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Educational institutions are moving from traditional teaching methods to personalized, adaptive, and digital learning solutions.
The education industry is witnessing large-scale disruptions and digitalization as institutions adopt online learning platforms and move to cloud-based solutions. These radical changes, aimed at improving the student experience and learning outcomes, are expected to attract potential investments to the tune of $10 trillion in the next ten years. The COVID-19 pandemic has served as one of the biggest disruptors as well as accelerators in this regard. Online learning has become feasible, more accessible, attractive, and effective. We discuss what institutions must do to reimagine the learning value chain, transform their operations, and renew their teaching models in order to create a talent pool for the future.
THE RISE OF Technology trends in education
In edutech, lies the future of education.
Traditionally, across developed and emerging markets, institutions have underinvested in education technology, or edutech, for various reasons. One was the belief that one must ‘go to school’ to learn. Factors such as the lack of an enabling policy environment, inadequate government funding or budget constraints, and parental and educator inertia have also played their part. The global edutech spending worldwide is expected to rise significantly in the next couple of years.
This indicates massive blue ocean opportunities for digitalization of the education space. The pandemic has catalyzed this demand, especially in the emerging markets with significant unmet potential. Global premier institutes are observing increased enrolments for new industry-specific courses. It is also expected that a huge section of the learning in and outside classrooms will be digitized, increasing the market size for digital learning solutions manifold in the coming years. Industry and service providers hope that the large increase in tech spending will lower the barriers to entry, sharply reducing the cost to students and yielding better learning outcomes.
REDUCED ENROLMENT AND FUNDING AFFECT REVENUES
The financial health of an educational institution has a direct bearing on its investment in next-gen technology trends.
The student enrolments are expected to fall, especially for international enrolments; a potentially large drop in student enrolments is expected in the short term. This trend has been visible for some time, especially as higher education has become more expensive. Students, therefore, prefer online courses as they are not only economically reasonable but also offer a quicker way to secure degrees and, consequently, employment.
Higher education institutions are worried about how to attract, retain, and engage students in the face of falling enrolment, reduced education funding, and the shift to digitalization. With international students making up 20%-30% of enrolments in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, universities expect 4%-10% of decline in enrolment in the next couple of years, according to the Citi report.
Even government funding is getting hard to come by as economies across the globe are faced with varied challenges. With economic volatility reducing affordability of good education, matching learning to job readiness has become increasingly important for students. During the pandemic, 70% of the students in 13 countries said they had considerably fallen behind on their studies, according to a 2020 Canvas and Hanover Research report on the state of student success and engagement, for various reasons, including affordability and lack of access, which includes cheap and uninterrupted internet connectivity. To engage such students, education needs to be more visual, interactive, immersive, and affordable.
Apart from the quality of faculty, engaging content and its delivery and assessment will hugely influence student outcomes. Creating meaningful, interactive experiences between the faculty and students, and among students, will ensure continued learning. It is here that emerging technology trends play the most important role in education. Digital fluency equips learners with tremendous potential for collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Against the backdrop of this seismic environmental shift in education, how can learning providers, as well as learners, use these challenges as an opportunity to evolve and thrive? How can technology be better incorporated into the pedagogy to help institutions and content providers adopt and create digital learning solutions that are resilient and innovative?