The future of EdTech: What will the sector look like in 2021?

What we know for sure is that EdTech is here to stay. In a post-COVID India, we will see an overall increase in the acceptance of technology in learning
EdTech is here to stay | Pic: Edex Live
EdTech is here to stay | Pic: Edex Live

Even before COVID-19, e-learning was an industry that was growing exponentially, especially picking up pace over the last five years or so. However, the sudden emergence of the pandemic prompted all the schools to opt for online education in order to avoid educational and learning loss for children. The EdTech industry thus grew and evolved in a matter of months, what would have taken years! The EdTech sector is all set to play a critical role in ensuring that quality education reaches students across the country, regardless of geographical location, socio-economic barriers or external conditions. Pandemic times have underlined the fact that a robust digital education framework is not a luxury but a complete necessity for schools and students alike.

Over the years, numerous technologies and e-learning trends have driven profound changes in the education space. EdTech has witnessed an upsurge and is expected to be the new normal in the future as well. According to a KPMG study, India is currently home to over 3,500 EdTech start-ups, and online education in India could be worth $1.96 billion by 2021. 

Below are the few tech trends that will reshape the Indian EdTech industry in the coming year:

-Learning Experience Platform: After Learning Management System (LMS), the next big thing will be the Learning Experience Platform (LEP). LEP is a cloud offering that focuses on delivering a personalised learner experience, one that goes beyond the traditional LMS. It is poised to enable self-directed learning to meet the updated standards of the e-learning industry. 

-Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: In 2021, Big Data and artificial intelligence are expected to play a big role. It is already being seen as enabling schools to deliver a better quality of education — from delivering highly engaging lessons that are better understood by students, to performing more intuitive aptitude assessments to guide students towards relevant career options. AI and Big Data are likely to bring profoundly transformative changes in formal education.  

-Phygital Learning: Pandemic times have shown the benefits of online learning and, going forward, the way schools are likely to leverage EdTech platforms to create a phygital (physical+digital) learning or blended learning environment. This approach paves the way for educational institutions to deliver new-age online education that can crucially supplement on-campus learning. 

-Video-based learning: Video-based learning has grown over the past few years, driven by the explosive growth of video-sharing websites. The video is visually attractive, interactive and keeps the learners engaged throughout the class. This mode of learning enhances retention of concepts, which is why Fliplearn Edge was launched in March 2020, focused on enabling teachers to upload videos, photos or content and assign homework and assessments while allowing for individual innovation and creativity.

-Personalised Learning Experiences: This, while not exactly a new trend, is expected to gather more steam in the coming year. It can be one of the most important tools in a teacher’s arsenal to ensure each student learns as per their strengths, needs, skills and interests. This is something enshrined in the new NEP 2020. EdTech platforms like Fliplearn, for example, is focusing on providing customised learning experiences that include curated and mobile-ready content, gamified content, micro-learning opportunities and other learning experiences that will ensure each student gets a learning plan that is based on what they know and how they learn best.  

What we know for sure is that EdTech is here to stay. In a post-COVID India, we will see an overall increase in the acceptance of technology in learning, especially in hybrid formats. 

The author of this article is Divya Lal, who is the Founder and Managing Director of Fliplearn.

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