EduTech mobile apps are transforming traditional classrooms
The unforgiving Covid-19 has altered the normal course of life and this metamorphosis has been challenging to be attuned. From social-distancing to quarantine, people have found themselves in a state of scepticism and inconclusiveness. This derailment of the normal course of life has also touched the lives of students and the education system stands no exception. With the shutting down of schools and colleges, there has been a sense of chaos and uncertainty, about the future propositions of their educational aspect. After enjoying a long holiday spanning months, the students were finally put back to studies through the online medium. The fact that the internet connection has been playing a spoilsport still stands but let us focus on the bright side here. The EduTech mobile apps, for instance, came as a great respite. Edutech mobile apps are transforming traditional classrooms.
What are EduTech Mobile Apps?
EduTech has been a latent untapped industry, especially in the Indian Context. With resistance towards the use of technology and ardent loyalty towards the traditional system of education, educational technology is yet to receive its due. EduTech may be defined as a practice of any form of teaching or learning which makes use of technology. In other words, it is a mechanism of imparting education and improving the experience of learning with the use of technological apps, surpassing the constraints of time and space.
EduTech mobile apps have revolutionized the education industry in a short period. The persisting covid-19 pandemic crisis propelled the need to utilize technology and the internet in the best interest of the students, paving the way for an unceasing knowledge experience. The objective of a typical edutech mobile app is to revolutionize the education system and improve the teaching and learning experience for both students and teachers. This, in turn, will lead to better performance and develop the quality of education in the country. Also, the digital skills, which are a necessity for survival in the current times, can be imparted to the children, during their formative years, so that they can adapt to all kinds of jobs per se. Edutech mobile apps provide for the seamless integration of technology with education positively so that a diverse learning environment is created, which can provide not just a knowledge of the necessary but also creates options for an alternative learning. In addition to just that, with the advent of Artificial Intelligence and data analytics in the edutech domain, the edutech apps have seen a significant enhancement in terms of the customised lesson plan preparation and progress monitoring of the kids
Evolution of EduTech Mobile Apps
The education scenario in India is waiting to witness an impending digital revolution. With 500 million new users to be added to the 370 million existing internet users, the reach and penetration of Educational Technology, should the right channel be provided, will be undiscounted. These factors create a huge market for the enlarging sector in India. According to a report authored by KPMG, by 2021, the online education industry in India will grow about six times its current size. The revenue generated from the same may amount somewhere close to $1.96 billion. It has been estimated that the dependability of Indians on the online education system, primarily the education apps, both in the professional and elementary level, will ascend to a remarkable extent. With professionals willing to reskill themselves constantly, online certification stands to be the biggest segment, valuing close to $93 Million in 2016 and is anticipated to reach $463 million by 2021.
We would like to mention here that the reason we are discussing the Indian market here is that India with its diverse population forms a pilot test base for most of the American and European markets. Also, there is no other country like India with such a huge population which is so passionate about education. Needless to say, if a revolution in the edutech sector or the domain of edutech mobile apps will come, it will be driven with India at its core.
It is undeniable that the concept of e-learning or EduTech has travelled through various stages, with its inception from distance education to the present stage. Distance education is where a teacher and student are separated by time or space and communicate instruction by satellite, television, telephone, or computer. An improved version of the same is correspondence courses. It was a set up for those who intended to study from home, which became widely famous among the young women in the 80s and 90s, who intended education but not at the cost of settling out of the house. Then came Teleconferencing, which enabled people to communicate in a cost-effective method in delivering instructional materials to the students. Even at colleges, teleconference became an efficient method of communication. The video-conference was the next step of this journey of e-learning. With the advent of internet facilities, interactive videoconferencing allowed teachers to teach a class traditionally whilst concurrently instructing a different group of students at a distance via interactive video, which holds a close congruence to traditional university teaching. Web-Based Instruction was the latest in the lot, which may be defined as the application of the repertoire of cognitive oriented instructional strategies implemented within a constructivist and collaborative learning environment by exploring the attributes of the internet and the world wide web.
Some of the popular EduTech mobile apps
It is India’s first Edu tech mobile app unicorn and was established in 2015. The Byju’s edutech app has learning programs for students in classes IV-XII along with other competitive exams such as JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE, and GMAT. The company reported its revenues for the financial year 2017-18 stood at $69.4 Mn (INR490 Cr.). It has created a name for itself in the EduTech business.
This Bengaluru based edutech app Unacademy, startup started its operation with a Youtube channel in 2010 by Gaurav Munjal. It registered itself as an educational technology platform in 2015 when co-founders Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh came on board. It has a paid-up capital of $88.5Million.
Google Classroom is a web service developed by Google, for the various schools across the globe, which helps in providing quality education overlooking the barriers of time and space constraints by simplifying creating, distributing, and grading assignments and channelizing the process of file sharing between students and teachers. This edutech mobile app was launched on 12th August 2014.
