Up until the 2000s, a standard classroom in India included two common components – the teacher giving lectures standing in front of the blackboard and students passively listening while taking down notes. This rigid pedagogical approach was followed for decades, leaving little to no scope for interactive learning. India’s dated education system, however, has undergone major transformations in the past few years. With educators and policymakers finally realizing the importance of digital learning, top educational institutes across the country are now turning to EdTech platforms. According to a 2016 report by Google and KPMG, the EdTech industry in India is expected to touch almost USD 2 billion by 2021. The report further stated that the growth will be impelled by the rising number of paid users subscribed to the e-learning portals. The findings clearly indicate that a shift is taking place; students are opting for internet-based smart learning over classroom-confined learning. For instance, personalized learning app Toppr has achieved a seven-fold increase in its user-base within two years.
EdTech platforms making learning interactive and accessible to all
EdTech platforms have reimagined the education landscape by making learning more student-centric and engaging. The advent of learning apps, video tutorials and peer-to-peer discussion portals has not only enabled students to take ownership of their learning, but also bolster their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. This explains why both they have embraced tech-enabled learning tools with open arms to acquire additional knowledge outside the classroom.
While multiple factors have contributed to the EdTech boom in India, accessibility is the primary reason why digital learning is becoming commonplace. Thanks to the increased usage of smartphones and the internet, students can get 24x7 access to study materials, notes and qualified mentors from the comfort of their homes. Moreover, EdTech platforms also allow them to attend live lectures. This feature can be particularly beneficial for those unable to attend the class in person. Needless to say, the round-the-clock accessibility has helped thousands of Indian students who often find it futile to ask questions inside their overcrowded classrooms.
Breaking geographical barriers
The scope for higher education is limited in small towns and rural parts of India. Especially, the public education sector is not well-equipped to support high-potential and ambitious students. To address this issue, EdTech companies have come forward with their extensive offerings that range from free online classes to proper guidance. In fact, there are many e-learning portals that allow students to take mock tests and self-assess themselves.
Back in the 90s, most educational institutes followed the one-size-fits-all, rote-based method of learning. While it may have been effective at that time, the requirements have changed. Today, a learner-centric pedagogy that focuses on the individual’s strengths and weaknesses is the need of the hour. Given the pressing issues like skills-gap and low-employability rate in India, a personalized learning approach can help students gain a better understanding of a subject. New-age EdTech platforms incorporate advanced algorithms to a student’s behaviour and then suggest questions appropriate for their level, slowly raising the difficulty until they meet their learning goals. This, in turn, enhances the overall learning experience as well the performance of students.
Numerous studies have shown that audio-visual learning facilitates improved understanding and higher retention of facts. 88 per cent of parents and 84 per cent of teachers seek digital, video-based content to supplement what is being taught inside classrooms, as per a Digital Education Survey conducted by Deloitte in 2016. Students, too, are relying on EdTech platforms to get access to video-based learning modules to clear their concepts.
EdTech platforms have undeniably changed the face of India’s education sector. These changes have worked in favour of students who now have the liberty to learn at their own pace, self-evaluate and introspect.
-- Mr Zishaan Hayath, Founder and CEO, Toppr...