We're celebrating our 20th birthday this month, and we've invited industry experts, researchers and scientists to write in and paint a vision of the future, 20 years from now. Here's what Ranjit Radhakrishnan, Chief Product Officer, BYJU’S had to share about his vision of the future.
However, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that truly disrupted this approach — upending every aspect of education as we knew it — and changed the functional aspect of learning. It put the spotlight on the promising way forward for learning and the different modes of delivering quality education.
The pandemic also spurred innovation in the education sector at a never-seen-before pace, and it is now perhaps safe to assume that digitised, tech-enabled education will be crucial in achieving better learning outcomes in the years to come.
With edtech platforms gaining uninhibited momentum in growth post-2020, the sector’s market size and potential continue to witness an upward swing. In fact, as per recent reports, India’s edtech industry is poised to surge to $30 billion in the next 10 years. With opportunities abound, and technology continuing to act as a catalyst for innovation in education, the next 20 years will truly define how the sector can democratise tech-enabled education, make it hyper-personalised, cost-effective, and immersive, among others. Two decades is akin to a lifetime in terms of constantly evolving technology and I feel global edtech platforms will rapidly innovate in these areas:
A one-size-fits-all model of education is passé. The coming 20 years will give edtech platforms the opportunity to meet evolving needs of learners across any and all requirements. Powered by data, Artificial Intelligence, and deep learning models, students will get access to specific support and guidance, optimised for their own individual needs, stage and style of learning and preferences. This will impact everything — students’ learning path, the type of content they are exposed to, the timing and the goal-setting. We can expect most content, experiences, and interventions to be super personalised that will further enrich learning potential and boost creativity. The combination of AI and human abilities will be key to achieving this level of personalisation and customisation to teaching methods catering to individuals needs.
Synchronous and asynchronous learning formats will co-exist
While there is no doubt that students enjoy having more agency over their schedule and learning pace, combining that with the discipline and the rigour of a live class is important. This outlook will only get stronger over time, with a preference for blended formats that adopt both synchronous and asynchronous learning styles. By mixing the two, we will be able to gain advantages for each while reducing the limitations. This blended format will help reduce the isolation of asynchronous learning, while the limited flexibility of synchronous learning can be mitigated by asynchronous elements. Such innovative content delivery using a combination of always-on, live visual techniques while allowing students to control their pace of learning will make learning more engaging, equitable, scalable and personalised.
Content will be immersive, interactive, collaborative
As technologies evolve, so will learning experiences. With the help of VR, AR and Computer Vision, students will be able to immerse themselves into experiential, visual and true-to-life simulations. These will be further enhanced by using layers of information and insights. Students and learners across the world will be able to collaborate in real-time to co-create and work on the same visual models and projects simultaneously. Such immersive content will be instrumental in the gamification of learning techniques by helping create content that is fun, exciting and collaborative. In the coming years, the role of the arts – be it music, dance, crafts, painting – will be more significant than ever in helping students develop flexibility, expressiveness and adaptability in life situations. Immersive content and delivery of these skills, driven through VR and AR, will also greatly benefit students.
Learning devices and IoT will be the ‘new normal’
With the evolution of software and content to drive learning outcomes, what will naturally evolve is the development of newer forms of learning devices. These devices will be designed for learning first and will serve as a companion for students as they go through their most transformational period. Schools and classrooms will also further adopt IoT and learning devices to help better understand how learning is being received by students and use those insights to make the right interventions or provide the right hyper-personalised guidance.
Globally, edtech companies have been innovating products and platforms continuously and yet, we have just skimmed the surface of what is possible. We started with videos, moved to adaptive learning, interactive and game-based learning and then to hands-on, experiential learning. There is still so much to learn, explore, build. The students of the future will be at the forefront of education, empowered to create their own learning journeys. This will be supplemented by harnessing technology into building products that keep customers at the centre of innovation.
In the next two decades, what we can do with online learning is beyond just access and reach, but build powerful systems that possess the best omnipresent learning models and content to enable lifelong learning.
By- Ranjit Radhakrishnan, Chief Product Officer, BYJU’S
To read what other industry leaders and experts have to say about the future in their respective fields, visit our 20th Anniversary Microsite.