Benefits of EduTech Mobile Apps
The popularity of edutech apps and online classes has immensely increased in the lockdown period. While the outer world is in the slumber of stagnation, with restrictive movement and other activities, they made a mark in the education industry. Some of the benefits of the EduTech Mobile Apps are as follows
Increased student engagement
When students get to use the technology they are automatically more engaged. Sitting long hours in the heat in classrooms and listening to lectures, can turn out to be not so interesting a lot of time. However, with technology, it is an exciting experience. Adding technology to existing lesson plans can boost the engagement level of the students, without having the teachers to do a lot of extra work. An edutech mobile app can be of great assistance in the same.
Improved digital literacy
Digital cognizance is a must-have in today’s world and it is a fundamental skill set for students in the 21st century. Knowing how to use technology and the internet will be required in every job that students might want to pursue in the future. By incorporating technology in the learning process, teachers can help students to improve their digital literacy. While it would require supervision in the earlier stages so that the students do not get addicted to the same, yet an edutech app can play a significant role in promoting digital literacy.
Stay in touch 24/7
Students and teachers can contact each other 24/7 over the internet. There is an array of edutech apps that allow students to communicate with teachers without any personal face to face interaction. They can get their doubts cleared as and when they want and teachers can send important reminders for assignments and topics, which are required to be prepared beforehand.
Environmental awareness and green practices are of utmost importance in this polluted world. So going paperless is a great step towards environmental restoration and reducing their carbon footprint. By putting more materials online and utilizing technology, teachers can cut back on the number of copies they make and save papers.
Lower Total costs
Online programs through various edutech apps are a more affordable option than traditional colleges. There will be no commuting costs and also sometimes the required course materials are available online, free of cost. On the other hand, institutions and colleges have a huge reduction in their operational cost such as electricity, rent, etc, and thus it proves to a pocket-friendly set for both the parties involved.
More comfortable learning environment
Commercials that feature online students studying in their pyjamas only skims the surface of one of the positives of online classes. Students can listen to lectures and complete assignments sent to them electronically. There is no need to hassle in traffic or miss important family time. Students can also take up classes according to their working schedule, and thus reap the benefits of online education and classes through various EduTech Apps. This holds all the more importance for working individuals or those who are looking at undergoing a part-time course or training.
A Broader Perspective
Because edutech apps provide the leverage to log in from various corners of the globe, irrespective of space, the discussions in the class feature a broader range of perspectives and ideas, helping the students to broaden their cross-cultural understanding and also facilitate in creating a global network of people around the globe. Corporates these days are looking for employees who can innovate and innovation often comes from outside your close vicinity and thereby inducing creativity of work. Online classes help in the same.
Refined Critical Thinking skills
Online learning facilitates the ability to critically think about your everyday chores. The goal in the classroom is to challenge you to think differently, and thus enhance your cognitive ability. This mechanism forces the students to develop critical thinking skills in ways that might not be practised in a person-to-person classroom setting. Also, there is so much scope for learning on your own because unlike a school, you do not have the liberty to reach up to the teacher anytime. While the edutech apps do facilitate the same, yet the constant need of typing a message may motivate the students to go otherwise. This sort of self-placed, self-motivated learning makes the students (part-time professionals cum students included) better analyse the things around and manage their chores accordingly.
Customized Learning Pace
The pressure to keep up with the other students in a face to face environment is removed. The respective students are in total control of their progress through online courses. It also eliminates any sense of insecurity or dilemma as regards to doubt clearance or difficulty in understanding. This makes the learning process more organic and sustainable, without pushing it too hard for the students.
Drawbacks of EduTech Apps
Like all good things, education through technology also has its fair share of loopholes, which cannot be unseen. Given below is a list of the same drawbacks
Disrupts the value of Guru-Shishya culture
The Guru-Shishya tradition or culture of ancient Indian history talks about the spiritual relationship and mentoring of a Guru (teacher) to his Shishya (student/disciple), where teachings are transmitted. The shishya ought to pay utmost respect and reverence to his guru and is the best way for subtle or advanced knowledge to be conveyed. The students are in awe of the abundance of knowledge by their teacher and show their loyalty and respect by touching his feet. Education through EduTech apps pose a disruption to this relationship and modernity again threatens the traditions of Indian Culture. In a world like ours where people are being secluded and ingraining the most basic of the mannerisms is becoming tough, an edutech app-based ecosystem may further aggravate the concerns
Even though it seems like the life of software is smooth, there are a lot of factors that hinder its life span. This, in turn, can jeopardize your entire learning experience through EduTech mobile apps, and thus you may fall short of understanding the lessons being taught in the online sessions.
Lack of internet connection or electricity
This is the most rampant infrastructural loophole of a country like India. Around 28% of the population does not have access to electricity and the internet is a foregone dream for them. So it is not a pragmatic solution to conduct online classes through education apps, as a large section of the society will be left out. The right to education is a fundamental right in this country, thus transforming the entire education system into a digital platform, will pose to be a major social injustice to the down-trodden and the overall development of the nation will be held back.
Everything has its set of pros and cons and as you must have seen above, an edutech app is no different. We understand that there will be many challenges to face to ensure seamless execution, however, none of those challenges is impossible to solve. To ensure a good and workable digital scenario, all it requires is a good planning and infrastructural support. Crowdfunding or even crowd support can prove to be really beneficial in these terms.
The point is, edutech mobile apps hold a lot of hope. We just need to work hard enough to materialize it.