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How EdTech Is The Next Big Sector

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To enter into the EdTech Landscape, every entrepreneur takes hold of some new goals other than the prior ones. Indeed, being an entrepreneur, stepping into the EdTech Industry isn’t easy. There come across many stages in the way where prospects of the education sector, customers’ selection, and marketplace transform and grant the learning opportunities for Entrepreneurs for the future. Here are a few aspects that make EdTech, the next Big Sector of Business & Education—

How EdTech Is The Next Big Sector

Understand the Education Sector

EdTech provides an in-depth analysis of the education sector so as to understand the immediate needs of both the students and the teachers. Indeed, the education sector is today running at the same pace as the Internet keeping in mind the customized interests of students with education going tech-friendly and students going tech-smarter. Today, students-teachers collaborate through sharing screens, adding peers, making online notes in minutes. If this is not a bigger accomplishment in the literacy sector, then what is?

Stay on top of EdTech Trends

To lose out on the latest EdTech trends is not an option for an entrepreneur which is why EdTech Landscape is something available to study and gain more experience. It is significant because dissimilarity to the trend creates an age of difference in the context of tech-knowledge. The motive can be fulfilled by building a foundation, reassessing technology standards and integration models, and progress innovation. In simple words, EdTech creates an outstanding platform for Entrepreneurs around the world to acquire knowledge and take bigger risks to accomplish.

Create Engaging and Unique Products

User-engagement is the primary source to accomplish your product when it comes to EdTech. Alongside, “uniqueness” of the product helps it come into the spotlight in the marketplace. Make sure, that product grabs the attention of the students & teachers & users around the globe. Keep the product focused on learning and progress. On the part of the instructor, innovation stands out as an essential ingredient here.

Keep vision and end goal in mind

As an Entrepreneur, what must be done is “do whatever it takes, don’t give up.” Giving the assurance of accomplished goal and overcome the current challenge, taste success while figuring out how to fulfil the final goal. Undoubtedly, with every step of success and change in the technology trend, the vision may change, however, the final goal cannot. Pick up every Technology trend to E-Learn and utilize the same to pace towards the completion of End Goal.

Understand the customer and its fear of change

Fear of change exists when technology detects the need of the user’s willingness in the marketplace. An entrepreneur’s job is not only to present technology for effective products in the market but also ensure that it corresponds to the needs of customers. Fluctuating Demand & Supply of products in the market could be consequences of external environment changes. These changes could be based on customers’ finding new ways of comfort, easy products’ access and so on. Make sure, the product is presentable to the customer with maximum benefit and minimum give away (cost).

Smart advertising

Advertising is important for any product if it is important to be seen by the users as well as the competitors. No matter how ground-breaking the product is if it is not in the spotlight and does not grab the attention of the audience, it is not worth it! Exploiting the power of magazines, web pages, social media sites, and digital marketing is valued. There are not social media platforms and real-time platforms where users have no reach. Advertising brings users and the product closer and connects them on the basis of needs and affordability.

posted Jan 8 by Monich

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India is home to one of the world’s fastest-growing edtech scenes. With an estimated 260 million students enrolled in more than 1.5 million schools and 39,000 colleges, however, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Among India’s hundreds of edtech companies, over the past decade, BYJU has risen above the pack. In fact, it is now one of the world’s highest-valued edtech companies.

BYJU

BYJU’s Mandate

BYJU, named after founder Byju Raveendran, is a learning app. The app offers comprehensive learning programs in STEM subjects for students in 4th to 12th grade. It also offers test prep courses for India’s many competitive exams. If you’re based in North America, the best comparison may be the Khan Academy platform, which offers a similar range of services. But BYJU also has a unique founding story.

Soon after Raveendran graduated from university and started working as an engineer, he wrote the Common Aptitude Test (CAT), which students must take to gain entry to Indian Institute of Management colleges that offer MBA degrees. Raveendran wrote the exam just for fun. He approaches exams like games–as something to crack–and wondered if he could crack the notoriously difficult CAT. To his surprise, he did crack the CAT. He received a 100%. Thinking it was just a coincidence, he wrote the exam again and achieved the same score. Soon, Raveendran was offering courses to students in his own city. As his reputation spread, he also started to travel to nearby cities to offer courses to even larger groups of students hoping to ace the exam. This is how he refined his teaching method. As a trained engineer, however, Raveendran realized that he didn’t need to offer courses in person. Unable to meet the growing demand for his prep courses, he eventually developed and launched BYJU.

