From Textbooks and Blackboards to iPads and Smart-Classes: How Ed-tech Trends are Changing Kids Learn Things

In this tech-driven era, there is no denying the fact that innovations in technology have touched our lives in every possible way. Be it communication through WhatsApp and Skype, navigation through Google Maps, grocery shopping through Big Basket or booking cabs through Uber – technology is ruling our lives today, quite literally.

The education sector, too, has been touched by technology in many ways. A few months ago, QED, a Chennai-basedtech startup, performed an experiment with about 100 to 150 students to see how students responded to learning from bots as compared to learning from human teachers. The results of the experiment only consolidated the claim that ed-tech is a plausible thing for a country like India, since about 60 per cent students performed better when their doubts were cleared by bots instead of human teachers.

KPMG and Google had released a joint report in mid-2017, stating that online education in India is likely to grow from its current $247 million mark to $1.96 billion by 2021. The report is no big surprise, given the fact that about 2,400 ed-tech startups were set up in 2012 alone, and the number increases by 200 new ones coming up every subsequent year since then.

The advancements in technology are surely transforming the Indian education sector. With an unprecedented move in the 90s, the first ed-tech venture Educomp Solutions brought on a whole new take on education. That first jolt on the education arena has now expanded into a full-fledged industry – where the first venture by Shantanu Prakash created a scope for change in the regular classroom through Smart Classes.

While Educomp Smartclass initiated the transformation from ‘old-school’ to ‘tech-savvy’, the introduction of latest innovative concepts like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the notion of education as we have known it.

The beauty of VR and AR lies in the fact that within a short span of 10 minutes, they can explain core concepts to students in the way textbooks and blackboards cannot. Veative, a Delhi-based ed-tech company designs VR modules aimed at making students proficient in math and science.

According to Vipin Goyal, chief of strategy and operations at Veative, education system should facilitate a disruption-free learning, and ed-tech does just that. “VR and AR can enhance course material to a point where learning abilities grow multi-fold and students retain much more than they would with just textbooks. In short blasts of 10 or 12 minutes, VR changes the way a student experiences a subject,” he said.

The ways in which technology is making a positive influence on education is not limited to designing interactive learning software using VR and AR. Artificial Intelligence (AI), is another major contributor to this ongoing transformation. While most of us perceive AI as an adaptive software that can predict test performance, it is much more than that.

AI is proven to be a useful tool in providing solutions to long-term learning problems. For instance, it could be used to analyze a child’s drawings in order to detect early signs of developmental delays or problems. Imagine the ways in which such technology can ease the learning process for people suffering from dyslexia or any other condition that might otherwise hinder their education. Wonderful, isn’t it?

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