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This article on EdTech Evolution first appeared in BusinessWorld here.

There is no doubt that education is the key to transform lives. But now that we are living in the age of digital technologies, we are quickly getting accustomed to seeing education itself being transformed by leaps and bounds. The coming up of new-age players in the online education space has innovated both the nature and quality of education, and it is just the beginning of EdTech evolution.

EdTech Evolution: Recap Of Top 2019 Trends And Those Expected To Rule 2020

Online education that dawned in the form of online study materials, has further forayed into advanced learning platforms. There must be a reason why the global online education industry is anticipated to become a $1.96 billion market by 2021, as highlighted by a combined report by KPMG and Google. 

Much of it can be attributed to the pace at which the global employment market is changing. According to McKinsey and World Economic Forum, 800 million people will potentially be displaced and need to change their jobs by 2030. At the same time, talent shortage ranks as the #1 risk to organization change, according to Gartner. By investing in education and on-the-job training, the needs of both workers and employers can be met. 


The interesting elements used in Gamification such as timers, badges, points and leader-boards add fun to the overall learning process while creating an engaging ecosystem where students/employees can compete, win and learn from each other. This is why organizations and institutions are increasingly integrating elements like media content, social share buttons, data insights, rewards, etc. in their existing learning processes. The best part about using these elements is that it simplifies even the most complex subjects/areas and provides an in-depth understanding of these topics to learners of all ages. Doing so keeps them motivated, escalates their curiosity levels to learn more and develop a habit of never giving up on any of the challenges that life brings to the table. 

Fast And Flexible Learning

With the growth of online learning platforms and advent of new job roles at workplaces – mostly artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data science, among others, an increasing number of players are rolling out short-term, flexible courses in areas such as coding, programming, android development, data science, etc. These platforms offer exactly the right amount of content and projects to obtain employable skills. Nothing more, nothing less! Students can enroll themselves and have access to the rich learning content from the comfort of their homes and attain practitioner and employable level skills for future jobs. 

Data-driven Learning 

As more and more students register themselves on various learning platforms through smartphones and other such devices, education providers get the opportunity to analyze and understand the exact type and nature of content that students seek. By leveraging these data points, providers can recreate personalized content in line with the needs of students. This is how they can strategize and deliver engaging content through videos, puzzles or games to student masses, and help them prepare for competitive exams and secure future jobs. 

An outlook for trends that will make noise in 2020:

Project-based learning (PBL)

This trend has been gaining pace for the last few years with most schools and universities conducting stimulating workshops on various subjects. This enables students to learn and explore real-world problems, and find solutions to them, with the help of well-qualified mentors. Here, students get to apply all the theoretical knowledge they gain from lectures and tests to solve real industry problems and achieve hands-on experience. It’s a great way to broaden the scope of their knowledge by using critical thinking and take learning to the next level. This is an effective way to gain valuable professional skills such as decision making, analytical thinking, perspective-taking, etc. that are actually the most important life skills companies look for in every candidate. 

Vernacular Content 

A significant mass of Indian students still speak and read in different languages other than Hindi or English. This is highlighted in the lower CAGR at which English users are anticipated to grow, clocking at 3 per cent when compared with 18 per cent of the regional users. This would be more relevant for non-tech related courses. This trend will become mainstream in 2020 with more and more players adding many other languages to their respective platforms – thus making education more accessible and expanding its reach to rural areas, mostly tier 2 and 3 towns/cities. But since most codes and algorithms are still being written in English, it is yet to be seen how tech courses will adapt themselves to this trend.

The aforementioned trends are indicative of the overwhelming pace at which education is being groomed and reshaped for something much bigger and better in the days to come. With our world being rapidly digitalized, it will be crucial for educators to innovate their ways of imparting education and ensure that these solutions are accessible across every platform throughout the world.

Lalit Singh
Lalit Singh
Lalit Singh is the Chief Operating Officer at Udacity. Prior to joining Udacity, Lalit led the digital transformation of HPE’s software business from on-premise and disjointed systems to the seamless and scalable cloud and SaaS-based architecture. Lalit began his career at GE across leadership roles in Customer Service, Engineering and Lean Six Sigma. He holds a B.S. in Electronics Engineering from Lucknow University and MBA in Finance and Marketing from Indian School of Business, India.