The journey from telling children to avoid screentime to asking them to be in front of screens.
While growing up, have you been asked, perhaps told by your parents to not spend a lot of time watching TV? Or, maybe if you are a millennial, have you been in a position where you had to put up a small fight while wanting a new phone in high school? If your answer to any of these questions is a yes, then I believe you have been told time and again about numerous disadvantages of engaging in screentime while you were making it through school.
Well, this article is about the exploration of EdTech, the industry in India, and how it has questioned the status quo by changing the existing mindset and behaviors.
EdTech is one such revolutionary industry as it has successfully overcome the barriers of using technology to enhance knowledge and careers, right from a young age. In the world of products, it is the next Apple in making. With no surprises there, the latest fad in the market is bringing products that ensure learning at home for all age groups. Be it school-based learning, professional learning, or vocational learning for kids, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the education industry very differently.
Before we dig deeper, let's start from the basics.
What is EdTech?
(Technical Content Alert; imp but may imply boring) This is a space that pans out across multiple domains, such as, Learning Management Systems, Digital Tools and Media, Information and Communications Tech, or the School Infrastructure (sic. @DavidLeeEdtech).
By definition, EdTech means,
"the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources" - Alan & Michael in Educational Technology
In other terms, it is a set of processes applied through technology which can lead to enhanced learning and improvement in knowledge. At its core, it tries to answer the question of 'How Humans Learn?' by applying multiple theories of learning such as Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism. (If you are interested to read more on each of these theories, I have added few links to the resources at the end of the article.)
Now, that we are aware of the concept behind EdTech, it's time we move onto this massive behavior shift that we have witnessed in terms of online learning during COVID-19 in India.
Why are we talking about EdTech in India?
During the unprecedented time of COVID 19, when the various industries are in the deep end of the pool, we see India's EdTech industry multiplying its resources both in terms of business, learning tools, and target segments.
After all, who would have thought that schools would remain shut indefinitely and digital learning at home would be the only solution?
This has certainly questioned the status quo and yet made its way to the top with not only school learning but also professional learning.
As per reports, EdTech is the most funded sector in 2020.
Our biggest takeaway from this industry is that-
EdTech has disrupted education. Through accessibility, personalisation, data driven insights, automation and immersiveness.
It is difficult to discuss EdTech in India, without talking about the latest and upcoming trend of learning how to code in younglings. Yes, I am talking about the new best friend of kids, the WhiteHat Jr, the live online coding platform.
This is a classic example of disruption vis a vis innovation as WhiteHat Jr targeted an unexpected age group segment (6-14-year-old) with a new set of curriculum on programming languages to generate creative and logical thinking in young children. Founded in 2018 with close to 20,000 enrollments, the numbers have seen a monthly growth rate of 100% post-COVID-19.
The growth of the industry has been because of the demand and increase in the need for learning and upskilling. The parents are willing to let their children learn as much as possible through online tools and resources, going beyond the school curriculum and textbooks. And what better opportunity, then now?
Lastly, the debate of fighting through the disadvantages of spending excessive screentime is concerned, in order to ensure continuous learning and growth, it is essential to regulate our usage around technology. As basic as it may sound,
Moderation is the key.
- India-Edtech companies Crunchbase