How do EdTech companies recognize and bridge the gap between students who can and cannot afford technology? – Computer Express


By Mridul Ranjan Sahu, Co-Founder, CuriousJr

During the lockdown, the digital divide between rural and urban areas of India was not only significant in education, but also in telemedicine, e-commerce, banking and e-governance, which only became accessible only via the Internet. Online classrooms, financial transactions and e-governance all require internet service as well as the ability to use internet-enabled devices such as phones, tablets and computers.

While there has always been a digital divide between big cities and rural areas, the pandemic has highlighted the urgency of bridging it. The Covid-19 pandemic in India has given start-ups a new outlook on life, allowing them to fully realize the possibilities of a global shift from an on-premises and in-person world to a digital world.
While many industries have taken the leap to close the gap, startups and EdTech companies have also recognized the gap and worked on it.

The EdTech industry sees a wide range of digital and hardware solutions. Despite this, many potential customers, especially students in rural areas of India, are unaware of these offers. due to a lack of digital and internet penetration in rural and remote areas of India.

Technology in education has become a domestic phenomenon. What seemed like a gradual shift in perceptions towards technology in the classroom has now become a very effective tool to help students learn during the pandemic. There is a global demand for educational technology, and governments around the world are embracing it.

Startups and EdTech companies have started thinking about how to bridge the gap between students who can and cannot afford a high-tech education. To cater to the diversity of Indian languages ​​and reach more students across the country, EdTechs are developing high-quality e-content in local languages. They also combine education systems and technology to offer skills development courses, virtual labs, virtual job training, and develop digital classrooms. For students who cannot travel, EdTechs are developing assessment frameworks for the digital age and ensuring a consistent user experience through multi-mode access to education through mobile apps, web portals, television, radios and podcasts, so that education is not limited to a single device.
In addition, expanding the use of mobile phones will be a priority to provide full access to electronic content and electronic infrastructure anytime and anywhere to all learners in schools to provide access to anytime and anywhere and stimulate penetration. Many EdTech platforms are also exploring the use of online learning materials to help teachers improve their skills and meet new standards.

Over 290 million students are enrolled in the Indian education system, more than half of whom are enrolled in public schools. The private and public education systems in India are notorious for displaying a clear divide between haves and have-nots. Students in the public school system have suffered significantly from the pandemic, with families unable to support technological integrations into their children’s studies due to a lack of financial and infrastructural resources.

For these students, this leaves a wide gap of missed opportunities. This gap can be closed by making simple efforts and seizing the opportunity to reach these people. In Tier 2 cities, the advent of affordable smartphones and affordable internet connectivity such as 4G has allowed students to learn while using their smartphones as well as learn in the languages ​​they know and with which they are comfortable.

Looking forward
Mobile learning offers many benefits such as taking notes, instant feedback and feedback, creating and improving communication, building a community of students, and many more. Mobile is making content distribution more accessible and affordable, with laptop-centric content and learning methods available for those willing to pay a premium. Mobile usage has become extremely interactive which is a great approach to learning as it allows you to see the result of learning. Thanks to advances in technology, quality education can be made accessible and affordable through mobile phones.

EdTech platforms make their services available on all devices so that everyone can access education. It helps bridge the gap between students who can and cannot afford expensive technology.

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