"Technology may not replace the academic gurus, but technology in the hands of educators can be transformational."
Attending schools and colleges was fun indeed! But the Covid-19 pandemic turned classroom teaching around the world into online learning. Looking at the blackboard in a classroom transformed into staring at the computer screens. While this created many difficulties, using digital technology could help solve long-standing problems and ultimately making graduates more employable. Digital technology allows universities to offer a great variety of courses to more students and provide them with a level of support that was not always possible with in-class teaching.
With online learning gaining popularity, problems such as the shortage of teachers and the rigidity of India’s local university system have become non-existent. Though digital technology in teaching was already in use before the covid-19 pandemic, only limited students had access to it or could afford it. But with the introduction of new digital technologies, the education community has come together. Now the students have access to their favorite faculties for online learning from any corner of the world. Keeping in mind the current situation, various educational organizations and entrepreneurs have drifted away from the conventional business model and started embracing the latest digital technologies into their business processes. At the same time, many venture capitalists have expressed their interest in online learning Ed-tech startups. The evolution in the education sector has attracted many business practitioners who earlier seemed confused in joining the Ed-tech space.
There are various online learning platforms in demand. Some of them are Unacademy, Udemy, Coursera, Lynda, Skillshare, BYJUS, Upgrad, Vedantu and more. In response to the increased demand, many online learning platforms are also giving away freemium access to their services to attract the target audience.
Looking into the industry…
As per the reports of BYJUS, a Bangalore-based Ed-tech Company, it has gained 200% new students after announcing free live classes. Another application, Tencent has widely been used by students since mid-February as the government directed the students to continue their studies through online learning platforms. This resulted in the greatest online movement in the records of education with nearly 81% of students attending classes via Tencent.
Last December almost 90,000 students started attending classes on Vedantu, an Ed-tech company that offers live online training to school students & competitive examination aspirants.
As said by the co-founder and chief of Vedantu Mr Vamsi Krishna, “we had set the ambitious target of one million user base in two years. But this month itself the number will be around a quarter of a million. So we feel the need to update our target as we should be able to hit one million in the next month itself”.
Such a tremendous increase in the online learning platforms market can be the outcome of the grown number of paid online education users which increased from 1.57 million in 2016 to 9.5 million in 2021. This highlights that the school and educational institutions are also accepting the digital transformation and started implementing or advising children to opt for these digital technologies and use the online learning apps even in such a crisis to gain knowledge.
Now that we have a brief idea about the online learning apps available in the market, let’s dive into the online learning advantages.
Advanced way of learning
The ed-tech industry not only allows you to learn but also helps you to flourish in your career. With an advanced way of digital education, online learning apps are playing a major role in increasing the productivity of students. Online learning apps offer well-ensured monitoring and performance check of the child’s strengths and weaknesses. These online systems are designed such that the parents and teachers are in the loop with accurate and detailed information on the child’s performance.
Increases attentiveness and efficiency
Various online learning apps like Zoom and Microsoft teams have been making online learning easier for the students. It helps the students’ community to remain connected with their classmates and teachers effortlessly. The advantage of these online platforms is that it makes task solving effortless and quick. Doubt clearing has become convenient and time-saving as you can connect with your teacher anytime online and get your concepts cleared. Although you may be physically distant from your classmates, you can easily keep in touch with them through the advanced technology of video calling and more.
Knowledge about technology
While most businesses are going global, staying connected 24×7 with the employees has been a challenge even for employers. It is not always feasible to travel across the world for a meeting. Thus, various companies are adopting online connectivity tools to create virtual meeting rooms, just like the ones you use to connect with your peers or avail classes from the online learning platforms. Now, as most of the students already know about the functionalities of these applications and services, it becomes easy for students to cope with the office environment online when they start their professional journey.
In this era of technological development, online learning has become an integral part of the education system. Such systems must be developed in educational institutions to ensure that no student is deprived of basic education due to location, social class, ethnicity etc. Disasters and pandemics such as covid-19 can create a lot of chaos and tensions. So, it is essential to launch more Ed-tech apps which can be beneficial to the students as well as the owners. So to answer the question, “YES” education is turning digital.