The Education Technology business is heading toward 8x to 10x growth in the next five years, from an estimate of $700 million today. It is attracting several expansive investors as the pandemic has resulted in massive adoption of online education—from schools to colleges. Special emphasis is being placed on online and digital education as part of the New Education Policy (NEP 2020), thereby leading to several new EdTech start-ups springing up. This in turn has resulted in more competition and further consolidation in the market. Education technology is the best way to achieve scale as well as uniform quality across the market that includes higher education, primary education as well as professional skilling courses for continuous learning. Virtual assistants and videos, artificial intelligence tools, virtual reality, IoT, and learning analytics are some of the focus technologies to be looked at in this context.
While the scope of education technology is humongous, several challenges stand in the way of its success. Specifically, here are some aspects that need to be addressed to make learning through education technology a reality, which in turn will drive the respective markets and thus calls for the attention of stakeholders.
- Evolution of new technologies: Education needs technology that has evolved with a deeper insight into how students learn and how classroom technology impacts learning outcomes. Not many such effective ones exist today and are yet to be created. Entrepreneurship lies in leading this requirement to match the varied needs of students and teachers with the use of technology.
- Pedagogy with technology: The requirement of new pedagogies appropriate for active learning through digital platforms is the need of the hour. Research and development toward new pedagogical models that will focus on learning outcomes in the education technology space is a pressing need. Flipped classrooms are a well-known example of such a model and there is a strong requirement for design of similar models that use the power of technology aimed at active and deep learning of the student.
- Data analytics and Human-centered design: The convergence of analytics and human-centered design is a crucial requirement to revolutionize the way students and teachers interact and enhance engagement during the teaching-learning process on any digital platform. Thus, data analytics and interaction design are two crucial areas to work on for the success of education technology.
- Robotics: Virtual pedagogical agents/ intelligent tutoring systems or social robots could be an important factor in bridging the gap for people to move from physical classrooms to digital ones. This is also a great opportunity for custom robotics and calls for innovative approaches to the context of education.
- Technology for assessment: Assessments are an important driver for educational practice and new technologies need to play into the way students are measured. Rigorous work is required in this area as assessments are also the key incentive for a human to learn.
- Bridge the digital divide: In addition, many a times, there is a “digital divide” between the teacher, who is a digital immigrant, and the student, who is a digital native. Bridging this gap is crucial for the effectiveness of education technologies in use. Specific tools/ techniques/ training toward this end are therefore a mandate today.
In conclusion, education technology has attracted the attention of business enthusiasts, educational institutes, entrepreneurs as well as venture capitalists due to digital transformation in the education sector. There is a strong incentive to introducing cutting-edge technologies in the education system. Most importantly, this is also pertinent to Wipro’s current focus on AI, IoT, custom robotics, blockchain as well as data analytics, which are the key technologies that govern the EdTech domain.