According to a study by KPMG in India and Google in May 2017, Internet and smartphone penetration in India has been growing exponentially, with the number of internet and smartphone users expected to rise to 735 million and 470 million, respectively, by 2021.
The rapidly increasing access to technology has transformed the framework of education, especially in the last decade.
As such, technology is the biggest factor impacting Indian education now, with digital content and classrooms, online assessments and cloud-based platforms augmenting the academic and administrative processes of the K-12 sector.
The dynamic nature of technology development entails drastic changes in the modes of instruction, assessment systems, and even the physical makeup of the classrooms in short intervals of time.
Education becomes a more creative process with innovation in all these areas and evolves to cater to the changing requirements of future citizen and society.
The education landscape of India is changing year by year, but some of the current trends are speculated to continue their impact in the coming years owing to further developments in these fields.
According to Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO at Next Education, India's only end-to-end education solutions provider, integration of technology in education will continue at a fast pace throughout the country, promoted by the formulation of government policies such as the one against overweight school bags.
These moves have facilitated the popularity of new-age pedagogies, empowering students with self-learning abilities through e-learning tools, as well as the adoption of experiential learning solutions for a holistic learning experience.
Experiential learning techniques, the use of artificial intelligence in education, and personalised
learning techniques are some of the major edtech trends which will continue to revolutionise the Indian education system in 2019 as well.
Experiential learning techniques
Experiential learning is a method of learning by doing in which learners engage in direct experiences that connect with an area that they intend to develop.
Learners are actively involved in defining problems, asking questions, experimenting, analysing results and constructing meaning.
It blends conceptual learning, hands-on activities, strategic planning, collaborative efforts and self-evaluative measures to foster all-around competence.
Experiential learning is being implemented in India in the form of virtual labs, social media platforms, virtual and augmented reality tools, and gamification of learning.
Virtual and augmented reality helps in creating an immersive, real-life experience in classroom learning via graphical simulations.
Gamification of learning is an effective pedagogy which maximises student motivation and engagement by integrating game elements in learning environments.
Virtual labs are interactive environments for creating and conducting simulated experiments based on real-world phenomena so that students can interact with an experimental apparatus or other activity via a computer interface.
This eliminates the problem of accessibility as well as the lack of physical infrastructures for lab-based learning, especially in science subjects.
Social media can be used as a platform for developing 21st-century skills such as communication, collaboration, and creativity.
Artificial intelligence and personalised learning
Artificial intelligence is the ability of computers to mimic human cognitive functions such as learning and analysing.
AI has made considerable inroads in various fields of academia across the world, such as administration, learning, tutoring, grading, and assessments, and India, as one of the leading developing nations, is no exception.
By coupling it with data analytics, it has been possible to create adaptive learning technology, a tech-mediated way of providing every learner personalised courses based on their ability and performance.
While such technology does not aim to replace teachers, it facilitates students in managing their own learning.
One of the key challenges faced in the education sector in India is that the assessments are not streamlined across institutions. Leading experts often question whether we are truly measuring the relevant competencies of a student.
This is especially important for teachers, as they need to be aware of their students' academic interests and abilities. In order to meet this challenge, computerised adaptive tests are the best solution.
Another challenge is the 'one-size-fits-all' method of teaching because no two students learn the same way; their learning pace and style vary.
Personalised learning based on human resources is difficult to achieve in India with its high pupil-teacher ratio and lack of adequate financial resources. AI-based learning solutions can solve this problem and personalise education in India successfully.
How Next Education is helping usher in new Edtech trends
Next Education offers experiential learning with its NextLab solutions for English, Maths, Science and Robotics. It has also launched adaptive assessments for CBSE Maths and Science, and are working on similar assessments for other subjects and boards.
Apart from these, its award-winning in-house content, consisting of digital books and HD animated videos available on LearnNext and TeachNext@Home solutions, allows students to independently bridge the gaps in their learning.
In addition, the online Q&A forum for doubt clarification, practice papers and solved NCERT papers for more practice, IIT foundation courses for future attempts in medical or engineering exams and Science resource kits help provide an all-around learning opportunity to learners.