“Time is-changing” – a phrase that we often hear which holds specific relevance in today’s digital world. The online education industry, in particular has seen its emergence from being a nascent market to one of the leading industries across the globe within a very short span of time.
The rise of digital mediums and increased penetration of portable digital media has expanded its reach in areas that were earlier cut-off from the benefits of elearning. This has directly resulted in an increasing number of edupreneurs coming to the fore – educational entrepreneurs such as Aakash Institute, Byju’s Classes and Meritnation have tapped into the dynamic online atmosphere to create vibrant learning communities that can mutually benefit both education providers and learners.
As more and more new age educators migrate online, it becomes important for them to create their own virtual presence to build upon offline brand value and service quality.
However, most of the present online education infrastructure available to these educators to create their online academies utilises separate platforms such as live classes, learning management system (LMS), payment collection etc, that are provided by different service providers. As a result, the overall online education experience tends to be rather broken and disharmonious for learners.
From a service provider’s perspective, it offers limited scalability and tends to be rather costly owing to the technological challenges present in amalgamating and maintaining these tools into one integrated platform. These issues detracted learners as well as several educators from opting for an elearning model, despite the benefits offered in terms of penetration, flexibility and ease-of-access.
The advent of self-branded online academies has provided a long-term and viable solution to edupreneurs. Continuing in the same vein of constant reengineering that has fuelled the online education ecosystem, these online academies have been increasingly becoming more and more popular amongst educators due to their seamless integration of various technologies onto one single platform. By setting up a self-branded online academy, the edupreneurs are free from dealing with technological nitty-gritty to focus on the more important aspects of online education ecosystem such as increasing their learner engagement, improving their teaching effectiveness, and enhancing their ability to reach out to new learners.
Most importantly, online academies allow educators to promote their online presence through their own brand proposition instead of a third party service provider. By allowing the educators to own the life cycle of learning and giving them complete control of every aspect of learning, self-branded online academies also allow them build and protect their own brands. It is for the above mentioned reasons that online academies are being mostly used by small and large scale educators, schools, colleges and universities in order to increase their reach and attract maximum learners to their online avatars.
What has aided this dramatic rise is the innovative education solutions is the convenience provided by pioneering IT techniques such as cloud computing and big data. By leveraging state-of-the-art cloud infrastructures such as Amazon & Microsoft Azure etc, online education portals are now offering offline educators with the perfect medium to establish their online academies without much effort or associated costs. Moreover, online academies help to integrate several features such as live classes, learner analytics, test & assessments, payment systems etc. to benefit online educators.
The numbers reflect the growing demand for online learning. While the total business in the online self-paced education industry was worth around $35.6 Bn in 2011, it has grown steadily over the years and is expected to be close to $70 Bn in 2015. This marks an astonishing rise of nearly $35 Bn in the industry – all in the space of just four short years.
And that is not where the benefits of self-branded online academies end. These platforms are highly scalable and customisable, allow educators to expand their operations when required. Educators can also migrate from one teaching activity to another quite effortlessly, increasing their overall teaching experience. Moreover, by harnessing the potential of online learning solutions providers, the educators not only serve their own learner base, but also stand a good chance to attract new learners from across the globe.
Given the facts and figures in support, it seems that online academies are set to revolutionise the e-learning sphere and dominate it for a quite sometime. It can now be truly said that quality education will no longer remain restricted to the confines of brick-and-mortar institutes, but will be available to all irrespective of their location. Online academies are steadily metamorphosing this dream into a functioning reality.