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Education technology trends for 2018: Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO, Next Education India

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The revolution underway in the K-12 sector has brought a shift in the approach of learners from just clearing exams towards a more quality-driven education. While these trends will continue in 2018, we can expect technology to weave its magic further and present K-12 with another couple of new things.

By Beas Dev Ralhan

The revolution underway in the K-12 sector has brought a shift in the approach of learners from just clearing exams towards a more quality-driven education. The tremendous growth we have witnessed in the last couple of years and are also about to experience in the next couple of years could be attributed to this shift in approach and mindset. In fact, earlier this year, KPMG and Google jointly published a report, “Online Education in India: 2021” which predicted that the online education in India would witness an eight-fold growth over the next five years and touch USD 1.96 billion in 2021.

The major EdTech trends that were affected in 2017

The report also mentions that there would be around 735 million internet users by 2021 and the smartphone user base would grow to 470 million by 2021. In 2017, we saw a lot of EdTech companies introducing learning apps with the aim of making learning fun and engaging. E-learning and m-learning are empowering too; students can embrace learning, breaking their geographical and socio-economic limitations. Game-based learning and gamification also gained popularity this year. Contrary to the deferred gratification gained through end-term exams, gratification on a gaming platform is instant. Based on a point and level system, the user watches educational video resources and participates in discussions and tests. Concepts are taught through stories, with a background of fun graphics,.

While these trends will continue in 2018, we can expect technology to weave its magic further and present K-12 with another couple of new things.

Learning Management System (LMS)

A software application, LMS aids in planning, implementing and assessing the learning process. It is used to create and deliver content as well as monitor the participation and performance of students. Learning becomes possible anywhere, on any device. For example, it enables students to interact through video conferencing and hold one-to-one chat sessions with peers as well as subject matter experts. It can also assist in delivering offline campus courses and can be used for registration and management of records.

Adaptive Learning & Assessments

Thanks to artificial intelligence, the job of a teacher is going to be much easier, because of adaptive assessments. Adaptive technology will also put students at the helm of their learning.
Adaptive content: Based on a student’s response to a particular question, tools provide relevant hints, corrective feedback and resources. There are different means like simulations, YouTube videos, notes, etc., for imparting lessons.

Adaptive assessments: A mid-level question is presented to students. If they answer it correctly, the difficulty level of subsequent questions is raised, and if they give an incorrect answer, the difficulty bar is lowered. Thus, within a short period of time, the learning progress and gaps in understanding the concepts of a student can be identified. Evaluation of assessments takes up most of the teacher’s’ time. These high-end assessment tools can reduce their burden by taking over their mundane tasks.

AR, VR, Simulations

In continuation to the present trend, learning will become more interactive and engaging. Teachers have struggled since time immemorial to hold a student’s attention, but no more. Technology has come to their rescue. In 2018, we can expect more Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and simulation based content. For certain concepts, physical appearances are difficult to establish, and semantic representations help learners understand these concepts. Interactive sequences, integrated with books, make characters and objects come alive with VR and AR technology. Simulations are especially helpful with regard to understanding those science concepts for which hands-on activity is not possible. For instance, there can be no hands-on activity for the digestion process, and a simulation can come to the rescue here.

In future, hardware prices will be slashed further and internet browsing will be easier with better connectivity. Thus, most importantly, digital education will be accessible to all. As far as innovation is concerned, we will see a lot of it in the coming years. In fact, a future might not be far away when students will have individual bots as their personalised learning guides.

The writer is CEO & Co-founder, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.


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