Ed-tech companies became a bridge to in providing access to classes, assignments, e-learning among various other benefits for students.
Picture credits: Indiatoday.in
The year 2020 is coming to an end, fore most part of the year many of us stayed locked inside our houses and tried avoiding social gatherings as much as possible. Educational Institutions and offices all were forced to close down. While the work culture quickly translated from regular office to WFH- work from home. It became difficult for students around the world to resume their studies in an online mode. The debate of digital divide surfaced, remind everyone of the cruel reality that access to basic technology such as smartphone and affordable internet connection still remains a dream for many Indians. This divide not only sharpens the divide between have and have-nots but also inhibits accessing the fundamental right to receive education.
Apart from the debate of accessing education and attending virtual classes, 2020 also saw the rise of online educational platforms. Ed-tech companies became a bridge to in providing access to classes, assignments, e-learning among various other benefits for students. Some major ed-tech companies running the show business are:
- Khan Academy
Not only have these platforms created a new market for companies to invest in providing remote learning, but have also opened a plethora of job opportunities, especially at a time when companies were downsizing and people were being forced to quit. According to an article published in Indian Express, “there are more than 250 million school-going students; there is a huge demand-supply gap in the education sector with an estimated additional requirement of 200,000 schools, 35,000 colleges, 700 universities and 40 million seats in vocational training centres”. If the barriers in accessing and affording internet decrease, ed-tech companies can fill such gaps and provide education especially in unprecedented times like these.
For more students to enroll and take advantage of online-learning there needs to be a heavy investment done in technology. These platforms would not replace the traditional model of learning; rather they would reduce the pressure from the classroom teaching that has to happen within the four walls. While the online-education has its own limitations such as barriers in reaching to rural areas, the subject and curriculum being in English and the over-all ease of accessing such technology by students and parents. These barriers can be erased starting from providing everyone affordable internet and smartphones and then on-rolling digital literacy for not only students, but parents and youth.
It is December and we are still navigating our lives in this pandemic, here are some online applications that students can use if they have a smartphone and stead internet connection.
- Khan Academy
- Google Classroom
The views expressed are the author’s and do not reflect the views of DEF.
Anoushka Jha is Research and Advocacy Officer at Digital Empowerment Foundation. When she is not analysing the various intersections between society and the technology, she enjoys sleeping and playing with her house cat.
Mukul,P & Singh, S. (2020). Education tech firms corner almost all $100 mn bracket funds post Covid. The Indian Express. Retrieved from https://indianexpress.com/article/business/companies/education-tech-firms-corner-almost-all-100-mn-bracket-funds-post-covid-6782442/