BYJU’s Phenomenal Funding Success

Since BYJU was founded back in 2008, the company has been attracting investors. In 2016, its reputation outside of India grew considerably when the company received a $50 million investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. In 2017, BYJU announced another successful funding round when Tencent Holdings put in $40 million. Earlier the same year, the company also received $30 million in a round led by Verlinvest. But none of these funding rounds come even close to BYJU’s most recent announcement.

On December 11, BYJU announced that it had just secured a staggering $540 million in a private equity funding round led by Naspers. With this funding round, BYJUs has now raised a total of $775 million from investors. According to TechCrunch, this takes the company’s valuation up to $4 billion, which makes it one of the most valuable edtech companies in the world. In addition, at $4 billion, BYJU is now India’s fourth highest-valued tech company trailing behind only Paytm, Ola, and OYO.

But this raises an obvious question: What is BYJU planning to do with all its new funding?

Future Plans

As reported in TechCrunch on December 17, with an additional $540 million on hand, BYJU now plans to expand globally. Specifically, the company hopes to push into global English markets, with a focus on young children. Raveendran told TechCrunch that the decision is based on a recognition that “There’s a growing percentage of people wanting to learn English.”

To move into English-language markets more quickly, Raveendran has a clear strategy. As he told TechCrunch, “Over the last 12 months, we’ve scouted for core product acquisitions but went the other way around and decided to build it ourselves.” With the new funding in hand, however, it seems likely that BYJU will be engaging in at least some product-based acquisitions in the near future.

Whether BYJU can break into English-language markets outside India is yet to be seen. What is clear is that the company has already secured its place as one of the world’s most successful edtech unicorns.

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For years, YouTube has been a major platform for educational experiences around the world. Many teachers and professors upload their lectures to the platform. Edtech companies use it to show off their latest products. And more importantly, people with unique knowledge routinely use it to educate learners on specific subjects. It’s no surprise, therefore, that many are using it to learn about learning. There are numerous edtech- and eLearning-focused YouTube channels. The following mark a few of our favourites. 

14 Edtech Youtube Channels To Watch In 2019

Edtech YouTube Channels

ISTE

When it comes to edtech-focused YouTube channels, the International Society for Technology in Education is a good place to start. ISTE functions as a premier membership organization produces the most widely recognized document for standards of technological education, and hosts one of the most popular edtech annual conferences. 

They’ve been YouTubing since 2010, and their videos run the edtech gamut. Their library includes many short videos made by edtech experts on some of the most cogent edtech topics of the day, like OER, mobile devices in the classroom, AI, and personalized learning. They also upload keynote speeches from their annual event, videos supporting their standards, and much more. 

The Edtech Podcast

After launching in February of 2016, The Edtech Podcast is currently on episode #133 and counting. If podcasts are not part of your daily routine, their YouTube channel uploads every episode in video form and also includes footage of the various live shows they record. 

Created and hosted by the U.K.-based Sophie Bailey, the podcast frequently features discussions of emerging edtech and classroom implementation with guests ranging from CEOs to experienced teachers. Before launching the podcast, Bailey worked as head of content at Bett, the annual U.K. trade show and conference.

Ed on Edtech

For most people, education is a specifically local affair. While we have access to educators and learners from around the world, we still go online from the same computer in the same environment with the same technology and data infrastructure day in and day out. 

Dr Edward Tse, therefore, decided that he would go and check out how edtech is deployed in classrooms and other environments around the world. 

Mr Tompkins Ed Tech

The creator knew simply as ‘Mr. Tompkins’ has worked in the past as a math and computer science teacher in the U.K. He knows focuses his energy on ICT Strategic Development at the university level. A tech agnostic, he is both a Microsoft Certified Educator, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and an Apple Teacher. 

Mr Tompkins’ videos are primarily math-related how-tos incorporating the various tools his various tech company certifiers have developed.

E-Learning Uncovered

The product of Artisan E-Learning, this channel is intended primarily for eLearning developers and edtech instructional designers. That said, you don’t need to be writing software from scratch to benefit from these videos. Many, such as ‘Tips for creating Great Sounding Audio in Audacity,’ or ‘Photoshop for Learning: Taking the First Steps,’ target a more general audience and everyday teachers who might be looking to add some flare or polish to their lessons. 

GeoGebra

One of the most powerful and popular math tools on the planet, GeoGebra’s YouTube channel is dedicated almost exclusively to videos explaining the various uses of their software and apps. If you haven’t heard of GeoGebra before, be sure to check out their new AR math simulator along with the 3 part interview we conducted with COO and CFO Stephen Jull earlier this year. 

eLearning Brothers

eLearning Brothers is a company based out of Utah that creates custom eLearning modules, templates, and conducts training as well. Their YouTube channel is fairly wide-ranging and includes short videos by eLearning experts on specific topics, webinars, how-tos, and more. Occasionally they also run a series of instructional videos on their own products as well and often feature work created using their own library of templates.

