The landscape of formal education in India is based on a relatively archaic model. Over the last 150 years, not much has evolved. The students still attend brick-and-mortar establishments for schools in order to educate themselves. The system is largely exam-driven, theoretical and impractical. The emphasis is on scoring rather than learning and subsequent application of the knowledge. The learning resources are static in nature and the students need to be self-motivated to be successful.
However, things are changing with the advent of technology. The new generation of learners has more intense demands from education. This need is now being answered by edtech startups who are leveraging technology like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) to provide simple yet effective education solutions.
Modern Technology Can Revolutionise The Classroom
The beauty of technology like AR, VR or MR lies in its ability to give an immersive experience. It is cutting a frog in a lab without actually cutting it. More affordable software and hardware are enabling AR and VR technology to be cheaper and more accessible, thereby offering more effective education in India.
There are several Indian edtech startups providing educational solutions today. AR is helping students gain experiential learning by merely using a mobile phone. It is providing an interactive learning experience by use of tools like AR books. Students can get a 3D view of different objects which helps in better understanding of the topic. It also enables game-based learning. For example, AR startup NewGenApps uses augmented reality to create mobile game-based learning for children.
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Another organization Veative brings VR into education by developing VR content on various topics such as the law of friction in physics for high school students. A company called I Love Mondays is using VR to give students an actual experience of their preferred career before-hand. For example, if a student is interested in medicine, she can put on a VR headset and experience a surgery being conducted by a doctor in a hospital.
Vamrr is aggregating content from AR, VR and MR content providers so that an educator can go online to asset libraries comprising content from AR, VR, MR providers and let the students gain expert knowledge from multiple disciplines.
Innovation And STEM Labs
STEM and Innovation Labs are being developed in several schools. It aims at teaching subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a practical and scientific way. It is a far cry from the ironic use of traditional chalk and board used in conventional patterns of education in India for teaching subjects like computers and technology.
It focuses on hands-on learning by building projects on scientific topics. For example, students learn more about the properties of a material by using it in a project rather than reading about it in a text-book. It helps to learn to grow multi-fold and students retain much more than textbook learning.
Artificial Intelligence For Teaching And Detection
Imagine using artificial intelligence to analyse a child’s drawing and detecting early signs of developmental delays. It would help customise learning approaches for children leading to better learning outcomes.
Khan Academy is a great example of using artificial intelligence to provide teaching assistance. Homeschoolers and teachers can get real-time feedback on performance using its intuitive technology. Another AI project OpenEd.ai is promoting an open-source AI tool that lets users visually create a world by describing it in words using deep image captioning.
Use Of Blockchain In Education
With its immutability and decentralisation, Blockchain can help remove paperwork, reduce costs and connect students with instructors via live sessions. Instructors can get paid through cryptocurrencies governed by smart contracts. Certificates of completion can be verified through blockchain making a prospective employer trust a candidate’s credentials. This will lend credibility to online learning.
According to a Google and KPMG report, India’s e-learning market will grow to $1.96 Bn by 2021. Edtech startups can play a pivotal role in making this happen. There were 2400 edtech startups in India in 2012 and since then roughly 200 startups open up every year catering to needs of education in India. With several startups already taking the lead, the education sector is all set for a revival in India.