How EdTech is Paving the Way for Adaptive Learning

Vishal Pratap Singh | Saturday, 19 June 2021, 15:09 IST

Amazon India has announced the launch of an integrated learning programme for students to learn applied Machine Learning skills, making them industry ready for careers in the new technology. “This programme named ML Summer School has been introduced to help train students in ML and address the growing demand for talent with this skill set across various industries,” said Amazon India in a statement.   

EdTech is becoming an increasingly discussed topic among educators, parents and scholars around the world. The learning environment has broadly remained the same for hundreds of years but new technology and societal pressures are changing that. Many people can recognize that EdTech is devoting technology to promote education. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) has defined EdTech as “facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources”.

On the other hand, educators who actually use EdTech have a much simpler definition of the term. They say it is a concept of transforming traditional book teaching and learning to digital form. For them, the main difference lies in the way knowledge is delivered to make teaching more effective. EdTech allows teachers to provide multimedia to address diverse learning styles, such as animation, live video, etc. Besides, EdTech enables teachers to create online courses where students can learn in their own space and at their own pace.

Technology has made it possible for everyone to stay connected. Students and teachers connect, discuss, share their opinions, and act upon situations collaboratively. This collaborative learning approach has bridged the gap between teachers and students as well as helps students in strengthening their interpersonal skills. “EdTech with the help of technology is making education smarter, more effective and thus satisfying learners’ needs more”, says Divya Lal, Founder and Managing Director of Fliplearn.

Technologies Ruling the EdTech Domain

Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and school closures, Distance Learning became the top educational technology trend overnight in 2020. This led to a rising demand for online educational platforms. eLearning is being used to deliver education or training electronically. It involves slide-based online activities, or it can also be an online course that helps a business train employees in necessary skills. Rather than being in a passive experience, learners can choose what they need to learn quickly and easily, wherever they are. With eLearning, educational content is delivered to learners through computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Not only it saves time but also opens many doors for interactive learning.

They also learn through interacting directly with on-screen information. Variety is the outstanding feature of online learning platforms. Students can study in real time (synchronous) via live stream or group meetings using Zoom or Microsoft apps, or they can use recorded (asynchronous) methodologies with a wide range of media and digital functions available to enrich lessons.

Artificial Intelligence can automate basic activities in education, like grading system. It’s now possible for teachers to automate grading of the multiple choice and fill in the blank questions. Thus, automated grading of students’ writing may not be far behind. People have predicted that by the end of 2021, Artificial Intelligence could become the primary trend and grow by more than 45 percent. Also, AI driven programs can have both learners and educators helpful feedback. That’s why some schools use AI systems to monitor student progress and to alert teachers when there might be an issue with students’ performance.

Blockchain Technology is used in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and ePortfolios to verify skills and knowledge. The Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) brings so many benefits to education, especially data storage. Every time new data is added, it adds another “block” to the system, so the storage is technically limitless. Simultaneously, the data will be encrypted and distributed across multiple computers in the system. It makes transacting data decentralized and transparent.

Challenges in Real Life Application of the Learning

The demand for real-time capabilities in the EdTech space is growing fast. The ability to innovate is central to the continued success of any tech service. However, as with any enterprise grade IT application, one needs a roadmap for its foundation as well. As an EdTech provider, companies want their brightest minds working on their services roadmap of features and capabilities, the things that will ultimately generate revenue.

Realtime capability is a critical enabler of overall preposition, but time spent developing it doesn’t necessarily result in the aforementioned eye catching product features. It can therefore drop down the priority list. However, it’s incredibly important to keep evolving the foundations of EdTech solution, to ensure it continues to deliver the necessary performance, availability and security.

Investing in the latest, most advanced technology comes at a price, and the recurrent need for technological advancements in the education sector is no different. One of the daunting-most challenges education providers and facilitators come across is financing the infrastructure required for online or blended learning. Even if educators make the initial investment to get onboard the EdTech train, recurrent updates and bug fixes are necessary for smooth running of the adopted technology to facilitate knowledge delivery would require further financing. This adds to the difficulty faced by institutions to adapt and maintain technical apparatus for the changing educational needs.

Future Scope of EdTech in India 

Over the years, numerous technologies and e-learning trends have driven profound changes in the education space. EdTech has witnessed an upsurge and is expected to be the new normal in the future as well. According to a study, India is currently home to over 3,500 EdTech startups and online education in India could be worth $1.96 billion by the end of 2021. One thing is sure that EdTech is here to stay. In a post COVID India, the country will see an overall increase in the acceptance of technology in learning, especially in hybrid formats.

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