How technology has impacted the business of education

Dr Vikas Nand Kumar Batheja, Co-Founder and Director, Capital College.

In recent years, technology has evolved to be an integral part of almost every industry, including the education sector. While some argue that the education system has not drastically changed over these centuries as conventional ways of teaching are yet recognised in the present times. However, with the global pandemic making headlines every day, education with the infusion of technology has built a foundation to retain the quality of education. Classrooms today have transpired into students looking at their computer screens, laptops and tablets to attend lectures. The pandemic has given rise to the largest remote learning experiment where many schools, universities and other education institutions had shut across 190 countries worldwide, impacting almost 90% of the students. Although there is a lot of conjecture if digital tools are a boon or a bane to the education system, what remains unanswered is how digitisation has impacted the overall business from an educator’s perspective.

Technology promotes entrepreneurship

Today, most of the students’ demography represent either the Millennial or Generation Z and many of them expect financial independence much ahead when compared to the older generation. While undertaking a higher education qualification, students are already looking at opportunities for their business and technology is enabling them to succeed. Digital tools in the form of Ed-Tech are accelerating a student’s education pathway and allowing them to take control over their professional journey.

It would be safe to say that technology inbuilt in online learning material is giving them perks such as easy accessibility, flexibility, convenience and the feature of completing the programme early, thereby helping them set up businesses with fewer commitments. In 2015, the online learning market was projected to be $107 billion where now it is anticipated to triple in the next four years. On the business front of education, technology has certainly created a new wave of innovation and a promising future of aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs.

Strong collaborations

Unlike the conventional times where collaborations were only considered a nice add on or more on an initiative basis, education institutions are welcoming other corporations and companies to establish fruitful collaborations. In today’s times, there are a plethora of tools available for schools and universities to do so as an engaging facility with their students. For instance, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Todolist and many other giant tech-driven companies are open for partnerships.

On the flip side, many educational institutions are using big data to understand student performance and behaviour. This has resurfaced post the coronavirus outbreak where technology is used to predict student GPA based on their earlier performance, learning graph, face-to-face interactions and even their sleep cycle. Lastly, schools are also looking at facilitating laptops to the underprivileged children who may not have access to tech-learning tools.  In this case, collaboration with laptops, mobiles, and computers providing companies and third-parties displayed an increased interest to form long-term relationships with the education systems.

Decline in teaching faculty

The field of artificial intelligence has already created a massive impact on both personal and professional space. Like every other industry, the education sector is also changing with rapid developments in the AI and innovation leagues. Education and technology are regarded as one of the fastest-growing industries as many people are looking to upskill and find employment growth in their careers with the aid of digital learning platforms. In line with this, research conducted by Microsoft, McKinsey Global Institute has declared that there will be roughly a 50% decline in teaching faculty by the end of 2030.

For instance, an educator who specialises in STEM subjects relies heavily on theoretical and has a blackboard approach which may not invoke the same kind of curiosity as that of introducing a digital aspect would do. Along with giving students a profound experience and a personal context, questions of replacing educators may be a powerful debate in the near future. Alternatively, these tools can outshine teachers in the lines of productivity, efficiency and precision, however, a touch of human element will certainly be missed. Additionally, in the process of decision-making, planning and responsibilities, educators may face a challenging time in the business front.

AR revolutionising education

There are several strong reasons to imply the drastic impact of augmented reality in the education sector. Augmented Reality has been an essential part of industrial revolution 4.0 where it’s worth is set to reach $198 billion by 2025. In this year alone, research suggested that this digital aspect has reached 1 billion users worldwide, a significant portion coming from the education industry. To support this prediction, global research suggests that the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster when compared to processing textual material. Furthermore, more than 90% of the information sent to the brain by our senses is predominantly visuals. Assuming that people are drawn to habits and habits come from learning, watching etc, it is almost an unfailing argument. In the coming years and decades, augmented reality is bound to be a part of the education industry with innovation at the forefront.

Historically, the system of education has given people a powerful platform to learn, thrive, engage, network and develop oneself. However, the future of this industry seems to have technology as a tool that may dominate and even replace the natural language of teaching and learning. Well, is it going to affect the sector positively or negatively? Only time will tell.

Dr Vikas Nand Kumar Batheja, Co-Founder and Director, Capital College.
Dr Vikas Nand Kumar Batheja, Co-Founder and Director, Capital College.

Key takeaways

  • With the infusion of technology, education has built a foundation to retain its quality.
  • Digital tools are accelerating education pathways and allowing students to take control of their professional journey.
  • Education and technology are regarded as one of the fastest-growing industries as many people are looking to upskill.