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Learners Experience Is Evolving In India With Edtech Innovations On the Rise E-learning for Indian K-12 students and adults has been a largely supplemental measure to date, especially in the primary school space. However, the tides are shifting

By Shiv Sundar

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India has become an epicenter for edtech expansion and development for e-learners of all ages. Between now and 2050, India's share of the world's e-learning population is projected to more than double, according to a report by HolonIQ. APAC markets India and China have over 30 per cent of the world's edtech consumer base and have received 70 per cent of global venture capital investments into edtech innovation in recent years.

Rising trends in India's edtech landscape

E-learning for Indian K-12 students and adults has been a largely supplemental measure to date, especially in the primary school space. However, the tides are shifting, due to digitization, demographic shifts and pandemic conditions. The Indian education system is at tipping point, and the path forward is likely to require combined efforts between edtech, traditional education and policymakers.

Trend 1: A large share of the rapid growth in India's edtech market is focused on the K-12 and entrance examination space. E-learning providers have an opportunity to innovate and improve education products for an eager market.

Trend 2: Adoption of edtech products that allow learners to conveniently upskill on their terms will rapidly rise. Products sch as MOOCs and micro-learning, can help Indian adult learners keep pace with rapidly-changing workplace skill requirements.

Trend 3: The edtech market is changing and expanding. Sankaranarayanan analyzed 240-plus successful Indian edtech market startups and discovered 8 existing types of e-learning innovation: K12 educational, test prep, broad online learning (or, MooCs), tech learning, apps and games for kids, finance, language learning and inclusive tech for the differently-abled.

In addition to these 8 well-defined edtech categories, there's a number of emerging e-learning technologies and more "threatening" tech concepts on the brink of market disruption. In the next few years, the advancement of AI for eLearning, classroom technology, networking apps, and niche online learning could become commonplace.

What's next for Indian's edtech landscape?

Experimental new products could find enormous market demand, and there's many potential wins in store for brands who can quickly innovate.

It's time to speed up mobile innovation: Around 89 per cent of Indians are willing to pay for educational apps, according to a Gray Matters Capital study. Android market in the country has grown rapidly and it is time for edtech players to capture this market by deploying Android apps.

Solutions makers should focus on using new DevOps tools to quickly turn products into a minimum viable product—or MVP—for Android Play Store. The MVP can be used as a baseline to scale the success of edtech products.

After releasing an MVP to Play Store, edtech brands should measure performance and make decisions mid-stream. Use your first release to "gather feedback to develop the next iteration of your app, or to develop a new app if this application doesn't win favor," writes Matthew Lynch in The Tech Advocate. There's a lot of reward in store for solutions makers who can quickly test and deploy new eLearning app features to their installed user base.

Validate bootcamps and other edtech solutions: Bootcamps have a lot of potential as a non-traditional eLearning tool to rapidly upskill technology, engineering, management, and other categories of professional. However, the success of bootcamps depends on the quality of their education and graduate results.

Bootcamps need to consider global quality benchmarking and graduate success tracking to gain acceptance as a viable pathway to skills development.

In addition, it's critical to consider how eLearning technology can improve student assessments and one-to-one learning communications for better student outcomes. GreyAtom and the School of Accelerated Learning are two examples of Indian bootcamp startups built on edtech.

Create options for badging and credentialization: Achieving the skill transformation India needs will require a full overhaul of existing education systems. Learners may use blended learning techniques to build on classroom education. Working professionals will be increasingly likely to choose from bootcamps, certification and e-credentialing pathways to refine their workplace skills. But, there's a huge unmet need for edtech solutions that help learners prove their qualifications to potential employers.

E-learning brands should consider how to verify and benchmark edtech achievements for learners of all ages. There's a lot of emerging demand for solutions to display and validate learning activities, especially when learners took blended pathways or relied on non-traditional education products outside of traditional classroom walls.

Delivering rich learner experiences with edtech innovation

E-learning is more affordable, accessible, and successful than exclusive reliance on traditional education. Learners can meaningfully engage with edtech on their own terms, and they may learn better with access to mobile innovations such as personalized content delivery, micro-learning or social e-learning.

Technology isn't an edtech solution by itself. Instead, it's just the vehicle for delivery and it's a vehicle with a lot of potential for improvement. An overhaul of India's education systems to reskill the workforce means it's time for e-learning brands to reinvent content, learner experience, apps and devices.

Remember, there's a fine balance between digital education and distraction. Apps on personal devices could be a distraction in many eLearning scenarios. Creating locked-down single purpose devices at educational institutions could be an enabler to learning outcomes for K-12, higher education, and continuing education students. Edtech brands who can streamline relevant content delivery to student devices can improve learner experiences in a variety of Indian e-learning markets.

Shiv Sundar

Co-Founder and COO, Esper

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