India must aspire and continue to dream of achieving higher levels of literacy, quality education and integration of technology in the sector, says Philippe Murray, Regional Vice President, ASIA – Blackboard in an interview with Elets news network (ENN).
How can the edtech industry transform education in the 21st century?
2020 has seen accelerated adoption of technology across the globe, with educational institutions being forced to quickly move their teaching and learning online. Educators had to acquire new skills such as mastering video tools, adopting online teaching platforms, etc.
We have also seen institutions strive to not only create online teaching models, but also to conduct online exams and assessments and bring the entire student admissions process online. In 2020, the education sector has seen unprecedented growth in digital transformation, and this is just the beginning.
Now, in 2021, educational institutions are likely to face many other challenges, including student retention, student engagement, collaborative learning requirements as well as the competitive models of other international institutions. This is where edtech has a major role to play.
As an edtech company, I believe it behooves us to connect a deep understanding of education with the power of technology to continually push the boundaries of learning. At Blackboard, we partner with education clients around the world to drive student and educator success through an integrated technology stack, robust data and analytics capabilities, and best-in-class service.
In a country like India, where the Internet is not accessible to all students, how will edtech companies develop?
While it took seven years for e-commerce to gain momentum in India and billions of dollars to change consumer behavior, it happened almost overnight for the edtech industry.
A developing economy such as India must aspire and continue to dream of achieving higher levels of literacy, quality education and integration of technology in the sector. Periodic assessments, redress mechanisms, consultations with stakeholders and timely policy changes can prepare us to meet the challenges posed by the education sector in the future.
However, all of these welcome policy changes and improvements always have one major caveat – “How can I access critical course information if I don’t have a regular Internet connection?”. Regarding the content of the course, this combines two fundamental changes:
- Make the content engaging but don’t rely on video to replace a well-designed and accessible course
- Make sure that students have the option to store or save their lessons on their offline devices (laptop, tablet, mobile phone) to be consumed and synced the next time a reliable internet connection is available.
There is a technological knowledge gap; how can edtech companies address this?
Edtech companies have opened up many avenues for knowledge seekers, be they students, professors or professionals. Access to professional training and courses designed by industry experts is available online through portals like Udemy and Coursera which otherwise would not be accessible to students at one’s own university. Edtech companies help break down barriers to knowledge acquisition, regardless of where the student is physically present.
We help improve technical proficiency and skills development through our Blackboard Digital Teaching and Learning Series (DTLS), a comprehensive, solutions-independent professional development offering. By addressing instructional and instructional design, best practices for digital course development, the Professional Development Series ensures that instructors can continue to drive student success and maintain the same quality of instruction as classroom courses.
DTLS provides a strong portfolio of skills transfer training to help faculty design world-class content without having to rely on substantial technology resources, an excellent course that is well-designed, easy to use, and has measurable results – the technology does not replace that.
How to overcome barriers to learning using online platforms for education?
Barriers to learning generally fall into one of four categories:
- Access to basic technology (internet, LMS or other content distribution solutions).
- Relevance of the content (based on what is currently needed and not just a repetition of something that is no longer valid, such as old video conferences).
- Accessibility of course content to all students (e.g. alternative formats)
- Support for online platforms of institutions (change the impression of those who have a negative notion of online teaching and learning solutions).
Each of these challenges has local and regional / global components, and requires the participation of many groups to improve their parts of the puzzle.
At Blackboard, we’ve developed Ally, an LMS agnostic solution that helps institutions create a more inclusive learning environment. Ally helps improve the student experience by helping them clearly control course content with usability, accessibility and quality in mind. It automatically checks for accessibility issues and generates alternative formats including semantic HTML, audio, ePub, electronic braille, and a translated version designed to work better with assistive technology, mobile devices, and study tools. Ally also provides feedback to guide instructors on how to improve the accessibility of their course content and institution-wide reporting on the accessibility of course content to drive further improvements in the course. ‘establishment.
What will be the future of edtech in post-COVID India?
Fueled by the pandemic, the Indian edtech segment has seen a massive increase in demand in 2020. According to an analysis, the size of the edtech market in India is expected to grow 3.7 times over the next five years from $ 2.8 billion (2020) to $ 10.4. B (2025). India has the largest population in the world of around 500 million in the age range of 5-24 years, which provides a great opportunity for the edtech industry in the future. Global investors are betting on the large Indian base of schoolchildren and fueling the valuation of Indian edtech companies. In addition, the higher education segment in India is expected to grow to Rs. 2,44824 crore ($ 35.03 billion) by 2025.
The future of edtech therefore looks promising, but it depends on the sector’s ability to adapt quickly to changing times and to offer personalized solutions in various categories. With the current configuration of education, online learning is here to stay. Therefore, to maintain momentum, it is important that the industry continues to innovate continuously to capitalize on blended learning opportunities that will be in high demand in the future. This innovation will spark critical thinking, collaboration and creativity in the classroom.
Engaging, collaborating, returning, evaluating and communicating are the components that embrace blended learning. At Blackboard, we help institutions with solutions that encompass all of these components, providing a holistic and robust offering for learners.
Designed with an intuitive and personalized interface, Blackboard Learn engages learners and lightens the burden on instructors. With time-saving tools and a streamlined design, teaching and learning has never been easier.
A completely redesigned, high-definition, browser-based web conferencing solution that makes distance teaching and learning simple, clear and hassle-free. Now with mobile-friendly recording and playback.
Follow us and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Elets video