With overall Internet penetration in India currently around 31%, an ever-increasing number of internet users the digital learning business in India has gained a lot of momentum. Digital learning is the type of learning facilitated by technology and instructional learning based on technology. This type of learning involves various strategies like adaptive learning, badging and gamification, blended learning, classroom technologies, e-textbooks, mobile learning, online learning (or e-learning), open educational resources (OERs) and others. The companies providing digital education have various platforms for offering their services from ‘EDUCOMP SmartClass/School’ to ‘MOOC’.
The basics of digital learning start with the publishing of e-books by various publishing houses for the students. And also the PDF versions are available to download easily all over the internet so that students don’t have to spend a lot of money buying the book of which they just have to read a chapter or a topic. NCERT also gives free access to all its books in an app. Then come, the new generation of parents, who have a lot of exposure to the internet and the means to readily access various pre-schooling apps and websites for their kids to have a learning mindset at an early age. A lot of toys that are made in plastic and are quite bulky like identifying shapes (and placing them) and colouring books can now be easily accessed on iPads and tablets. NEST education is one of the latest endeavours in pre-school education; it has come up with its own smart pre-schools where teachers teach with smart tablets.
Not only do applications and websites for students exist but also they are making life easier for teachers and educators as well. Websites for documentation, essay topic, smart classrooms, etc. This brings us to the next phase, the schooling phase, here, EDUCOMP an education consultant is credited as the pioneer in bringing the e-learning platform to the traditional brick and mortar schools’ classrooms. Over the last two decades, it has been the front bearer of bringing the paper to pixel revolution in India by empowering over 30 million learners and educators across 65,000 schools. This may seem small compared to 13 lakh schools imparting elementary education in India. Analogous to EDUCOMP we also have Class TeacherLearning Systems (by classteacher.com) are providing interactive classroom technology in India, offering digital classrooms solutions to over 1500 schools, 2 million students and 75,000 educators all across India. To overcome this skewed nature of the smart schools to normal school ratio various replacement of conventional tuition classes are also being replaced by websites like meritnatio.com, byjus.com, etc. All these websites are designed to keep Indian students and their requirements of the school as well as college-level competitive exam coaching in mind.
If you are a college student fear not, this ever-expanding education industry also has solutions for you to get better grades and learn your hobbies. Websites that enable this are MOOC, study.com, udemy.com and discoverahobby.com which provide video lectures and assignments. Digital learning not only encompasses various spheres of a student’s life but has also constantly helped present and future employees as well as employers in gaining knowledge out of the education system and akin to latest and current developments. Not only there are websites based on education but also for wellness and productivity (healthifyme.com) and applications for meditation and rejuvenation so that the studies/work doesn’t take a toll on your mental and in turn physical health.
Yet there is a long way to tread before realizing the actual potential of Digital Education in India. Some of the prominent hurdles are Digital Literacy & Infrastructure. The majority of the Indian population still does not have the required internet bandwidth and many are illiterate in digital terminologies and devices.
According to elearningindustry.com almost 85% of the Indian population does not speak or write English. The creation of a Hindi (other supported local languages) digital education gateways to tap the suburban or rural market potential can prove to be a key element to penetrate deeper. Also, affordable internet access, data-enabled devices and appropriate internet plans can play a significant role in tapping the market. Less than predicted results are achieved through ventures like e-chaupals because of audience ignorance of the technology. Government of India initiatives like NOFN (National Optical Fiber Network) connecting 5 lac villages via broadband till 2017, 25 cities by Wi-Fi by the end of 2015, was a significant step in this direction.