With threats of the new variant of Covid-19, Omicron looming over one after the other states are closing schools and educational institutes many colleges had not even reopened for almost two years. While the classes are continuing online, in the New Year, it is time that the ed-tech sector gets redefined. Not only is there need to make online classes more engaging with human connections by using gamification, virtual reality but also to ensure it is more accessible.
“It’s much evident that educational technology trends are completely transforming the educational sector immensely. With the onset of a new strain of highly-muted coronavirus, Omicron, it looks like the first few months of 2022 would follow the new normal," says Dr Sanjay Goel, Director, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur.
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, multimedia, virtual reality, and augmented reality will continue to play a pivotal role in education. Students have been able to connect virtually with one another and continue their studies amid the pandemic due to tech. The overall global educational technology market is expected to exceed USD 240 Billion by 2026, says Goel.
Methods to be reinvented in education industry
Dr Silpi Sahoo, Chairperson, SAI International Education Group believes that a virtual learning experience with enhanced physical reality is the future of education in the coming years. “Online learning will be more real with the help of metaverse which involves the concept of Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR & VR). The year 2021 had large format virtual, almost real-life like platforms for hosting school events, with the coming of metaverse the events, the online classroom will look more real than ever," adds she.
Since the arrival of online education, some interesting trends have emerged such as personalised and pace learning, e-assessment, and usage of deep technology, improving lesson retention, and reducing assessment bias. Educators will use application-based assessment strategies to assess critical thinking, says Prashant Jain, CEO, Oswaal Books.
Gamification would be one of the new trends in education that will dominate in 2022, says Goel. “Gamifying lessons come in handy in getting students engaged and deriving maximum interest and excitement towards learning. Even the usage of videos for online training (or video-based learning) will get a new momentum this year," said Goel.
Sahoo also says blockchain will be the ‘it’ thing in education for data security. The use of blockchain in education is still in its nascent stage but the future seems to come closer to using blockchain as a tool for data security. “It will help streamline the tedious process of verification, transfer records, employee records, students’ unique credentials; making the processes easier and error-free," she says.
Ensuring education reaches every corner
Dr Sahoo says that in 2021, education could not reach the very remote locations of India due to the lack of basic infrastructure facilities such as electricity and internet availability. “It got us thinking to redesign the future so that not a single child is left behind. The year 2022 needs to get to the homes of the remotest location of India not just on paper but physically too so that education does not just remain as basic but more employable," says Sahoo.
By reaching every nook and corner of the country with better infrastructure and technology integration can students be made more employable, she adds. 2022 will put more emphasis on the policy that gives additional impetus to vocational education by introducing vocational subjects and training at school levels.