Reshaping The Edtech Space Through Technology and Diversification The potential of this segment to disrupt the value chain is revolutionizing the education system

By Jyoti Valecha

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The edtech space embraced digitalization with verve post the outbreak of the pandemic and attracted various changes. In this context, skilling, learning management systems and test preparations are some of the additions for attraction. Moreover, the potential of this segment to disrupt the value chain is revolutionizing the education system. In order to understand the changes, additions and new approach in this sector, let's take a look at some of the vital aspects embraced by ed-tech startups during the COVID-19 phase to reshape the education sector.

Business Insights and adoption of new measures

The total lockdown across the world reinforced remote work culture and reflected new changes in the economy. Be it productivity at work or continuing studies from home, people started being familiar with these trends of new normal. These events led to a huge surge in the user traction, enrolment and course consumption in the ed-tech segment. According to Irwin Anand, India managing director, Udemy, over three times course enrolment surge and increase in the number of learners joining the platform was witnessed by Udemy during the lockdown.

Besides, all the online learning courses were equally in demand during the pandemic including skilling, business or personal grooming. In terms of technology, Web development, data science and artificial intelligence were the most sought after streams. In addition, neural network or tensor flow segments were also preferred along with stock trading, financial modelling and business fundamentals. Probably, ample of time and staying at home during the lockdown acted as the cookie points for ed-tech startups to digitalize learning curriculum.

Influence of pandemic on the edtech operations

In the same way, courses such as meditation, pilates or physical fitness were chosen by learners to maintain mental well-being during the tough times. All these business insights reflected increase in course consumption in various categories. For instance, corporate dynamics of Udemy nurture skills of individuals by managing virtual teams and attaining maximum productivity through various initiatives of edtech platform. Most of all, resilience, self-discipline and ways to tackle anxiety emerged on the front-foot amid COVID-19 gradually.

Edtech platforms are gaining higher user traction and have positioned themselves in economy in a comparatively better way. Currently, people are turning towards online learning platforms which has led to a fundamental shift in the education segment. Consequently, the prejudiced stigma of learning system is being replaced by the need to stay updated and informed. Statistically, over 38 per cent of the Indian corporate sector extended assistance to people during the COVID-19 phase.

Filling the vacuum through informal learning

The informal perception of education emerged as a tool to cope up with the tough times. This is precisely where Degreed played a quintessential role to help people in keeping out stress and prepare an individual for the life amidst and after COVID-19. The learning pattern of Degreed was divided into B2B and B2C segments. On one hand, the free subscriptions of Degreed in B2C segment were recorded in India. Nevertheless, B2B skills are being emphasized presently by breaking the norms of competence and certification. Ajay Sridharan, VP-SEA, Degreed, claims that application and effectiveness are really focused on at present rather than evaluating knowledge of a person.

Content protection and smooth distribution

Video content protection is supreme need at present to prevent piracy. Making this as the base theory, VdoCipher has utilized encryption and screen capture prevention technologies to prevent piracy of content. This platform caters to the business requirements of educators as well as educators as well as online education portals. Siddhant Jain, co-founder and CEO, VdoCipher, supported this remark by mentioning traffic has grown on his website with 2.5 times increase as compared to pre-COVID phase. Courses which were not too popular are being hosted through this website due to their significance at present.

Localization and personalization for better facilitation

Degreed facilitated localized content on its platform to cater to requirements of users. It supports over 27 languages to personalize the content offered to the customers. Similarly, Udemy planned its local operation in the early 2019, yet, it had a vast market presence with millions of instructors in India. Interestingly, the contributors of effective learning system such as data signals, user research to launch innovations towards incremental value were delivered through Indian learners in the long run.

Prior to creating localized content, language nuisances and other factors are considered by the e learning startups to achieve the expected business objective. Basically, the optimization of content is the first step of ed-tech startups to improve the experience of users while innovating the learning amenities. Anand quips, "There are over 130,000 courses and 25,000 skills on Udemy due to the thriving marketplace." Out of the 35 million learners who joined this platform to enrich their skills, 5 million students are Indians. On a whole, the humungous rise has been witnessed on educator and learners' front in the market.

Business plans and strategic implementation

Considering the security perspective, most of the ed-tech players count on apps rather than website to offer safe platform to the learners. No doubt, the Indian audience is largely dependent on the Android culture which makes data customization in accordance to app. On the flipside, the internet connection can be stabilized for a smooth experience while improving technology. The streaming size of video lectures need to be customized for Indian users.

The peak of new users has multiplied largely as compared to pre-COVID scenario and attained stability. Needless to say, e-learning has become an indispensable part of the education sector and expected to remain after the pandemic as well. The fourth industrial revolution characteristics are digital and tech disruption. Continuous learning is the key to keep up with standards of skilling hierarchy.

Long-term Impact of pandemic on ed-tech sector

In the skill gap report of Udemy, 76 per cent of the learners were affected by this gap. Around 76 per cent of the people expected bots as the future source of operations, five years down the line. Approximately 61 per cent expected the education to provide skilling solution. The number gap between the content of Indian educator and the one from west also prevails.

On clubbing all these statistics, it can be concluded the idea is to learn and appreciate skilling process with an emphasis on technology advancements for a sustainable future. Last, but not the least, different formats of learning such as LIVE video, recorded video, Q&A, quizzes and test papers need to be evolved through technology-oriented programmes.

Jyoti Valecha

Feature Writer

Jyoti has a rich flair of writing. She writes on all genres irrespective of their varied types. She offers  the most authentic and realistic content pieces. She has been writing from over past 5 years and keeps readers engaged. 

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