Technology integrations like video lectures, online problem-solving features, graphic representations—and all of these on a smartphone—have made online learning interesting, accessible and far more engaging
With the Indian smartphone user base growing rapidly and especially with the mobile app boom, education technology (ed-tech) has also proliferated. In 2015, according to research firm IDC, the Indian smartphone market grew at 28.8% to 103.6 million units and smartphone shipments in the country crossed the 100-million mark.
With more and more young people, including students, using smartphones, ed-tech players are redefining their strategy and presence in the online space. Earlier, the focus of ed-tech players was limited to entrance exam preparation, but now it has expanded to technical courses and even vocational education. In fact, today there are such courses in the online space that are also contributing to the Skill India mission.
For example, there are online skill development courses in the field of information technology. Redstone Learning, founded by Subrata Ghosh, is a global ed-tech company headquartered in New York with an offshore centre in Bangalore. It provides online and on-demand learning for organisations and individuals—focused on business functions like regulatory compliance, strategy and operations, HR, project and IT/quality management. “Mobile learning is an emerging area within the online learning space. Since smartphones are a constant companion for today’s professionals, it is only natural that learning also follows them around. As technology evolves, even virtual reality (VR) solutions are expected to play a key role, along with smartphones,” says Ghosh.
Learning a programming language is a tedious process and involves costs such as computer and tutors, rendering a vast majority of underprivileged population with no access to learn programming and related skills. But there are opportunities in this field. Programming Hub is one such app that lets you learn over 20 programming languages; it was chosen by Google for its Launchpad Accelerator initiative.
“We offer one-stop solution to learn over 20 programming language anywhere, anytime for free. It realises the true teaching potential of your smartphone,” says Tito Aby Idicula, co-founder of Programming Hub.
Earlier this year, the jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor announced that ‘data scientist’ is the top job of 2016, with highest pay packages, greatest career growth opportunities and the largest number of job openings at any given point of time. Edureka, the interactive e-learning platform, via its app offers courses ranging from Data Science, Big Data, Business Analytics with R, Python, Hadoop Administration and Apache Cassandra. Besides free resources, Edureka also offers paid, instructor-led live courses which are priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000.
Yet another education app is Robomate+, powered by MT Educare, which offers a wide range of study materials in the form of graphics, video and text, starting from class 5 to entrance exams like the JEE Advanced and Mains for engineering, AIIMS/AIPMT for medical, CPT/IPCC/CA Final for commerce, and CAT/CET for MBA aspirants; it also offers self-assessment papers.
“Our app Robomate+ connects students with teachers; it aims to change the studying pattern of Indian children,” says Chhaya Shastri, director, MT Educare. In fact, Shastri wants this free technology to be implemented in remote village schools too.
Clearly, educational technologies are touching new heights with every passing day and technology integrations like video lectures, online problem-solving features, graphic representations— all of these on a smartphone—have made online learning more interesting and accessible.