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Edtech has Untapped Potential

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E-Learning has become the talk of the town since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier no one could wonder that universities and schools would be forced to shut down and that too for months. Lack of adoption of technology has highlighted the drawbacks of the current infrastructure in the education sector and the growing importance of eLearning platforms. Most of the schools and other institutes in India still run on the traditional method of teaching and do not make use of the technology in place. 

E-learning has progressed a lot in the past few years but its adoption rate was quite low before the pandemic started. Many eLearning providers have leveraged technology to share knowledge, deliver high-quality content, and give a rich learning experience. There are software to allow many people to attend an online class through video conferencing and the instructor conducting the class. The mentors can share their screen and a whiteboard can be created where learners can give their comments and interact with the mentor using a microphone simultaneously. There is a Learning Management System (LMS) that provides a user interface for learners to access content, submit assignments, take interactive quizzes and tests, and check their progress through performance reports. 

Not only for students, but eLearning is also beneficial for working professionals. There are different kinds of certification programs like CISA certification, AWS Solutions Architect certification, ITIL certification, and PMP certification that professionals take to climb their career ladder. To prepare for these certifications, there are online courses offered by these eLearning platforms that professionals take. In contrast to students who have time to take academic courses, employees find eLearning quite convenient as it easily fits into their schedule and can be accessed anytime anywhere. A working system and good internet connection are all that is needed to attend the online classes. 

Though Edtech seems to be a ray of hope for continuing the learning process of students, there are major challenges at the national level that hinder the Edtech reforms. One of them is the seamless integration of technology in the existing education system. There are over 15 lakhs schools, 50,000 higher education institutes, and more than 285 million young learners across India, but only a few of them have proper access to technology. As per Financial Express, only 24 percent of households of students have access to the internet in India (42 percent in the urban areas and 15 percent in rural India). As such, the eLearning industry has a lot of scope for expansion in the future. Many existing eLearning platforms in India like Vedantu, Simplilearn, Khan Academy, and Unacademy have seen a significant increase in the number of users enrolling in their live classes and learning hours. 

Compared to physical classroom training, learners get guidance from highly qualified instructors and rich up-to-date content through eLearning. When students, as well as teachers, are tech-savvy, learning becomes much more fun. Edtech can offer even better services to learners when their adoption rate is high. More promising technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence are being integrated with eLearning to achieve improved learning engagement and increased productivity in the long run. Even the corporates are turning to Learning and Development (L&D) when they face major business challenges and focus on upskilling their employees. They expect high technological engagement in every kind of business process, and reskilling/upskilling programs are no different. 

Now when Edtech has become a top priority for every country, there will be high growth in its adoption. In this time of crisis, Edtech will play a crucial role in developing the skills of students and working professionals alike and contribute to driving the overall employability, productivity, and progress of any nation.

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