EdTech driven by internet and next generation technologies like AI, Big Data and Cloud Computing will revolutionize learning and education in Asia and equalize quality education in developing countries in Asia by closing the gaps in rural-urban, rich and poor, creating an inclusive society. Though elite schools and prestigious higher education institutes in Asia such as National University of Singapore, Peking University and Tsinghua University in China, Indian Institutes Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) rank among the best, these countries face enormous challenges to provide best in class education to all segments. Digital education can help in reducing disparities in education by empowering learners, engaging students and providing equitable access to future proof education.
According to World Economic Forum, Davos, the 10 skills demanded by the Digital Economy are shown in Figure 1. These skills are deemed necessary for a workplace 2020. EdTech applications enable personalize tutoring and project based learning by engaging students through Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Co-learning. 10 skills that are required by next generation enterprises can be imparted by leveraging technology.
Figure 1: Top 10 skills demanded by the Digital Economy in 2020
EdTech can redesign traditional pedagogical approaches to equip learners with knowledge and skills that are demanded by digital future.Some of the characteristics of EdTech are given below.
- EdTech is not replacing the role of teacher. It complements class room teaching.
- Tailoring education to suit the individual learner or mass customization in accordance with the student’s ability to learn, preferences is relatively new in terms of mass adoption and proliferation. AI and Big Data help the tutors to personalize the Tutor 2 Student interactions (quizzes, tests, games/simulation etc.).
- Use collaborative tools to provide real world class room experience by engaging virtually with peers, industry experts and tutors globally.Technology also bring more interactivity.
- AI plays an important role in EdTech platforms now, probably rank after Health and Ride Hailing platforms.
- Educational Platforms facilitate connections between tutor and learner, creating network effect as illustrated in Figure 2.
With the proliferation of 4G, 5G Mobile Technology and Smart Phones, Urban Rural inequality in education can be narrowed down by reaching wider geographic area.
Rural learners can have access to EdTech applications that are targeted for different segments like students, teachers, trade specialists and lifelong learners.
Internet Plus Asia will showcase start-ups under four different categories as depicted in Figure 4.
Figure 9: Asian Start-Ups – Aggregators and SAAS