Are EdTech Start-Ups Changing The Indian Education System For Good?

Technology is transforming both, teaching and learning, with emphasis on changing how teachers and students gather, access, analyse, present and transmit information. Here is a look at some of these novelties.

Often criticized as ‘theoretical’, ‘exams driven’, or ‘impractical’, the Indian education system has come a long way in terms of adopting the creative approach in the last few years. The change is led by EdTech start-ups which are leveraging cutting edge technology to provide relevant education in simple yet effective ways. As a result, the country’s online education industry is projected to garner about $1.96 billion in revenue by 2021, as per a joint report by Google and KPMG. The report also suggests that the number of paid subscribers will grow about six-fold from 1.6 million now to 9.6 million. 

A fresh look at the content- The traditional academic content encourages linear learning, moving from one chapter to the other. However, this is not the natural learning process for humans. They often learn in pieces and have the intelligence to connect these bits, when necessary.  Keeping this gap in mind, India’s EdTech start-ups are working with publishing houses, academicians to develop content based on past teaching and learning experiences. This encourages critical thinking rather than cramming steps from a textbook. Students, especially those in school, also find it easy to go through this content as it enables them rather than enforcing the rules. 

Experiential learning- Reading from a board and replicating it on exam sheets is an obsolete method, especially for school students. They need interactive educational products which stimulate the sensory system by staging a playful atmosphere for movement. This allows for enhanced collaboration and teamwork among students, right from the beginning. As a result, they do not have to work hard to remember and recall things. Instead, they can just replicate their experiences and improve on it. 

For instance, digital products allow teachers to conceptualize and create simulated games that support the learning. These simulations are projected onto the floor, the students can interact with the simulations using their hands and feet (via a motion sensor) to solve the games. These games can also be played in groups, encouraging collaboration at the right age. 

Similarly, epistemic games are used to put students in roles like engineers, city planners, reporters, public administrators, or judges to solve real-world problems. This can help the students learn important concepts without tempering with the real world. A number of start-ups are providing these solutions to schools to be included as a part of their curriculum. 

Blended learning- While digital learning has added a lot of value to the teaching and training process, the importance of human touch cannot be understated. Thus, a tried and tested blend of online and offline learning provides the best of both modes. As a matter of fact, many Indian EdTech start-ups are increasingly offering blended learning instead of vanilla online learning products. The most significant advantage of blended learning is that it provides human connect between the instructor and the students, and yet automating and personalizing the experience. Therefore, the instructors can be more like a mentor, rather than being the teaching administrators. At the same time, the students can have their own, independent perspective about the information, rather than copying their teacher’s views. 

To be ready for the future challenges, students need to develop creative thinking through education,that is very different from the existing traditional classrooms’ based learning. Modern education needs to equip students with more than merely knowing the right answers in an exam. It needs to empower them with problem solving skills, ability to deal with high level of stress and expectations, professional values and ethics. EdTech start-ups in India are just in the right direction. The need is to keep the momentum in the coming years. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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