Why Are Edtech Companies Under Government Scanner?
Edtech refers to the industry of companies that create educational technology. Computer technology, software, and educational philosophy are employed to enhance, engage, and individualise classroom learning.
The potential scalability for individualised learning can be blamed for edtech’s expansion. No matter where the learner is, digital classrooms can be created thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Teachers use blockchain tools to help grade exams and hold pupils accountable for their work. Edtech tools are fundamentally altering what classrooms were like in the past.
The desire to continue learning under strict lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the enormous expansion of the Edtech sector over the past two years. Edtech serves many functions in the sphere of education.
Using IT resources in the classroom to create a more interactive, inclusive, and personalised learning environment is known as “edtech.”
Tablets, interactive online courses, and even robots that can take notes and record lectures for ill students have replaced the bulky desktop PCs that were previously the standard in today’s classrooms.
The proliferation of edtech tools is altering classrooms in many ways. IoT devices are being praised for creating digital classrooms for students, whether they are physically in school, on the bus, or at home. Even machine learning and blockchain tools are helping teachers with grading tests and holding students accountable for homework. Edtech robots are making it simple for students to stay engaged through fun forms of learning.
The possibility of scalable, personalised learning has been a major factor in edtech’s growth. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to studying, connecting with peers and professors, or feeling about the same subjects in general. Everybody picks up information at their own rate and in their own way. No of the age or level of learning, edtech solutions make it simpler for teachers to develop personalised lesson plans and learning experiences that promote inclusion and improve the learning skills of all students.
It appears that technology in the classroom is here to stay; according to 92 per cent of teachers, technology will soon have a significant impact on how they teach. It’s crucial to comprehend the advantages of edtech in terms of improved communication, teamwork, and overall educational quality.
Advantages of Edtech
It would be impossible to fully catalogue all of the advantages that instructional technology has for students. The following benefits were generally observed by educational institutions that have used or experimented with Edtech:
Automation: Fully Automatic
To avoid human error in accounting, registration, hiring, and other departments in educational foundations, edtech applications are automated. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can be used for various tasks, including categorising student information, calculating staff wages, tracking cars, keeping track of teacher and student attendance, and even creating fee receipts.
Enhance Creativity & Visualization
When taught via images, movies, and animations, theoretical subjects like music, science, and arithmetic are easier for students to understand. It is preferable to teach subjects through visual art than through textbooks. With the use of Edtech technologies, students may effectively use the internet and go online to create presentations, take exams and assignments, learn using a learning management system (LMS), and engage in more creative activities.
A common and advantageous method for educational institutions to save money is to become paperless. Teachers can teach more effectively and save time by using technological tools like the internet, ERP software, and mobile applications. They can also print important articles and documents (like schedules, academic curricula, report cards, etc.) onto smart devices in electronic formats, which reduces the need for paper.
By putting LMS and Auto Grading close at hand with the aid of computers, software programming, and smart devices, edtech enhances classroom benefits and cultivates open doors for better teaching and learning in classrooms and at home. With the aid of the Internet, this study technology motivates students and assists them in structuring and making plans for effective learning even at home.
It takes a long time to grade exams, papers, and assignments and post grades. Automatisation, self-assessment, peer evaluation, and, sooner rather than later, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning for test review are all made possible by using Edtech ERP Grading Software.
Improve Student-Teacher Collaboration
Educators can use a well-designed LMS and ERP programme to improve contact with students by helping them with in-class and at-home activities without physically being there. With the use of successful digital e-learning, advanced tools can keep students engaged while also guiding and supporting them when necessary.
Disadvantages of Edtech
- The disadvantages of edtech are hardly noticeable. It has a small number of measurable drawbacks but primarily just advantages.
- Software development errors frequently cause technical issues with edtech applications.
- The programme can only be used by those who regularly use cell phones or laptops.
- The software’s extensive modules and features make it challenging for consumers to operate the application.
- One major drawback is that consumers find accessing programmes without an internet connection challenging.
- The possibility of data processing errors could be troublesome. Still, all these negatives can be avoided by selecting the best, most appropriate software that is also the most cost-effective for the firm.
List of some top edtech companies in India
Aiming to make studying enjoyable through interactions and 3D learning classes, Byju’s is the greatest EdTech company that offers tailored learning programmes. This will help the students’ test scores. You may improve your abilities and study from India’s best teachers at Byju’s. They gained this advantage by redesigning their curriculum to accommodate students who study at home and by making their app user-friendly for pupils. Despite beginning with middle school science and math tutorials, they have since extended to include additional target groups.
In partnership with Disney, they have launched Byju’s Early preschool classes, and in partnership with Aakash Institute, they have launched customised JEE and NEET preparation materials. They also offer IAS preparation courses. Due to this, they now hold the #1 place among Indian EdTech companies.
An online higher education provider, upGrad Education Pvt. Ltd., enables college students, job seekers, and working professionals to attain their full potential by offering programmes in the fields of data, technology, and management. Top universities collaborated on creating these programmes, including IIIT-B, BITS Pilani, MICA, Cambridge Judge Business School, and many others.
A full ecosystem that includes, but is not limited to, one-on-one mentorship, peer-to-peer learning, industry networking, and professional career assistance has been developed to improve the learning experience further. This guarantees a comprehensive strategy for maximising the benefits of the services provided.
