Traditional education has failed to metamorphose in order to be relevant for today’s rapidly changing requirements. The rate of advancement of technologies and resulting opportunities is much too rapid for traditional programs and curriculum to keep up. India is already the second largest market for eLearning after the United States. The sector is expected to reach $1.29 billion by 2018, growing at over 17% CAGR.
The major growth driver has been the government funded projects for literacy & skill development in the rural parts of the country. Some major Initiatives taken up by the incumbent government includes the likes of “Skill Development” and “RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan)” projects, which have been the centre stage of this growth path. The trend of those government initiatives can be seen in the budget allocation by various states and centre.
There are a number of companies that have been extremely responsive to the challenges and are working to develop a remedial solution around it. The challenges faced are of the following types:
Leased line internet connections and corresponding digital classroom setups are still not available in abundance. The trend is growing and a lot of awareness is building around the need for infrastructure. The solutions are capable of connecting even on basic data card connections which most other solutions don’t support. This has helped in connecting rural villages with the Institutions of higher learning based in major cities.
With the constant upgradation of technology, the biggest challenge is to be adaptive to the change and having a strong solution which can take those technological changes to the learners in the most basic form. Obsolescence-free technology is the key to realizing this outcome. One of these includes webRTC platforms to make the video enabled learning offerings ubiquitous and to enable their online courses to keep pace with the latest technology.
Learning institutions have different ways of imparting knowledge. There are a lot of other platforms like MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) which hints towards having an online web based access to the students for providing them with a self-paced Learning platform. The challenge which arises is from the content perspective. A number of times it so happens that the content and technology do not support each other, that is where companies like PeopleLink play a major role by providing a user friendly CMS and a universal standard based Course curriculum, like being SCORM Complied.
Political Factors (Policy-related):
Policy-related dependency is generally beyond ones control. But interestingly over the last 2.5 years it has been significantly predominant and majority of the countries are supporting its development and acceptance. India too has very strong government projects and policies which are making efforts to optimise the e-learning scenario in the country. Government’s Digital India Vision along with RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) which runs projects of automating the institutions of higher learning; thus making videoconferencing a part of their drives.
The benefits offered are umpteen, and include the following:
- Mobility – Learners are looking out for ubiquitous collaboration. Retraining the technology to a specific technology-enabled room is not the solution. Video-enabled LMS has taken a huge leap in providing mobility in learning. BYOD has been made a reality in terms of extending the learning to remote locations with the existing Infrastructure resources.
- Bandwidth – There are still a lot of territories in India wherein the bandwidth is a constraint. Unavailability of fixed lines has created a wide gap in the visual collaboration. Verticals like rural education were, for a long time, deprived of gaining the collaboration. Having their distant education courses become a reality and attracting students from distant geographies is something which every institution needs. With a bandwidth conserving solution, the reach and availability for remote students has been enhanced several folds.
- WebRTC – It is the way forward for the video industry. This is expected to play a pivotal role in the field of collaboration in future. All the major browsers are getting WebRTC-enabled to be able to offer a platform for the upcoming technology which is entirely a clientless solution. This is a much awaited technology shift which will pave way for several customizable integration projects.
About the Author:
|Abhishek Pratap Singh heads Marketing and Managed Video Services at PeopleLink, and is a seasoned Visual technology evangelist, certified on different collaboration technologies available to consult users on setting up their Unified Communication strategy for their organizations. Abhishek comes with an experience of being part of several large video deployments for various Industries.|
This article was originally published in the May 2017 issue of ScooNews magazine. Subscribe to ScooNews Magazine today to have more such stories delivered to your desk every month.