E-LEARNING ON THE GO !

NANDINI SINGH

18-Dec-20

Albert Einstein once stated “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of mind to think” and this quote can never be more relevant than today’s educational system of India. Education plays an important role in building a person’s life by giving them the power of reason and logic based on the available knowledge. The Indian education system has seen huge transformation since independence and has been completely changed in terms of teaching and learning. Nowadays, education is not only confined to the traditional classrooms but has been expanded towards a new dimension and which is online education or e-learning.

The education system is undergoing a dramatic change from canonical classroom to easily accessible online, self-drive education or e-learning. The e-learning market has been rapidly expanding in the country. Government also shifted its focus towards the e-learning and now playing key role by going I-way. Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Digital India initiative to ensure that online government services are available to Indian citizens, which seem to boost the online education sector. With this initiative, the government wants to make digital learning available to students in every corner of the country. According to a recent report by the UK- India Business Council, India has become the largest market for e-learning after the US, and the sector is expected to receive a boost of Rs.1.13 trillion from the government’s Digital India initiative.

Talking about the opportunities, there are countless prospects in e-learning market and with the evolution of internet and high penetration of smart phones in the country, the future of the e-learning seems very bright. The e-learning has been catching up fast in Indian schools, colleges and higher education institutes which help in enhancing skills and knowledge. Education stakeholders foresee tremendous potential in the e-learning sector-says, “With the increase use of ICT in classroom, smartphone, tablets, online interactive web, virtual classroom, online portal and MOOC Platform, education can reach in every nook and corner of the society. Also, campuses need to promote and adapt to e-learning to maintain their utility in future.”

Today, technology plays a vital role in reaching the masses and provides access to them with learning tools and materials. However, many experts emphasised that e-learning should not be limited only to urban class. “The number of users enrolled for various online learning courses is expected to grow about 9.6 Million by the end of 2021". Although the usage and availability of online learning is rapidly expanding, but a lot still needs to be done before reaching to any conclusion. The e-learning provides authentic and student friendly domain of knowledge as per requirement of student.

Nowadays, technology has become integral part of our livelihood and has been successful in unlocking the new dimensions of learning. Apart from the improving everyday’s work, technology has completely revolutionise the education sector. It has a great potential to change the traditional classroom model to the virtual world of learning. With the emergence of technology like cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things e-education is also changing rapidly. Many technologies are being designed to meet the demand of online learning. One of the best innovations is the smart board, which is aiding to the interactive, creative and collaborated learning outcome. At the moment, we have easy access to modern gadgets like tablets, Google Glass, Smartwatch, Keyglove, E- books, 3D printers, virtual reality and many others. All these technologies are easily adaptable or already being adapted. Technology not only helps the students to learn in an effective manner but also facilitate teachers and parents to keep a tab on their children’s growth.

The E-Learning sector has grown consistently in recent years and is promising to show fast and significant growth over the next three years. Government-funded projects related to literacy development in rural areas are proving as a major driver to the introduction of learning. India is putting a lot of efforts into becoming a mature market for higher distance education. Economic concerns and the current high cost of tuition fees are at the heart of India’s keenness to become the most relevant player in the Asian learning market for higher education. Increasing Government initiatives to promote E-Learning, growing adoption of technology, shortage of quality education, and convenience and affordability factors. Research has shown that e-learning proves to be an excellent way to achieve quality results in a short time frame. Market acceptance of e-learning has resulted in its increased use for both large and small companies. Many universities have entered into the e-learning market with non-profit models, leveraging their knowledge of the traditional classroom and applying this to the e-learning environment

Education is a constantly evolving in its nature and many consider that effective integration of technology is a must for a student’s success. Online learning technology is changing the face of education and improving skills, but with this, numerous challenges are still there in e-learning sector. The biggest drawback in Indian e-learning sector is the slow or no internet facilities. It is still considered to be a luxury for few. The lack of infrastructure in remote areas has connectivity and accessibility issues. Even today most of the students have not familiar with the concept and thus often get confused about the course facilities. Managing computer files and online learning software can sometimes seem complex for students with beginner-level computer skills. The e-learning courses do not cover a lot of certification courses that are recognised by colleges and universities across India or abroad. The foremost important challenge is the lack of awareness in making the rise of e-learning sector in India. All these limitations pose a big question on the future of e-learning in India.

Indian education sector is emerging at very fast pace and present huge opportunities. The rapid increase in internet connectivity has been an important catalyst for the growth of e-learning. The prospect of making education available to anyone, anytime, anywhere is becoming increasingly appealing to students, the corporate world and the populace at large. The online education market in India was valued at INR 39 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach INR 360.3 billion by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of ~43.85% during the 2019-2024 period. Government are willing to strengthen the education sector by turning it into knowledge based economy and skilled human capital. Initiative like Digital India will play a major role in boosting education sector but it should not only limit within the periphery of urban areas
but also makes its effort to penetrate the rural areas of India. Government has been instrumental in aiding e-learning implementation across the nation. Government initiatives like National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning, SWAYAM will be very crucial for e-learning sector. With e-learning,
people living in smaller towns and cities can get access to the best possible learning resources from across the world, at a very affordable price. Today, kids are more familiar with the gadgets and are easily using tablets and smartphones, which can be the game changer in the coming future. E-learning is significant strides into its seemingly bright future.

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