As cost of higher education soars, online learning emerges as most viable solution

Technology has virtually touched almost every aspect of our lives today, and education is no exception. Disruptive innovation in the form of online learning is a catalyst to bring about a more equitable approach to high-quality education.

The acquisition strengthens Byju's efforts to create highly personalised learning experiences for the students using the application, said a release from the company without disclosing the financial details of the deal.

Technology has virtually touched almost every aspect of our lives today, and education is no exception. Disruptive innovation in the form of online learning is a catalyst to bring about a more equitable approach to high-quality education. Massive efforts have been undertaken to get affordable high-speed internet and online teaching resources available to people regardless of where they live. With an interesting shift noticed by Indian learners to move online and acquire skills they want to hone, online educators are providing high-quality interactive teaching and learning experiences.

Access to digital tools like apps, tablets and laptops, among others, has transformed a learner’s communication, engagement, opportunity for collaboration, feedback and delivery procedure. This is owing to the fact that the online space is not just one of the most cost-effective ways to educate, but also an appropriate platform to present a world-class learning experience to the ever-expanding workforce.

Today’s generation is on a constant lookout to acquire new skills. Students are undertaking courses that enhance their learning and development according to their immediate needs, while leaving a window open to change their calling with online courses. Conservation of hours and money enables them to learn with a purpose and instils a sense of self-belief in them, creating a tangible impact in their professional life. Working executives are keen on embracing change, by increasingly choosing online certificate courses and programmes that enable them to acquire new skills and competencies to enhance their vocation.

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We have seen more and more people getting inclined towards online education over the past couple of years. Learners are taking the online route, as certificates are piecemeal and attainable, which is what makes them appealing. These courses are in high demand, especially by entrepreneurs and young professionals who want to enhance their skills in specific domains.

Then there is the Skill India Portal—a digital platform to support Skill India initiative—which has been conceptualised to provide a collaborative platform to help empower all the stakeholders to freely connect with each other. The focus of the initiative is to help provide an ecosystem to cater to skilling needs of citizens by publishing and sharing relevant information. The Skill India Portal is targeted at people seeking to enhance their existing skills.

Education-technology (ed-tech) firms have opened up access to live and interactive, anywhere learning in collaboration with premier management schools. The faculty is good and students gain knowledge from seasoned stalwarts across industries. The provision of especially designed courses for students, working professionals and entrepreneurs is, in itself, an opportunity to gain comprehensive knowledge, which can enable them to commercialise their products and services worldwide. They use the best of digital resources available in a variety of ways that support teaching and learning.

With the cost of higher education increasing faster than inflation, content and competition is heating up, and the result is that education is suffering—innovating online learning is seemingly the solution. With a simple-to-use interface, virtual field trips, virtual labs, electronic textbooks and free online resources, professionals can save money yet receive excellent education.

Apart from anywhere, anytime learning, technology and innovation have made education more adaptive and personalised—schedules can be modified as per the requirement of the programme paced to individual needs.

Technology-led reach and easy access has brought about a socio-economic difference in the lives of Indians. The advent of digital education is a shot in the arm for making quality learning affordable and available to the masses.

The author is CEO & MD, Talentedge, an education-technology firm

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