5 Emerging Trends That Will Shape the Future of Ed-Tech
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Education technology adoption across the country has increased significantly over the last couple of years. This trend is seen not only in India but also in other parts of the world. A recent study “The 2018 Global Learning Technology Investment Patterns: The Rise of the Edtech Unicorns”, published by research firm Metaari revealed that the ed-tech sector globally received USD 16.3 billion funding with Chinese edtech companies, snapping up a 44.1per cent and US ed-tech companies taking 32per cent of the total global funding.
The ed-tech space will continue to remain a prominent sector and we see the below trends emerging in the year 2019
Blended Learning – This year will see more companies offering blended learning solutions, that combine technology with teachers. There is a strong need to build solutions with the underlying principle that technology will not replace but augment the teacher. One of the key factors to succeed in achieving goals is hard work and often, it is not easy without a mentor or a coach giving that nudge and support when required. This is all the more true for K12 students, as in most cases, students are not self-motivated and require the support of a teacher. "Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies," an extensive study conducted by SRI International for the U.S. Department of Education, found that students in blended learning classes outperformed those in fully online or fully in-person classes.
Personalization with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) – Personalization was a luxury a few years ago but now with technology, it is becoming a way of life for everyone. Instead of the same programs being telecast for one and all, today we can personalize our television viewing experience based on our likes and dislikes. Similarly, in education personalization is being rapidly integrated into learning solutions. We will see this trend gaining momentum in 2019 as students learn best if learning happens at their pace and is adapted for their style of learning. For example, kinaesthetic learners get activities, visual learners get more pictures and videos etc, making learning more meaningful and less stressful.
Active Learning – “Chalk and Talk” style of teaching will soon be a thing of the past not just in the classroom but in online solutions which currently offer more video-based content only. Students learn best when they take control of their learning and are cognitively engaged in the process of learning. And as adults, we can vouch for this as we have seen time and again that we are good at those things on which we have taken initiative to learn and master. According to a study published by Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, USA, students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more likely to fail than were students in classes with active learning. There are niche players in the ed-tech space who have designed their products with ‘Active Learning’ as their design principle and have seen good traction. This trend will continue to be a dominating trend in the months to come.
Gamification – Gamification is not a new trend in education but the need to increase student engagement and attention span is more than ever, so we will see gamification making big in ed-tech solutions. Research has shown that kids learn better when they are more engaged and focused through game-based learning which evokes creativity, imagination, and self-discovery. So, we will see more game-based learning solutions coming up.
Going Above and Beyond the Curriculum – In the last 2 years, another trend that has gained traction among parents is participation in competitions and Olympiads being conducted nationally and internationally. After the Indian government’s decision to participate in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2021, which tests the learning level of 15 year olds, after a nearly 10 year hiatus post a debacle in its first PISA entry in 2009 where India stood at 72nd position among 74 participating countries, we will see the push from educational boards and schools as well. So, we will see more ed-tech companies focusing on these niches by bringing out solutions which develop strong analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, along with real-life applications of textbook concepts.
As with everything else in life, change is always welcome. The education system in India was badly stuck in a bygone era and these winds of change brought in by technologies are being welcomed by all stakeholders, be it, parents, students, schools or government. So, by all means, education technology will continue to be the flavour of the year.