Ed-tech is short for education technology. Some people have the notion that ed-tech start-ups are disruptive. But the truth is that there are more than 3500 education technology-based start-ups that are trying to be of service to the Indian population. By 2019, they have raised more than $700 million in funding. However, 75% of these funds have gone only to the top three start-ups.
What is Ed-Tech?
Ed-tech or education technology is the application of technology in the field of education. It merely requires a device that lets the user connect and surf the web. The internet holds data in the form of audio-visual files that the user can access from anywhere in the world.
Now, there need to be data centres that will hold, sort this data in a way that provides value and convenience to learners. This is where Ed-tech companies like Vedantu.com come into play. They make and manage data centres that store vast amounts of educational information and prepare optimised courses according to different subjects like physics, chemistry, literature etc. and offer them to the users in exchange for money.
The users then visit the particular web address of the online education institution/company of their choice, subscribe for the course they want to take up and begin learning at the comfort of their home or wherever they choose to be. A significant advantage of ed-tech is the sheer level of convenience that it offers to the students.
Importance of ed-tech in India
The fact that these start-ups are not disruptive does not reduce their importance in any way. On the contrary, they are what this country desperately needs to emerge as a global power in today’s global economic scenario.
Education is the key to better living and higher thinking. It is the stairway that moves the individuals towards a happier and more prosperous life.
There are a lot of reasons why the country needs education technology to be more successful and widely used. Some of them are listed below:
- Accessibility- There are more than 600,000 villages in India, most of which do not have proper access to quality educational institutions. That is creating a critical gap between the people living in villages and cities. Even the students in suburban areas have to travel to the cities just get to their college or school. It causes a lot of wastage of time and energy for the individuals in question. Ed-tech, if properly utilised, will allow seamless bridging of this glaring example of unequal distribution of monetary resources. NCERT books have already been made widely available on these web addresses.
- Convenience- The level of ease that it provides to its users could never even be imagined before the inception of the World Wide Web. In the Indian context, connectivity to fast internet has been a luxury commodity only accessible by the wealthy minority right up until the 4G boom.
In 2017, certain circumstances led to a drastic reduction in the cost of 4G internet connectivity. It was a time when smartphones were already popular, and network towers had already been put up in many remote places of the nation. 4G enabled devices coupled with cheap internet, virtually removed the barrier of distance between the cities and villages.
At a time like this, someone had to do the needful and change the way Indians viewed tech ‘a time waste’. Enter ed-tech that allows you to learn about anything from virtually anywhere in the world.
- Unlimited resources- It lets you attend classes that may be live or pre-recorded. Imagine you sitting in a remote village in West Bengal listening to a lecture by an MIT or Harvard professor. For kids, interactive lessons that tweak a child’s curiosity, continually engaging and encouraging them to learn is almost a rare sight to behold. It can only be expected from a handful of private schools, but the majority of subsidised Government schooling institutions deliver sub-optimal quality services. The possibilities are virtually limitless with ed-tech.
Vedantu is an online educational institution that provides its users with online lectures and PDF study materials that you can access from anywhere in the world through the internet. They have video lectures by professors and teachers from top institutions of the country.
- Overall Development- Proper disbursement of valuable knowledge is not just limited to an individual. One educated person in a village can educate a thousand more. Those thousands can work in unison, leveraging their new found knowledge for creating better value for people around them, substantially raising the economic and ideological standards of the village and this country. If educational information is the fruit of humankind’s endless endeavour into the unknown, it should be shared among all who seek to be better and healthier versions of themselves.
- Mass education– A school or college can only teach a very limited number of students at a time, thus making it extremely competitive for students who want in. With ed-tech, millions of students can be educated together within a particular time frame. There are NCERT solutions with proper explanations that are accessible to anyone with a hunger for knowledge.
Even though possibilities are endless with ed-tech, it needs to be complemented by acceptance and trust of masses. Without it, the true potential of education technology cannot be tapped into or taken advantage of.