What are the Expectations from the Ed-tech Industry in 2021?

Holding nearly a decade of experience in driving successful business in the technology realm, Kiran has been managing all facets of different departments of HR, Marketing, Service, Training, and more.

The global ed-tech industry is growing, evolving and expanding at a fast pace. With the coronavirus outbreak, the industry has benefitted immensely. The growth has reached all new heights and it is expected that what began as a rescue from coronavirus, e-learning, might permanently transform how education is imparted and consumed.

The year 2020 has been a major catalyst in enhancing the growth for ed-tech industry. It has led to a significant increase in the usage of e-learning platforms, online courses, language apps, and video conferencing tools, changing the way education is imparted. With changing consumer behaviour, we can expect continued growth trajectory for ed-tech start-ups which are being preferred due to round the clock, personalised and customised content they offer for sustainable growth of the child.

The Changing Landscape of Education
E-learning first sprung to life in the 1990s as a method to augment face-to-face learning. Over the decades, e-learning has metamorphosed into a trendy approach that outshines the method it was initially designed to support. Numerous technology and e-learning trends have driven profound changes, ultimately benefitting the ed-tech industry. There is no doubt; the benefits of e-learning significantly outweigh those of traditional classroom learning. For example, e-learning is flexible, easily accessible, cost-effective, convenient, time-saving, and the best way to impart education to masses across the country.
Further, with the coronavirus outbreak, the education has dramatically transformed as both providers and seekers switched to the safe confines of e-learning. As a result, the ed-tech industry has benefitted immensely and expected to reach $3.5 bn by 2022 as against the earlier expected range of $2.8- $3.2 bn, according to NASSCOM.

Making Education Accessible: Implementing Technology in Remote Areas
Education is increasingly becoming technology-driven and educational institutions are exploring the ways of incorporating these mobile technology solutions to enhance the student experience. With 2020 being the year of fundamental change in the education delivery system, the expectations from ed-tech have increased. In 2021, the major expectation from ed-tech is around the accessibility of education. There are not only financial considerations when we speak about the accessibility of education. The primary concern is a huge number of kids globally who are not getting a full-time education. The issue revolves around lack of access to a qualified educational facility, learning accommodations, proper materials and more. As e-learning is capable of delivering education even to the remote areas and make it easy to share curriculum across borders, it can help overcome many barriers to quality education.

Need for Constant Innovation
Technology has the potential to help educators and educational institutions be more efficient and effective. By analyzing the data about how digital textbooks are consumed, valuable insights on how to enhance teaching and learning methodology can be attained. It can also help with the relevant information to make decisions regarding what tools are not effective. Technological innovations driven by machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence, can also help with more in-depth personalization of the content as per an individual's learning needs. If the data driven insights are used effectively to see where students need support and what support is required, teachers will have more time to inspire students and assist them in best possible ways.

Further, in addition to enabling teachers to give students differentiated learning experiences outside of the regular curriculum, technological tools can also free up educators from administrative tasks such as testing and grading. While schools have already adopted online assessments that are interactive, flexible, and efficient to deliver, automation will further disrupt schools as advancements continue and more smart tools get incorporated. This includes autonomous data analysis to guide learning decisions as well as face recognition technology to take attendance.

Lastly, learners of all ages want appealing concepts to learn better. Thus, the adoption of gamification technology will gain popularity because of its unique and innovative concepts like incentive based learning, likes, level advancement badge etc. It will not only enhance the learner experience but also drive user engagement by designing a more customized offering.

In addition to enabling teachers to give students differentiated learning experiences outside of the regular curriculum, technological tools can also free up educators from administrative tasks such as testing and grading

Indigenisation of Education
The ed-tech has delivered beyond the promises it made. So the expectations are also high. Indigenisation of education is the next big thing and something most awaited especially in a diverse country like India. Ed-tech can effectively include a focus on local languages and history which otherwise seems impossible.

Summing Up!
While the COVID-19 pandemic has already introduced major changes in the education system, 2021 will welcome more advanced digital tools and techniques as the ed-tech continues to explore and innovate. The tech trends like cloud data storage, gamification, artificial intelligence, big data, and integration of wearable devices and virtual labs will disrupt the learning landscape even more.