In a recent report by Technopak, India's digital learning market is currently estimated at USD 2 billion, growing at a CAGR of 30 percent and is expected to reach USD 5.7 billion by 2020.
In the modern era both, the learning and teaching processes have been changed due to digitisation in education industry. Till a few years ago Indian classrooms were characterised by students sitting through hour-long teacher monologues. However, now technology is making life easier for students as well as teachers by the use of digitised material, which makes learning more fun and simpler. The launch of Playstations and iPads has made the classroom atmosphere broader and more participatory for all students. Digitisation has enabled easier and quicker preparation, reproduction, distribution and usage of different forms of information (texts, pictures, sound). Therefore, traditional forms like libraries, books etc are being replaced by e-books.
Digitisation in K8 Schools: The Sooner, the Better
Students of today live in a world that is constantly linked and alive outside the class room, so using traditional methods won’t give fruitful results. The true revolution in education can only be achieved via digitisation of education so that students can learn at their own speed both within and outside the classroom. More so, the child picks up more quickly at a younger age when the child is growing-up and adjusts to newer methods of teaching easily. Therefore it is imperative to employ digital education as soon as possible, so that kids grow up to understand technology and its benefits. For example earlier it used to take a teacher one full lecture to just draw a diagram on the blackboard and explain the parts. Nevertheless, now with digitisation there is no need to draw the diagrams as all students can access to the 3D version of the diagram in their iPads. Therefore now time can be invested in building the conceptual clarity of students. A child who has been taught in such a way since beginning would pick up better in high school, compared to those who are taught with books and blackboard. Educomp Solutions, NEXT Education, Everonn Education, NIIT, Tata Interactive Systems etc are few of the companies who are into digitalising education.
As informed by Beas Dev Ralhan, Co- Founder & CEO, Next Education, “Education of today should be aimed at making this generation ready for jobs of the future. And, these jobs would definitely be technology-driven. Therefore, learning should also be technologically geared.”
Penetration in Tier II and III cities
While talking about digitisation, one cannot forget the recent trend of schools in tier II & III adopting the latest technologies. On this, Ralhan said, “Digitisation is assuming importance in tier II and tier III cities, where technological innovations are slowly making inroads. We took into account this trend and devised suitable strategies for reaching out to schools in these cities. Taking into consideration that a major chunk of our clientele is from smaller cities, 75 per cent of our 1300 strong team is dedicated to cater to the needs of schools in these cities. We have already organised over 4000 trainings for teachers in these cities for helping them operate digital teaching aids with ease. For non-tech-savvy teachers, we have specially designed one- touch operation for our products. Besides English and Hindi, our content is available in regional languages as well and this is certainly beneficial for those hailing from these cities.”
Moreover, Tata Interactive Systems launched Tata ClassEdge in early 2011, while partnering with more than 900 schools. The interesting part is that out of this more than half of the demand for digital classrooms came from tier II & III cities. The most obvious reason for this can be that schools in these smaller cities realise that their students cannot get as much exposure that students in metro and other big cities enjoy. To overcome this obstacle of living in smaller cities, the schools generally adopt digital ways of teaching. In addition, with parents wanting the best of education for their children, they do not think twice before shelling out extra to give to the smart schools.
Setting the digital India wave, the government is actively boosting the adoption of technology in schools. In recent times, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has introduced initiatives namely, e-education, e-basta, Nand Ghar. These will impart education using technologies like smartphones, mobile apps and internet services in far-flung areas where even teachers may not be present in person. e-basta is a great initiative by the government aimed at making school books accessible in digital form as e-books to be read on tablets and laptops. In addition, 13 lakh Balwadis in India are being converted into Nand Ghar where Anganwadi educators will be trained to use digital tools as teaching aids. State governments are also boosting digitisation in schools. Recently, the State education department started the process of digitising all schools across Maharashtra. With this the government plans to establish e-learning tools in 18,510 schools across the state.All these steps will surely benefit the children of K8 segment.
Potential for growth in Future
It is seen that a shift is happening and schools are moving towards student-centric pedagogy model. To enable students achieve learning outcomes, it becomes imperative that we understand each learner. To achieve this goal, the schools need to move away from time consuming tasks such as making day-to-day lesson plans, assessments, corrections, etc. The focus needs to be on facilitating each child and giving individual learners the best possible learning resources.