Introduction to EduTech
Technology is that change that is constant. Over the years, technology flourished to a great extent and so today we can proudly say that we belong to the era of digitalization.
EduTech is a blend of education with technology which is too good to be true. Technology has been infused with education so as to enhance the quality and effectiveness of education.
Many different advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, or Machine Learning are being used to carry out learning activities. Although human intervention hasn’t completely stopped, it has reduced to increase the use of technology which is actually proving beneficial.
Let us now understand the features of EduTech and what it has to offer.
EduTech as per the new National Education Policy
A new set of Education policies are published. There were some revolutionary changes made in the education policies which would help improve the ways in which learning activities are carried out.
During the pandemic situation caused by the outbreak of Covid 19 virus, the education sector was forced to adopt online modes for continuing teaching and learning activities. This gave rise to the digital revolution which encouraged the education sector to adopt new platforms and techniques for the future as well.
In the National Education Policy (NEP), the government also provided focuses on digital learning. Thus, NEP will open the doors of creativity for digital education and pedagogical innovations.
NEP has envisioned an autonomous body named as National Educational Technology Forum which will help to provide a platform for sharing ideas using technology to enhance the teaching-learning experience.
As per NEP, the teachers need to become tech-savvy and equip themselves with digital know-how so that they can create lessons in both synchronous (online) and asynchronous (offline) modes.
Thus, NEP emphasizes both online and offline modes of education to avoid any disruptions. The top 100 universities which are under the NIRF ranking would impart online education. Thus, learning activities will continue regardless of the situation.
According to Education Ministry, physical classes cannot have any other alternative yet efforts will be taken to bring all the students to online education.
For those students who did not have access to the internet, the educational activities were carried out via television, and radio. But, about 10-20% of students still do not have digital access. Thus, the Education Ministry has decided to set up a dedicated unit for Digital and Online Learning so that digital content can be created for students for the purpose of online education.
Even during the pandemic, all the classes and exams were conducted as per the schedule as also the results were declared on time, unlike in other countries where the students had to lose one academic year. But now the Education Ministry has the challenge to bring 33 crore students online in the digital space for education.
Usually, students from IITs and specialized colleges learn highly advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence. But India can take pride in being the first country to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the school level itself.
All the above changes in the curriculum or education policies indicate that the Indian government has full support for online education and will continue to do so in the future. Thus in the coming years, we can expect to see online platforms for conducting classes and examinations or carrying out any activity related to education that will be recognized by the government itself
The need for adopting EduTech in 2023
We all would agree on the fact that the current Indian Education system has some shortcomings. It is purely based on classroom-based education wherein the students are taught a standard theoretical syllabus.
The focus on practical knowledge or vocational studies is very less as also there is hardly any focus on extracurricular activities. The merit or progress of the student totally depends on the marks received in the exam.
The students are forced to follow a particular career path as there is no scope for pursuing careers in unconventional fields. Thus the current education system needs a big makeover or at least a booster dose to level it up.
EduTech is one such solution that can help not only to address all the above-mentioned flaws but also enhance them in better ways. With the use of different advanced innovative technologies, education can be made more fun and interesting.
Due to countless features offered by EduTech, all the stakeholders of the education system such as teachers, students, parents, management, etc. will be able to perform their intended tasks in an easier, more reliable, and more smooth manner.
Although the lockdown has been released in many countries, there are still a few countries that are following lockdown and quarantine. This means that the pandemic isn’t completely over and in the current year 2023, everyone needs to be alert, and careful and follow social distancing irrespective of government rules.
Thus, the education sector will keep on looking out for better and innovative technological solutions to keep the flow of education activities going. Thus, the scope and need for EduTech is going to increase much more in the current as well as coming years.
Technologies to Watch out for in EdTech Space
Today’s technology is so advanced that it has a plethora of features to offer which would help you to automate and customize all processes which can be tedious if carried out manually.
Here is a list of technologies and their features that will be used in EduTech.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
One of the most innovative technologies, AI has many uses in every field, especially in the field of education. AI supports automation which helps to reduce manual efforts or improve the ways of performing a task to a great extent.
Features of AI
This feature helps to verify the identity of the candidate before beginning the exam. The candidate’s face is scanned by the system and it is compared with one which is already stored in the system. This helps to prevent identity fraud during online exams.
This feature is designed to capture sounds or voices coming from the candidate’s background. The feature can capture even the slightest sounds such as the whispering of people or flipping of pages, etc.
This feature also helps to detect the usage of any electronic object by the candidate. It can also detect suspicious movements.
This feature helps to reduce human efforts to a huge extent. Chatbots are used to chat with people just like humans would chat. They can remain available 24×7 and help people to resolve queries. They can help prospective students to resolve queries related to the admission process, admission criteria-related queries, fee-related queries, scholarships, education loans, etc.
Blockchain technology can help you to store or transfer data from one block to another. But it does not allow any modifications. This technology thus helps to prevent hacking or leakage of data.
Maintaining records of students
Blockchain helps to collaborate and validate the information. This feature can prove useful while sharing students’ academic records such as mark sheets, certificates, etc.
Avoid duplication of student information
As blockchain disallows modification, student records can be safely stored without losing any possibility of duplication. Thus the original copies of records will remain safe with the university.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality can create a 3-dimensional environment that is interactive. It can create a simulated environment that can give the look and feel of the real environment.
Imaginative and interactive
VR can help create images or videos for students with which they can interact. These images or videos can give the students an exact idea about the concept or ideas they are trying to learn. Thus, VR can be used to carry out practical exams for students wherein they can interact and acquire knowledge without being worried or scared of any harsh consequences.