In the area of online tutoring, Vedantu is India’s top Edtech startup. Students in grades 6 through 12 can receive individualised coaching from highly qualified teachers. Two-way audio, video, and white-boarding technology are used in Vedantu’s effective, personalised teaching approaches to improve learning results through actual student-teacher interactions. The Bengaluru-based edtech startup provides services to students for both co-curricular courses and competitive exams.
In contrast to classroom instruction and recorded video lectures, the cooperative sessions keep the students’ attention in line with the tempo of the lecture. Vedantu provides video conferences that can accommodate even slow internet connections. Vedantu seems to be the best online educational service provider in the K–12 market because of its potent learning management tools and all-encompassing teaching methodology.
Through its instructional lectures and videos, Unacademy is an online learning platform that supports teaching and learning. Using YouTube video streaming was first developed in 2010 but wasn’t officially launched until 2015.
The company has greatly developed since its inception, with over 10,000 educators and over 13 million users. Unacademy’s CTO and co-founder, Hemesh Singh, proudly declared that there are already over 750,000 active premium members. Its active customers have topped 800K as of April 28, 2022, according to Gaurav Munjal once more.
Unacademy is the largest distributor of educational content thanks to its numerous platforms, including Unacademy Plus and other companies’ products like Chamomile Tea with Toppers, Wifistudy, The Solutionists, Unacademy JEE, and Unacademy Studios, with which it receives close to 110 Million views each month. Since the learning software works with Android, iOS, and Windows, anyone may readily access it.
Why Is Edtech Under Government Scanner?
The concerns of aggressive course misselling by Edtech firms, including Byju’s, Vedantu, UpGrad, Unacademy, Great Learning, WhiteHat Jr., and a few other edtech startups, have been treated extremely seriously by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
The education industry was identified as the most flagrant violation of the advertising code between April 2021 and March 2022, according to the Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) annual complaint report. According to the ASCI, the Edtech industry accounted for approximately 33 per cent of all complaints it received during this time.
The fact that some Edtech businesses have recently come under consumer scrutiny for false advertising was further evidence that these concerns were not a recent trend. The dispute between Pradeep Poonia and WhiteHat Jr. in 2020–2021 is an example.
The UGC (University Grants Commission) has also brought attention to the Edtech industry by ordering higher education institutions to stop offering any degree or diploma programmes in collaboration with Edtech firms. The government warned Edtech companies that it would be compelled to enact strict regulations to stop unethical business practices and promote greater openness.
What steps should an Edtech Company take to comply with the Government?
The government has threatened harsh measures if the edtech industry does not self-regulate to achieve the objectives listed below:
- Curb misleading advertisements.
- Upholding consumer interests across the system.
- Deal with blatant disregard for existing guidelines and regulations.
- Maintain robust checkpoints that align with consumer interest.
- Address the high cost of education through Edtech companies and make it more affordable.
Challenges Faced by Edtech Companies
Due to lockdowns that prevented face-to-face teaching methods from continuing, the Edtech sector experienced a boom in 2020. An industry that was highly conservative and traditional has benefited from its modernisation.
The possibilities and growth potential of edtech are endless. It does, however, provide some significant obstacles.
Survival in a highly competitive market
Due to the rapidly changing nature of technology, this industry is challenging and harsh. The sector must not only keep up with newer technology developments and ongoing improvements but also present a very distinctive value proposition to its subscribers.
To keep their value propositions current and distinctive over time, a new entrant needs a unique value proposition, and an established player needs to change consistently.
Building partnerships with a traditional industry
The biggest obstacle of them all is undoubtedly this one. To gain the respect of a long-established, conventional industry. Claims of adding value need to be validated with solid documentation.
Being relevant in an ever-changing world of technology
This entails remaining abreast of any technology development that affects this industry and integrating it into the current business plan. This is both time- and money-consuming. A really important evil instrument for survival.
An audience-grabbing market strategy
Making a product that is suitable for the market is the first stage. Then make contact with the intended audience. Of course, the product’s pricing is the most important factor. The final and most crucial step is acquiring and keeping consumers.
Managing fears about data collection and security
Even though the world has gone online, security and data collecting concerns remain very serious. Sometimes, these anxieties control how decisions are made and must be effectively dealt with.
It is important to effectively handle the communication gap that exists between the organisation and its target market. Understanding the target audience and their differences will help design the communication technology.
User activation and usage
The only way to keep the customer coming back year after year is to promote user interaction, pique their curiosity, and repeatedly emphasise the worth of the product. The software must be simple to use and simple to find. This necessitates regular consumer communication and ongoing software changes.
This is made possible by providing excellent customer service, supplying instructional material at several levels to address beginning, intermediate, and higher levels, and providing a personalised learning path to meet clients’ needs.
While schools were closed due to the pandemic, the Edtech sector experienced significant growth. Due to the sluggish economy and the approaching possibility of an economic disaster, there are also a limited number of financial choices.
All of this is resulting in several startup closures and significant industry-wide layoffs. The edtech sector is currently under government investigation and criticism. Currently, it appears that the USD 3 billion markets are having some difficulties.
Though it may undergo some adjustments, inevitably, it is here to stay given the size of the world and the opportunities that this area of education has created.
Article proofread & published by Gauri Malhotra.