Ten immutable predictions for education sector in 2020
Whoa! It’s almost 20 years since the new millennium, and the generation that was born then is already in universities. This new generation has spent its teenage days surrounded by technology. Let us then have a look at how technology is shaping the education sector, and what the top trends of 2020 are going to be:
1. Impact of 5G smartphones: With the launch of 5G smartphones, teachers and students will soon have a mobile internet connection that is faster than the one they access via their institutes. It can lead to a rise in school infrastructure spending.
2. Artificial intelligence: AI is helping enhance the learning curve of students and teachers. For instance, by coupling it with video analytics, AI can detect responsiveness of a class as well as a student. It can inform a teacher about weak engagement points and support skill building. This progression will continue in 2020.
3. Content experience: Building on the concept of smart classes, will AR and VR step into the picture across schools and colleges? This depends on the scale and forward-looking vision of an institute. If you are a large institute, there are more opportunities to use AR/VR kits; smaller schools may struggle to find economies of scale, and can eye rental solutions.
4. Procurement: Alternative corporate finance mechanisms are in place with schools to drive edtech procurements via subscription contracts that enable flexibility, support and maintenance. Such initiatives can also be evidence-based, and if the technology procured isn’t as supportive as marketed, the school can give it back.
5. Workforce reform: Towards the end of 2020, it is hoped schools will start to enjoy the fruits of their initial challenges, including workforce-related reforms.
6. Edtech and supplier partnerships: The advent of tech players has changed the nature of B2B tech deployments within the industry. Educational institutes are now barely treated as a customer, but more like equal partners. We might see a greater emphasis on this front in 2020.
7. Global solutions: Solutions to economically deliver content to students at scale are being launched in India and the world. Tech is paving the way for the global integration of our education system.
8. Devices: All devices can more or less run any software these days, as everything is shifting to the cloud. So, it comes back to budget, especially considering the number of devices needed across schools and the capabilities they may need to run specific applications such as graphics, video editing. CAD/CAM and 3D printing are becoming cheaper to purchase and run. It will help younger generation to expand its scope of work with on-the-go applications.
9. Connected classrooms: It will help in better resource optimisation as a single teacher will be able to communicate with multiple classrooms at once—help extend first-rate education to everyone without depending on the teacher-to-pupil ratio.
10. Futuristic classroom: We return to the cliché—will we see changes in how classrooms are traditionally set up? We have seen more open-plan environments emerging all over the world. This also holds true for India as we see new schools being designed using unconventional approach. We might start to see specialist classrooms with both teachers and students moving around more freely … or maybe not.
The author is regional director, South Asia, Onvu Technologies