Texas Instruments Education

When most people hear eLearning or edtech, they don’t immediately think about calculators. Texas Instruments’ YouTube channel, however, has a huge library detailing the advanced math that is possible on their machines. The channel also contains several other videos, such as AP and SAT math test prep, videos from their annual conference, broad discussions of STEM education, webinars, and even a how-to on grant writing. While some might consider calculators a hold over from the 20th century, T.I.’s YouTube channel is decidedly current.

AdobeELearning

Any creative person using digital technology has likely used or considered using some of the software created by Adobe. Many schools provide access to their Creative Suite. This YouTube channel, however, provides a home for educators and instructional designers using their Captivate software and eLearning Suite. These products allow users to author their own eLearning modules and lessons without the hard coding. 

Their videos are almost entirely focused on these Adobe products, but they’re also highly engaging and occasionally hilarious. 

TED-Ed

While TED talks, and especially their franchised TEDx analogues, have devolved in the past several years from amazing perspectives from niche experts around the world to frequent instances of humble bragging, oversimplification, and advertorial-style self-promotion, the TED-Ed YouTube channel is relatively free of these negative qualities. 

These well-produced animated videos can both teach learners about tech or also act as course supplements and good introductory material. Some, like ‘What’s a smartphone made of?’ or ‘How exactly does binary code work?’ could fall into both categories. No videos contain any instances of Bono (literally) pretending to be Jesus

Edtech Conferences

In addition to the channels listed above, many annual edtech, eLearning, and education-focused conferences also regularly update their own channels, often uploading videos of full keynote speeches, workshops, and more. We’ve listed a few of our favourites below. 

SXSW EDU

Possibly the premiere North American tech conference, SXSW EDU throws up most of their typically hour-long talks. While the conference goes far beyond education technology, there’s a good amount of tech in the mix as well. 

ASU + GSV

Arizona State University and the self-described ‘modern merchant bank’ that is Global Silicon Valley might sound like strange bedfellows. Their annual conference goes even further beyond edtech than SXSW EDU, but they also bring together some of the most interesting and innovative education-focused technologists and venture capitalists in the world. 

NY EDTECH WEEK

While the 2018 NY Edtech Week got bumped to June of 2019, the conference notably uploads the pitches startups make to investors, which make for interesting watches/listens. They also upload most talks delivered over the course of the event. 

EdTech Israel

Now in its fourth year, EdTech Israel brings together Israeli tech startups and companies for a two-day event. 

Many more excellent tech conferences put up a couple of videos, but don’t create their own channels. Many others don’t (but should) upload any content from their events. (We’re looking at you ICELW). 

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The concept of a modern learning environment is transforming with serious attempts by schools authorities to align the physical space with modern pedagogical philosophy.

This is also mainly due to the push to support 21st-century learning opportunities. Today’s classrooms embrace technology in all aspects of learning and this has helped teachers to better engage with students and facilitate a combination of independent, small-group and whole class learning which is regarded critical to student success.

We at EdTechReview wanted to know what teachers think of edtech and technology-enabled pedagogy in and out. So we reached out to Ms Sanchita Ghosh, the Head of the Department at Sanskriti School, New Delhi to talk to her and know her perspective on edtech and the whole concept of including technology in education today.

1. How has technology opened avenues to better teaching and student learning at Sanskriti School?

EdTech is a dynamic tool which can be used to leverage learning opportunities that were hitherto unavailable to both teachers and students. It opens up new avenues for teaching old concepts and discovering new horizons of learning for the students. In Sanskriti School teachers are creatively using technology to create learning experiences that are exciting and engaging for students.

To give you an example, in the past, Geography classes involved the use of wall maps as a visual aid to display landforms. Today, Google Earth or Google Maps allow students to view topography and other geographical features in 3D. These applications can be used to create layered maps to show the relationship between ocean currents and air currents; rainfall vegetation and crops; and topography and human adaptations, to just name a few.

To take an example from literature class, students may attempt to retrace the steps of the main characters in the novel like Homer's Iliad or Odyssey by trying to the place the journey of the protagonists of these stories using Google Tour Builder.

