December 7, 2019

How e-learning is transforming our education system with a tech-driven approach

Technology has today become an integral part of our daily life. It assists us in everything – from shopping, banking, and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven portfolio management to learning a new language via an easy-to-use smartphone application. The merits that technology has been transferring to us are simply innumerable. But how effective can it really be in the field of education?

Why e-learning is the next logical step?

Innovation in science and technology has transformed the very fabric of our society. However, what remains unchanged has been our education system and how a student’s academic needs are met within a classroom. Every classroom consists of students who have different levels of maturity in thinking and learning styles and hence, different pedagogical needs. For example, a student could perform well in theoretical topics, though he or she might not be as good in numerical problems, and vice versa.

Further, few students need special attention so that they are able to perform optimally consistent with their individual capabilities. This is where the primary challenge lies. Understanding and addressing everyone’s needs is simply not feasible in a typical classroom. Moreover, with the broader picture in view, Indian metropolitan cities generally have good teachers in terms of quality compared to their counterparts in smaller towns. This creates an uneven playing field in the quality of education among different regions in the country.

Simply put, due to the unavailability of resources, even the best-performing student from a smaller city or a village might perform mediocre in urban region. These are some of the challenges experienced by our education system today. Luckily, the advent of edtech sector or e-learning industry is helping address these challenges. The edtech sector is growing with a CAGR of 20 percent at present (or about three-times our GDP growth rate) and is estimated to reach a market size of $1.96 billion by 2021. The paid subscribers in India, which were 1.6 million back in 2016, are projected to become 9.6 million by 2021, which is a six-fold increase.

However, according to the State of Online Video report, one of the main challenges here is video re-buffering, which turns out to be the most unsatisfying element of online video viewing. It was observed in the global study that two-third of the viewers stop watching a video if it buffers for the second time.

Students, who are relatively more attention deficient, cannot be expected to stick to even a gamified and engaging content if it is not seamlessly delivered. This area is addressed with the CDN-based content dissemination.

CDN players – through an array of Information and Communications Technologies – identify the device that an end-user is using, the local environment of the device, the content format supported, prevailing network condition, and a number of other factors that affect the content delivery. It then sources the content via the closest data centre to the end-user through a private internet infrastructure (comprising optical cable) to ensure that such buffers do not happen. And by doing so, it ensures that the viewers – in this case students – do not experience a similar challenge.

Technology, no doubt, is making waves in traditional industries. It is making our education – and with it – our education system – more futuristic, engaging, and effective than it has ever been before.