India Turns to Edtech for Improving the Education System as Schools Re-open

Image credit: iStockphoto/jacoblund

In India, 1.5 million schools educate 250 million students — one of the largest education systems in the world — and a promise of personalized learning has spurred a demand for EdTech (educational technology) solutions.

In January 2020, the search interest for “online education” in India increased by 100%, and venture capital investment in the EdTech sector jumped by 4X to reach USD2.3 billion since schools across the country shut down due to the pandemic.

A new report by Boston Consulting Group, a Google for Education Partner, and EdTech service provider Schoolnet explores how technology can help bring digital education to rural schools in India. Researchers studied the rollout of Google tools to over 50,000 teachers across three states and revealed three areas to focus on for effective EdTech in India.

India's digital infrastructures

Based on the study, 75% of teachers can't fully use digital education tools because their students lack access to devices, an internet connection, or educational content. Around 60% of teachers cite the need for improved content.

To deal with this, India can draw inspiration from Japan's GIGA School Program, which provides a digital device to each student and high-speed internet to schools along with other packages to support learning.

Teachers' training and engagements

The researchers found that only 8.3% of Indian youth and adults reported having created electronic presentations, and only 9.1% of Indian youth and adults have transferred files between computers and other devices.

Google recommends state-led training with both introductory and in-depth sessions to help school leaders, teachers, guardians, and students who have never used digital tools for teaching and learning transition into online education.

Learning modules and teaching methods

The study also showed that 75% of teachers believe that digital tools can benefit their classes, and many teachers reported using digital tools during class presentations and parent-teacher conferences. However, the study also suggested that teachers will get more out of digital learning tools in the classroom if they know beforehand which teaching methods work well with whatever tools they have.

According to the study, school administrators can partner with EdTech companies to get the most out of their digital education tools with various teaching methods. The companies can reward teachers for driving innovation in digital education or using experimentation to find the best learning model at a local level.

As schools reopen in hybrid offline and online models, Google encourages EdTech companies to leverage digital tools in education and improve outcomes in India's education system outcomes.

Image credit: iStockphoto/jacoblund