Technology is revolutionizing the education sector in India. It has opened up a plethora of opportunities for students to learn and achieve their goals by taking teaching and learning beyond the four walls of a classroom.
E-learning, or electronic learning, refers to a system where lessons/courses are learnt using the internet and devices such as computers. M-learning, a sub-set of e-learning, is based on mobile and portable devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Endpoint devices used for viewing the educational content is a key differentiator.
By 2023, India is expected to have around 800 million internet users, while the number of smartphones is expected to be between 650 million and 700 million. This provides a compelling opportunity to utilise handheld devices to provide an anytime, anywhere learning experience.
Increasing penetration of low-cost smartphones and the availability of ubiquitous mobile internet and broadband connectivity is creating newer opportunities for students to learn and teachers and educational institutions to impart education.
Mobile learning is a more personalised, collaborative, and contextual version of e-learning. It has the potential to bridge the divide both inside and outside schools, as students can still pursue their educational goals, despite monetary or geographical constraints. Mobile devices allow for a more engaging and immersive learning experience. Multimedia elements such as audio, video, animation, etc. have a positive impact on learning resulting in better engagement.
More than 4,500 EdTech start-ups in India are using mobile technology to cater to varying needs of learners, from students preparing for competitive exams to professionals keen to upgrade their skills or re-skill.
Flipped Learning (or blended learning) is a concept where students focus on short educational videos and other content before they learn using traditional classroom methods, blending traditional learning methods with mobile learning methods. This learning concept became a buzzword after the launch of ‘Operation Digital Blackboard’ by the Ministry of Human Resource Development last year.
The majority of the EdTech platforms in India follow a freemium pricing model where certain content on the platform is available for free, with an option to upgrade to a paid version at a later stage. While some EdTech platforms offer structured live courses for competitive exams by bridging the gap between students and top educators in India, others use Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), open for unlimited participation, to deliver engaging and high-quality content over different distribution channels like mobiles, tablets, and more. Students, including working professionals, often use MOOC courses for up-skilling and staying relevant in the industry.
M-learning is used to provide a more personalized and contextual learning experience. Analysing the consumption pattern on m-learning platforms can further help in personalising the learning experience. Learning analytics can give valuable insights into the areas where students are performing well and where they require improvement.
Game-based learning is also on the rise and is seen to result in higher engagement. Several game-based learning products are now easily available. Companies in EdTech are also using popular cartoon characters for teaching subjects such as Mathematics and Science to the elementary student category.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has been using technology very effectively to promote learning and offers various programmes and modules for students as well as working professionals.
M-learning, a logical continuation of e-learning, will continue to rise in India as it provides an opportunity for all to learn while on the go.