EdTech has really revolutionised how our students work on collaborative projects. In Sanskriti School, we use the Google Suite of Apps to enable students to collaborate in real time, 24x7. It could be a simple research paper, written using Google Docs, or interactive presentations using Google Slides. EdTech has enabled students to unleash their imagination and create original content like documentaries on lesser-known monuments of Delhi, or a traditional craft.

Technology has also enabled teachers to organise and analyse student data using Google Sheets. They have been able to differentiate learning to address the wide range of students needs within the classroom. Teachers are able to create lesson modules that students can attempt at their own pace, using Google Forms.

Besides Google Apps, our teachers also use tools like EdPuzzle to create interactive videos to fully engage student participation, rather than passive watching of videos.

Flipped Classroom and Blended Learning opportunities enabled by technology have opened up more meaningful conversations between teachers and students. Teachers are now able to drive discussions which encourage critical thinking among students, give personalised attention to those who need it and offer greater challenges to gifted students. Teachers are now able to spend more time teaching and coaching and less time managing systems and doing mundane repetitive things.

2. Do the teachers in your school feel stressed or does it excite them to practice technology-enabled pedagogy? Do you see the students enjoying the mix of traditional and technology-enabled learning?

Any change brings some stress. However, not all stress is negative. The climate in Sanskriti School enables us to channel this stress towards a more positive outcome. Training opportunities are presented on a regular basis, both within and outside the school, to update teachers on different EdTech tools available and how they can be integrated into teaching and subject pedagogies. Once teachers are empowered, stress is replaced by excitement to try out new technologies and look at opportunities for tech-integration in the classroom. The school leadership largely allows and encourages teachers to choose their own EdTech paths and self-driven learning.

The biggest gainers of this approach are our students. We have definitely experienced greater student engagement. There is greater ownership of learning when teachers are using the tools which are part of the students’ everyday lives. Use of technology also addresses the different learning styles of students and the multiple intelligences they use to learn and understand new concepts.

To give a small example, we have a number of students with disabilities which make it difficult for them to write. They are provided with scribes during examinations. But most do not have scribes to help do their homework. So instead of writing, they may be given assignments which can be submitted as a voice or video files. I get a fair number of such students in my History classes of Grades 11 and 12 where it is mandatory for students to produce essay-type answers. In such cases, I encourage them to use the voice-typing feature in Google Docs to submit their written assignments. This also gives them the practice to dictate answers to scribes during examinations.

Integration of technology in education has given students different ways to demonstrate their learning. When even traditional tasks can be done in new ways, it excites the students and leads to more engagement.

3. What kind of training do you offer to teachers in your school to enhance their technology skills and start using various technologies in pedagogy?

Teacher training is taken very seriously in Sanskriti School. We have a Professional Development In-Charge who tracks different workshops and conferences available for the faculty. The process of selection is democratic, where teachers themselves choose their own learning paths. Teachers, on their own, are also on the lookout for different learning opportunities and the school supports them when they want to attend workshops outside the school.

We also have an in-house team of technology trainers. The trainers do not come from a technical background. I teach History and my two partners are Economics and Mathematics teachers, respectively. We call ourselves Techno@Heart. We conduct regular ‘big-group’ workshops on a regular basis introducing them to new tools or familiarizing them with advanced features of tools they are already familiar with. We also engage in one-on-one sessions with teachers to hand-hold them and help them work on their specific subject and pedagogical concerns.

We also encourage the sharing of ‘Best Practices in EdTech’, where teachers and invited to share their usage and experience of technology integration. This process not only offers recognition to those teachers who adopt and adapt new tools to galvanize learning in their classrooms, but it also helps create role models for other teachers. We try to keep things real and do-able for the teachers to build more confidence and comfort with the fast-changing EdTech scene.

4. Can edtech play a potential role in humanities studies just as it is seen in STEM learning?

In its current form, there seems to be an underlying assumption that STEM and Humanities subjects are in a vertical hierarchy. Both subject groups are equally important for human development. It is the humanities subjects which give a social context to STEM innovations. For example, engineers are building Metro Rail Systems in Delhi NCR and other cities, but it will be the Social Scientists who will help determine how many and at what distance stations will be placed after studying the demographics of the area being covered by the Metro lines.

And education is education. EdTech is already disrupting the classrooms. If a classroom is able to set up a Skype call or Hangout with a historian or an author (synchronous), that is a disruption. Use of AR/VR for a virtual visit to a historical or geological site is a disruption. My students and I can travel around the world without visa issues and lost baggage troubles….. Disruption. The very act of students getting involved in filmmaking or podcasting is a disruption. Using tools like FlipGrid, Padlet and social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (asynchronous) to connect classrooms from across the world to study a language like Spanish or French or Japanese, is a disruption. A similar approach can be used to design an activity for students to understand how traditionally non-English speaking communities are learning and using English in their day to day lives. This is also disruption!

