% jump in the deployment of its pioneering online teaching and learning platform, Blackboard Learn, and a massive 4800% increase in the use of its virtual classroom solution, Blackboard Collaborate.
Mr. Philip Murray, Regional Vice President Asia, said Blackboard’s mission is to advance learning by enabling higher education institutions to continue to provide instruction to their students, even while India continues to struggle with the impacts of the Coronavirus crisis. “Allowing learners to have access to ongoing higher education, regardless of location, and to have continued learning that creates personalized experiences during times of disruption such as the ongoing pandemic, is mission-critical,” commented Mr. Murray at a regional media briefing on 22 July.
As the global pandemic began to take hold in 2020, India’s EdTech sector experienced a substantial increase in demand for online learning solutions due to the Coronavirus crisis. The Indian National Education Policy, which was announced in 2020, stressed the importance of leveraging technology in education. This was supported by data from Inc24 Plus research indicating that the market share of EdTech in India is estimated to grow 3.7x in the next five years from $2.8 billion in 2020 to $10.4 billion in 2025. India provides a vast opportunity for the EdTech sector moving forward, with the world’s largest population of those aged-5-24 years (500 million).
We are currently working with higher education institutions in India that have successfully harnessed the technological capabilities of Blackboard solutions to transform the way they develop, share and deliver curriculums online,” said Murray. “We are pleased to see higher education institutions that have migrated to Blackboard’s Learning Management System, Learn, and virtual classroom solution, Blackboard Collaborate, successfully continue to deliver quality education to their students through the ongoing disruption of the pandemic.”
Mr. Murray added that Blackboard is committed to India and sees it as an important and key market with substantial growth in the EdTech sector. Blackboard has its Worldwide Product Development Centre located in Chennai, India, with over 200 staff. The Chennai Centre drives Blackboard’s worldwide product improvement and innovation, while also acting as a critical hub for Blackboard’s 24/7 technical support for customers in India and across the world.
“While universities will clearly retain a ‘brick and mortar’ presence, and in some cases institutions may return to what they were doing prior to the pandemic, others may decide to go fully online,” said Murray. “However, there are also significant options for hybrid models. As such, we predict the migration to online learning and teaching to further gather pace in India. With remote learning being the future of education, it certainly has a critical part to play.”
With the acceleration of technology adoption in places like India, Blackboard expects institutions will be well positioned, with support from Blackboard, to harness insights to deliver a more personalized experience to each student. “By delivering an education experience that is unique to the needs of each student, universities will be able to respond and encourage success at every stage in the education journey. This will lead to achievement of the most important outcomes in student and institutional success,” said Murray.