Edtech has become a buzzword after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, as students began to enrol on platforms that offered various forms of online coaching. Digital learning is unfolding new ways of learning, teaching and communicating, slowly transforming the system. Advocating this edtech growth are key technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), predictive analysis, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Industry leaders from the education space share their views on key technology trends shaping the sector, opportunities and challenges brought forth post Covid and the way forward….
How is technology transforming the education sector? What are some of the key ICT trends shaping the sector?
Technology today plays a prominent role in the functioning of modern society. Everything has changed as a result of it. Technology is pervasive; it has influenced every aspect of life, including education. It has had a huge impact on classroom materials and how we use them to teach students. The internet of things (IoT), big data, AI, cloud services and blockchain, among other developing trends and developments in information technology (IT) are some of the fundamental elements that are supporting and broadening the IT industry’s future growth. Also, the focus should be on developing technologicallybased curricula to encourage students to learn and innovate in the disciplines of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), robotics and AI.
What are some of the use cases of new age technologies such as AR/VR, IoT and AI/ML in the education sector? How has been their uptake in India so far?
One of the usages of new technologies in education is adopting them in the classroom, which can transform a boring class into a fun learning experience. To supplement textbook materials, AR technology gives virtual examples and incorporates gaming features. Classes become more participatory as a result. Students can use AR to help them recall what they have studied. Most of the universities in India have adopted curricula that are driven by this new age technology. India is one of those countries that have successfully adopted and embraced new age technology in the education sector.
How are you using new age technologies? What are some of the challenges that you face?
With the proliferation of new age technologies, Lovely Professional University (LPU) has always focused on the holistic development of students, while keeping technological challenges in mind. LPU has created a lot of online content and has focused on hybrid learning. The university is spending generously on the IT infrastructure, while also coming up with new innovations and tying up with top companies to provide the most relevant education to our students. The university has to overcome certain challenges while using technologies such as data security, digital integration, data governance, etc. At LPU we have our own University Management System, an in-house web-based solutions to handle all academic and administrative tasks, exposing students to a varied number of facilities, with just a click.
What are some of the opportunities that have surfaced in the edtech sector in recent years?
As technology has seeped into societies and daily lives, edtech will certainly continue to be significant in the post-Covid era. Edtech enhances curricula and supports better learning outcomes for students at all grade levels, whether you teach remotely, in-person classes, or are still in the process of acquiring your teaching credentials. Edtech, which includes anything from massive open online courses to virtual classrooms such as blackboard and on-demand video tutors, has emerged as a rapidly rising sector in the past few years. Edtech provides freedom to the students to study from sources that are most useful and effective for them. The ability to access education and training at their own speed and time is a major benefit cited by online learning students. Education and ongoing professional training are considerably more accessible to all types of people, in all types of settings, owing to the flexibility of accessing online learning at the desired time.
Going forward, how do you see the education space transforming in India? What will be the key drivers?
Technology has definitely transformed the Indian education system. In the present times of the pandemic, online education has proven to be a boon for parents and students. The width and accessibility of online learning tools have ensured that students do not fall behind in their studies and continue on their academic path without difficulty. For instructors and their institutions, the online classroom and technology-infused training have opened up a world of possibilities. Many teachers are instantly aware of the increased flexibility in their teaching schedule. Students may be able to see live or recorded copies of lectures through platforms. Besides, the ability of teachers to accommodate varied learning styles may be enhanced by the online nature of these courses. Meanwhile, new age technologies such as AR/VR, IoT and AI/ML are some of the key drivers that have transformed the education sector in India, and will continue to do so.