The Increasing Use of Apps in the Educations Sector: The Future Landscape

Arjun Rao, Managing Director, Isle of FortuneAn avid event management enthusiast, Arjun has been dedicatedly working in the sports and entertainment domains over the past 17 years

Mobile technology and its usage in Education is now a profitable industry today and has been rapidly seeping into every aspect of our daily lives. Be it home needs, shopping or entertainment, the upwardly mobile user is not limited for choice on where to go and what do, all within the confines of the mobile phone. Today, education is not far behind in technological growth and development. With game-based learning and the start of the artificial intelligence revolution, interactive learning will very soon take the forefront.

The challenge however in an emerging economic market like India is to take primary and secondary education to the remotest corners of the country thereby improving the level of higher education to whatever extent possible and to increase the number of students who are keen to learn. According to an UNESCO report in 2016, it is estimated that more than 47 million youth drop out of school by the 10th grade in India. This gap widens further in the university level. Disappointing as it is, this is what makes this sector such an impressive business opportunity.

With newer technology being introduced in classrooms as well as in take-home assignments, teachers need be educated to use new age devices and applications like mobile apps, that not just automate, but communicate, interact and update. Parents are no longer just aware of their child’s growth but can also have a platform to interact with their child’s teacher to discuss and plan their child’s long term development in a more efficient and faster manner.

The most basic question to ask is ‘what changes are we looking in the face when we adopt a ‘Learning through Mobile App’ environment?’:

1. Range: The opportunities are endless, from learning a new language to learning a new skill, a student has endless options to explore from, locally, domestically or internationally.

2. Ease of Access: Students now have information and content available at their fingertips not just on the go, but also making it available anytime of the day.

3. Breaking Boundaries: Students can choose what they wish to learn, a refreshing change from the current rigid curriculum system, giving creativity and freedom to choose free reign.

4. A Common Platform Between Students, Teachers & Parents: Various apps today help evaluate, assess and nurture with everyone involved and aware of each and every development. It also provides a method to analyse a curriculums’ effectiveness and impact.

5. Engage: Content in the form of audio-visuals and games help students retain science concepts better than textbooks.

With all that is happening around us, the new technologies, new developments, practically on a daily basis, the saying ‘THE FUTURE IS NOW!’ is especially relevant.

The IDEA of E-learning is set to make a deep impression on the Indian economy as the conventional brick and mortar schooling system won’t be able to scale up to cope with growing demand. As more and more vocation based training comes to the fore, the entire eco-system of education in India will need to recognise a process that identifies specific skills and talent from students and then put a system in place to accurately assess what that individual is capable of delivering. By matching the two, we put a progressive, sustainable and measurable system in place. With the mobile phone in everyone’s hand, this becomes all the more easier.

As more and more vocation based training comes to the fore, the entire eco-system of education in India will need to recognise a process that identifies specific skills and talent from students

As a result of the last few years of furious development in the ‘Edutech’ space, we are at a very interesting juncture :

1. Increasing Number of Online Education Websites: As more and more students are going online in search of new study materials and better ways to teach themselves, many websites have been curating and developing content for students.

2. Hybrid Education Models: Students are now exposed to a more flexible open curriculum, tailor made to each student’s skill and mind set.

3. Up-gradation of Skill & Knowledge: With more content being available each day to any student, they are definitely better placed to achieve all round development as compared to what a student would have managed 10 years ago.

4. More Emphasis on Analysis & Ideation in Education: Creativity and the atmosphere to learn brings out the best in any student. It helps in better retention, better extra-curricular activity involvement and overall mental and physical growth.

Going forward, I have no doubt that we will see some very dynamic improvements in the mobile application world, especially from an education perspective.

1. Mobile Learning Apps: As more investments comes into ‘Edutech’ along with prominent names making global announcements to improve the current scenario, mobile learning apps are sure to make a big mark on the current estimated USD 1 billion industry.

2. Game-based Learning: Gamification and creation of “Edutainment” in study materials and knowledge content has seensome success over the past few years.

3. Artificial Intelligence & Machine based Learning: Big data and learning has been the newfound love for many ‘Edutech’ developers. Using big data to understand each student’s learning curve to provide each student a specialized learning experience is definitely the way forward.

4. Small-curated Learning: Personalised teaching experiences and analysis of each student over a large period of time will help create success stories across all walks of life.

The Mobile industry’s role in education is set to explode, With more and more people realising the value of education and the need for a more flexible learning system. With the help of mobile technology, access problems are removed as hardware technology races to keep pace with rapid service side developments, thus creating an eco-system that is filled with unique ideas, great learning opportunities and keeping things interesting and fun – the stuff that all students want.