The advent of education-based technology has brought a major change to the Indian education ecosystem. E-learning concepts, tools, models and methodologies have been readily deployed for interactive education. The pragmatic approach of the government, educators and institutions has placed India ahead of counterparts even among developed countries. According to a recent study of global-level online learning programme, after the US, India has been reported to have the second-highest number of online course enrolments, with more than over 155,000 students from the country. In fact, of a total of around 1.2 million students worldwide, 15% are from India.
In India, there is a gamut of audience out there which aspires to enrol for courses that can anchor their careers. Even though the advent of digital education revolution started just over three years ago, the evolution has been gigantic. Despite a section of Indians being inclined towards the brick-and-mortar format of learning, the e-learning industry is gaining acceptance at a very fast pace. There is a growing understanding of the fact that direct-to-device technology empowers students seeking higher or skilled-based education to get quality classroom experience and education, anytime and anywhere, without having to relocate or pay hefty course fees.
Technology-led reach and easy access will bring about a socio-economic difference in the lives of Indian learners. The advent of digital education in India is a shot in the arm for making quality learning affordable to the masses. With each passing year, we are witnessing a rise in the number of collaborations and partnerships between Indian and international academic institutions for continuous upgrade of skills and make students ready for the job market. In 2014, when India launched its own Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform called the SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-learning for Young Aspiring Minds), the country also moved towards a mega mission, which was to turn it into an education technology-enabled nation.
Further, digital learning has relieved the Indian youth of that age-old dilemma: Whether to continue studying or quit to focus on landing a job. Live and interactive digital learning formats are providing wings to an individual’s career aspirations by offering experiential learning and imparting comprehensive and specialised knowledge, without having them to quit their jobs.
One of the biggest problems faced in India is that almost all highly-skilled professionals are based in bigger cities. However, that is rapidly changing, with the tremendous opportunities available in rural India. Initiatives such as Digital India have taken the task of connecting rural India to the internet. With a huge student segment in India between the age groups of 18 to 35, who are willing to learn online, Ed-Tech (education technology) simplifies this process by taking the knowledge to masses through internet connectivity.
The challenges faced by rural India, especially of resources and scarcity of teachers, can be handled to an extent with the online mode. Students who are connected can enrol themselves in courses offered by prestigious institutions globally and get expert advice from seasoned stalwarts across industries, giving them the classroom experience and interaction that will open up avenues for diverse career options.
The good news is that the leading Ed-Tech firms today believe in offering a holistic e-learning solution to students. Through such offerings, students have an edge in learning, along with an opportunity to progress in their career.
Management courses are ahead in terms of collaborative ventures between international industry leaders and Indian Ed-tech companies. Certificate courses in areas such as strategic asset management, financial management, digital marketing, international corporate relations, etc, are popular as they are pertinent, have a specific course and syllabus structure, generate high-paying jobs, and have a comparatively shorter time-frame.
Considering the recent developments in the Indian education scenario, various national and international players have decided to take a step further and introduce certain unique innovations in the digital domain to provide services that plug the gaps in India’s learning ecosystem.
Interactive and educative games are a known phenomenon these days. Various researches have established the fact that lessons learnt in an interactive and enjoyable environment have a far-reaching impact on children as well as on young adults. Take the case of virtual reality. If you want to study the map of Europe or you want to see the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, you can do so in the classroom. Such practical demonstrations have become possible through the presence of virtual reality devices. A recent news says that Pokeman augmented reality is the way to go for teaching.
India’s e-learning market is growing at a rapid pace, which could change the country’s socio-economic landscape. This trend will definitely continue in the near future as technological services become easier to distribute. And there is no doubt that higher education possesses tremendous potential to improve the lives of many people, and bridge the existing educational gap.
The author is CEO & MD, Talentedge