Educational disruption is about encouraging students to learn and think beyond the prescribed texts. It is enabling them to identify problems and finding innovative ways to solve them. The point is to move away from traditional learning methods which are no longer preparing students or skilling them for the future.

At this point, if I ask my students this very same question, they will answer in a resounding YES!! The questions we need to ask are: Do we view disruption as something positive and something to be desired? How are we bringing this disruption to the classroom? How are we empowering and equipping both teachers and students to embrace educational disruption?

5. What challenges do you face in integrating technology in teaching?

Tech integration in education is as exciting as it challenging. In my experience as a classroom teacher and EdTech trainer I look at the following as challenges which we are faced with:

  1. Fear of failure: We have a cultural fear of failure. “The guru cannot be or better not be wrong.” Teachers are afraid that they may get stuck while in class with a technical glitch. They worry about losing class control if things don’t go according to plan or students know more about the technology than them. They fear a loss of respect.
  2. Curation of EdTech tools: This challenge is about who decides what EdTech is to be deployed in the classroom. Often it is the school leadership which makes the decision. The issue with that is it assumes one-size fits all approach. This forces teachers to use tech that does not address their subject, pedagogical or classroom needs. This results in resistance towards tech integration in general.
  3. Who pays for it: EdTech is not always cheap. So who pays? School or Teachers?
  4. Constant Training: Technology is getting updated with increasing frequency. Often teachers find it difficult to keep up. By the time they are comfortable using a certain application, it gets updated or it gets replaced by another. So regular opportunities for training is important to keep the teachers updated. School schedules are tight and it is sometimes difficult to mark out time at regular intervals for such workshops.
  5. Personalizing Learning for Students: Time or rather the lack of it can impact the ability of teachers to create modules conducive to personalised learning. Often the teachers may not have the right tools to facilitate the same. Many times, the student or the parents may challenge a teacher’s efforts to personalise learning, either over or underestimating a student’s pace of learning.
  6. The notion that tech is only meant for assessment: Most EdTech tools brand themselves as great tools for assessment. Some take it a step further to suggest diagnostic steps that can be taken post-assessment. This prevents both, the tech provider and the teachers to consider the fact the EdTech tools are great at introducing new concepts or encouraging the process of learning of that new concept.
  7. It is not meant for all subjects: Many feel that EdTech is effective in teaching only STEM subjects. I have often heard teachers say that there are no tech tools to teach Indian History, for example. This is a misunderstanding. Sure I cannot use a 3D image of the human anatomy to teach ancient Indian History, but I can use Google Street View to virtually visit the Bhimbetka caves in Madhya Pradesh. FlipGrid can be used to display Spanish or French (or any other foreign language) speaking skills of students. Instagram can be harnessed to display a student’s English writing skills. Twitter is a great instrument to train students the value of brevity in communication.

6. Any message that you wish to share with other teachers related to the impact of technology on teaching practices.

Technology is not a substitute for a teacher. But a tech-empowered teacher can definitely supplant someone who is not upgrading his/her skills. There is no right technology. There is only the right teacher. We know that good teacher can make anything work for them. They can use any situation as a teachable moment. For example, if your tech supported lesson fails to take off (due to tech or no-tech reasons) how are you setting an example for the students? Are you patient? Are you willing to take the help of your students (you can learn from anyone)? Are you flexible enough to quickly adjust to situations where everything is not under your control?

Technology will not replace the teacher. In fact, the presence of such powerful technology makes the role of the teacher even more critical. It becomes even more necessary to have the teachers guide students about constructive use of these tools, become their conscience keepers, help students stay safe online, guide students to gauge and critically analyse content before they accept anything as correct and accurate.

We are soon reaching a critical mass where education cannot be thought of without access to technology. If you are using a smartphone, if you are connected to the internet, if you are on WhatsApp, if you have a Facebook account, you are a technologically empowered teacher. You can bring about a transformation in your classroom. Your students will want to be in your class. They will ask each other, “What’s going to happen today?’’

 

About the Author

Author: Ananya Debroy Website: http://edtechreview.in

Ananya is currently working as the Content Manager at EdTechReview. She has a keen interest in Ed Tech and the ways in which it is strengthening the education sector as a whole. She is an avid reader and loves to meet relevant people & unleash new updates on various innovations in the EdTech world as it indirectly helps her pen down well-researched blogs on the niche. Follow her @AnanyaDebRoy

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