Understanding and knowledge retention
VR can thus help students to understand even the most complex topics properly as they will not only learn them theoretically but also experience them practically. Better understanding will lead to better and longer retention of knowledge.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT can be used to transfer or collect data using the internet. They can be programmed to work on their own without human intervention.
Tracking of assignments
IoT can help track the details of the assignments given to the students. It can track the day and date of starting and finishing the assignment the student, the total time taken by the student to complete the assignment, etc. which can later be compared with the class performance.
IoT can also help to manage the digital attendance of the students using student location tracking, school bus tracking, biometrics, etc. everyday attendance can be tracked using face detection or the with the help of the chip planted in the student’s id card.
Podcasting is a fairly old technology that has been used for different purposes in the past. But in recent times, it has found wide usage in the field of education as well.
Accessible from anywhere
With the help of podcasting, video lectures can be converted into audio format. Also, these lectures can be paused or resumed and can also be listened to from any device in the form of audio.
Benefits for visually impaired students
As podcasts are meant to listen to and understand the concepts, they prove tremendously beneficial to visually impaired students. Translating every book to Braille would be impossible but listening to relevant podcasts is much more convenient.
Thus, we can see that every technology mentioned above is going to add numerous benefits to EduTech. In addition to the above features, here is a list of advantages that EduTech can offer.
- Remote learning or online education
Remote learning or online education is possible with the help of EduTech as it can conduct live classes and online exams in a very secure and efficient manner.
- Self-paced learning
Self-paced learning is encouraged with the help of EduTech. This helps the students to view the recorded lectures at their own preferred pace. The students can pause, resume and play the same videos multiple times for proper understanding.
- Personalized learning
With the help of AI-powered techniques, teachers can understand the subjects in which a student is weak and strong. AI can help measure a student’s learning abilities which in turn helps the teachers to discover the right ways of teaching a particular topic.
- Student analysis
Student performance analysis can be obtained with the help of AI. AI can provide analysis and feedback based on students’ historical data and also helps to predict future performances.
- AI in administrative tasks
AI can be used to perform administrative tasks such as maintaining attendance correcting books, grading exams, etc. this will help save a lot of time and effort for the teachers which can be put to use for students’ benefit.
- Programming competitions and voice-based assessments
All the educational institutes are looking for ways to conduct every exam in online mode including programming assessments and oral exams. Due to this, the newest trend coming up in technology is conducting programming tests and viva or oral exams in online mode.
Programming competitions are held in many schools and colleges to assess the student’s knowledge related to different programming languages. Now, these competitions can be conducted online mode as well.
The students need to log in to the exams using any internet-based electronic device available to them and give the exam. The students can write, compile and run the code before submission to check the output.
The system will check the code character by character by comparing it to the model answers and evaluate them accordingly. Thus, the entire process starting from conducting the exam to evaluating them can be automated with the help of online examination platforms.
Voice-based assessments are mainly used to conduct oral or viva exams in online mode. Similar to the programming tests, these tests can be launched on any internet-based electronic device but it requires a microphone additionally.
The students need to record the answers and save them before submission. The teachers can listen to these recordings later and evaluate them. Thus, voice-based assessments are exactly like face-to-face oral exams.
- Blended Learning
A fairly new concept in the field of education which will soon become a new normal is blended learning. Blended learning is a method of combining both offline traditional and online methods of education delivery.
Blended learning is created by considering the best ways followed by both offline and online education delivery methods. As per blended learning, the students will take classes from their homes in online modes. The students do need to visit the school or college for practical sessions and practical exams.
Blended learning includes different models such as the Flipped classroom model, the Enriched Virtual Model, the Individual Rotation Model, the Flex Model, etc. The educational institutes can select any one of these models which suits their requirements to conduct teaching-learning activities.
Why is EduTech proving profitable to educational institutions as well as to start-up firms?
Many educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities as also coaching classes adopted EduTech in the year 2020. They switched over to conducting classes and examinations in online mode.
For this, they adopted different online examination platforms which would help them to conduct classes and exams in a very effective manner. As these platforms were developed using the best and most highly functional technologies, they did not let these educational institutions down.
These educational institutions were absolutely satisfied with the kind of services and features offered by these online examination platforms. Hence, there is no way that these educational institutions will turn back to the traditional ways of conducting classes and examinations.
There are many start-up firms that are working in the field of EduTech. These start-up firms developed these online examination platforms which earned customers’ confidence. As these software platforms require only two basic things to work – an internet-based device and a stable internet connection, they have the capability to carry out every task or activity in an online mode.
Thus, the educational institutions were able to save a lot of costs they invest in many manual activities such as different administration tasks; physical handling of questions papers and answers sheets, physical invigilation, etc.
They could also save costs invested on making infrastructure available for examination, practicals, storage of question papers and answers sheets as also the costs invested on maintaining this infrastructure.
The costs incurred on logistical activities such as traveling was saved, all thanks to EduTech and these online examination platforms.
Due to the adoption of EduTech by educational institutions and the gain in customer confidence and satisfaction, EduTech start-ups experienced rapid growth in the number of customers.
This not only encouraged them to provide better services but also inspired them to experiment with the latest advanced technology to come up with better techniques and mechanisms to aid EduTech with its growth.
Considering the need for EduTech, the Indian government declared the New Education Policies (NEP) in the year 2020. These policies will help the education sector to focus more on practical and hands-on aspects of education.
To encourage digitalization in education, the Indian government also declared a special budget for the education sector which will help to alter the old irrelevant methods of education and boost employment opportunities.
Thus, as technology will progress, the ways of carrying out learning activities will also get better. As technology will always be in vogue, EduTech will never lose its importance but instead keep flourishing in the coming years including 2023.