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Edtech Industry

Vaishnavi Reddy

February 28, 2021

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Edtech companies have been gaining accelerated popularity globally since the early 2000s and have been spearheaded to combat a whopping 84% increase in worldwide expenditure of education and training industries. And this fast-paced growth of the education technology industry is expected to flourish at a rate of 17% per annum, amounting to almost 252 billion dollars by 2020 further. Edtech not only complements traditional methods but also enables applying technologies to develop new learning architecture, democratize education, and create cost-effective standardization. Despite such estimation, notable benefits to all its stakeholders, and an evidential increase in the adoption of technologies in education at every level, the industry continues to face significant challenges.

Edtech predominantly extends learning beyond the classrooms and creates links between the real world and the teaching material. Although, it has become a daunting task for companies to design interactive user experience and engagement according to every age level. Most companies confuse establishing standardization amongst all devices, platforms, and users to uniformity, which keeps students from experiencing a more custom-built and personalized educational encounter. Present systems also lack shareability and collaboration with academic staff for strategic lesson planning and haven’t fully evolved to include metrics that measure learning outcomes, idea discovery mechanisms, and students and parents’ reviews.

The advent of Edtech also slowly pushed the non-cognitive skill development to extinction by focusing more on the mainstream curriculum such as math, sciences, reading, and writing. Character education, moral studies, leadership, and team-building activities have taken a back seat, mostly due to the lack of tools that can help us track and identify these skills’ impact. Similarly, Edtech fails to replicate the maker space every learner finds in a classroom that enables the students to not only create their representations of acquired knowledge but also showcase them to their peers. Furthermore, in the areas of assessment, teachers gravely lack sufficient data to improve their methods of teaching and provide valuable feedback to the parents.

On the other hand, allocating resources to ICT infrastructure without complementary teacher professional development is hugely ineffective. According to a survey, 54% of respondents, including teachers and staff complained of inadequate professional training to deliver online learning. And the technology integration amongst the teaching staff mainly depends on their perceptions of the Edtech utility, infrastructural limitations, time, usage of existing technologies, and other challenges and drivers to use the technology. Moreover, teachers are having to go through training workshops and seminars at various locations to comply with continuing education requirements, without sacrificing days of instruction. The increased popularity of Edtech has led industry experts to create vast resources for professional development on the internet and also introduce many digital certifications, task challenges,  and courses for teachers to learn from.

It is also imperative for the teachers to ensure a smooth transition for their learners from a traditional classroom to a hybrid/digital classes. Pre-lesson surveys and adaptability reviews have to be performed for every category of learners before and after introducing a new learning instrument. Forums for doubt clearing, communication, and team-building activities have to be promptly screened to ensure healthy participation and strict adherence to anti-cyberbullying norms. Every stakeholder reaching these levels of expertise and comfort when it comes to novel educational methods is often a slow, expensive process backed by a wide range of studies. For instance, randomized controlled studies where a researcher randomly assigns students into either a treatment group that is given intervention or a comparison group that does not receive the intervention to ensure the comparison and treatment group are similar on baseline characteristics before the intervention begins.

Challenges faced by education providers gravely hinder the rapid expansion of Edtech throughout the world and financing the infrastructure required for online or blended learning. Even if educators make the initial investment to get aboard the EdTech train, recurrent updates and bug fixes necessary for the smooth running of the adopted technology to facilitate knowledge delivery would require further financing. This adds to the difficulty faced by institutions to adapt to, or/and maintain technical apparatus for the changing educational needs. Educational institutions are also known to spend more money than required on software that is often mishandled and mismanaged due to a lack of awareness to track and review efficiencies before renewals.

It is quite evident that Edtech revolves majorly around knowledge sources and each of its stakeholders’ adaptability. Subtl helps build a continuum amongst all the parties involved in delivering knowledge content to learners. It can enable leveraging unified resource sets via cloud technologies and result in massive financial savings (for ex: BYOD – Bring your device). With Subtl, the Edtech experts can develop much more successful, personalized and adaptive learning systems by utilizing big data techniques to track and assess real-time learning and assessment metrics and also develop ‘Learning Record Stores’ where the data of a pupil can be carried with them from one learning establishment to another, equipping individuals with permanent documentation of what they’ve learned and achieved.

Subtlbots can be used in all the training activities as query platforms that can act as bridges to lessons and assessments for both teachers and students. The users can retrieve any accessible data from an information hub uploaded by Edtech companies/instructors instantly to aid their understanding processes without the intrusion of multiple individuals. All the developmental courses can be accessed by teachers during live learning sessions and can be projected to students without causing lags and doubt queues. Subtl can also vastly transform all-around assessment procedures with increased data dependency, transparency, and accountability. It can free up more time for the teaching staff to perform in-depth reviews of students’ performance, update strategies accordingly and collaborate with Edtech teams to introduce innovative learning mechanisms.

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Vaishnavi Reddy

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