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Edtech in 2021: How e-learning will move beyond K-12 segment for startups in post-Covid year

Learning will no longer be restricted by age.

  • Narasimha Jayakumar

The Covid pandemic has been nothing short of a turning point for the edtech industry. The Indian edtech market is estimated to touch $3.5 billion by the year 2022. In the coming years, however, edtech will no longer be limited to the K-12 space but will move beyond K12 and include skill development and learning management systems. Particularly for the K12 space, the pandemic has been a game-changer. There has been a remarkable shift in the attitude towards the adoption of online as a mode for education and learning. Not only students as end-users, but also schools, colleges, and tuition centres are adopting tech-based learning solutions.

Following are some of the trends that will define the edtech space in 2021:

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  • Online Learning will continue to grow: The Indian online learning market is attracting massive amounts of capital and this trend will continue for the next couple of years. This is also corroborated by user metrics such as an increase in the number of users choosing online, increased engagement on online platforms, a greater willingness to pay, etc
  • Increased accessibility of high-quality content: Geographical boundaries will diminish and technology will provide access to quality content for all.
  • Greater use of immersive technologies: Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality can be used very effectively to provide a learning experience that is devoid of distractions and will help to nurture focus.
  • Adaptive Assessments: Assessments that are designed to identify gaps in learning will gain wider acceptance as powerful tools that will help make learning more effective and outcome-focused.
  • Powerful data-driven insights: Greater use of analytics will make student reports richer and more meaningful. This will not only make the interactions between all stakeholders much more meaningful but will also make learning more effective.
  • Personalized education: Learning is most powerful when it is personalized. Technology enables content to be delivered in a manner that suits the learning needs of every individual student.

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  • More engaging classrooms: Teachers will no longer be spending their time on administrative tasks and will instead be focussing more on engaging with the students as they make their way through the curriculum.
  • Gamification of learning: Incentive-based learning, badges related to levels of mastery and other such gamification elements will be widely used as acceptable ways to build engagement with the content.
  • Focus on online tutoring, language, and technology skills: Within the online learning space, these 3 areas will witness a lot of growth.
  • Student-centric courses: With online learning gaining increasing popularity, courses will be designed where students are in charge of their own learning and will be required to take active responsibility for their learning.
  • Lifelong learning or continuous learning will gain prominence:  Learning will no longer be restricted by age.
  • Collaborative learning: Social learning or peer learning will gain prominence.

Along with the pandemic, what also helped the Indian market for edtech products and services to grow was the deep and relatively fast penetration of high-speed internet coupled with the easy availability of smartphones. Since it is the youth who is driving the adoption of edtech products and services, it is only logical that the edtech revolution will soon have to also address the area of skill development.

Narasimha Jayakumar is CEO of Aakash Edutech Private Limited. Views expressed are the author’s own.

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