K-12 eLearning Companies In India
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Learn About The Progress Of K-12 eLearning Companies In India

The name "K-12 eLearning company" first came into usage when Indian companies started venturing into the business of creating K-12 learning materials and products in the early nineties. The 90s was a time when electronic media was growing in India, and a few companies had started it on an experimental basis. As is valid with any new area of business, startups mainly took on the challenges, and a few early-bird products were developed and marketed. A few of them gained a name though most of them tanked in the end, thinking that the market was not yet ready for digital items.

K-12 eLearning Companies And The Early 2000s

Further entrants to eLearning mainly focused on the export of refined eLearning products. While a few did work for school markets, a majority of them catered to corporate needs around the globe. Any K-12 eLearning company in the early days provided content as a service to various foreign institutions, professional institutes, and K-12 learning materials to corporates. At the same time, they kept trying to gain a foothold in the Indian market too, but maybe India was not ready for such digital advances.

The early 2000s was a time when schools and colleges used to treat any kind of digital K-12 learning material as an educational gimmick. Digital content created by any K-12 eLearning company thus used to see the light of day only during sales pitches and then was discarded to grow fungus in a forgotten corner of a desk. A few enterprising teachers, however, did put the accumulated CDs and DVDs to use but only as craft materials, like decorated coasters to hold their teacups. Despite mostly discouraging results, various K-12 companies, NGOs, and startups kept up their haphazard attempts to make eLearning acceptable in India.

From 2010 To Present

The K-12 learning scene finally started changing a little in the latter part of 2000 when big names began to take an interest in education. Corporates like Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, and Symbiosis pioneered the implementation of digital content in a structured manner. They also employed a generation of eLearning professionals who were trained and started thinking more professionally than their many untrained peers. The corporate eLearning development trends followed by foreign corporates were adopted and K-12 eLearning companies finally found a foothold in India. The technology scenario by this time had improved. But then COVID hit the world and brought all schools, colleges, workplaces, and everything else to a full stop for a while.

The COVID scare stopped all kinds of education, and students went home. But this reality forced Indian academicians and politicians to undergo a course correction and embrace digital education finally. A press release on March 21, 2020, by the Ministry of Human Resource Development brought forth and provided a plethora of free K-12 learning digital platforms. This was to ensure that students may continue their learning even during corona closures. These solutions were mainly portals and apps that contained videos, textbooks, worksheets, assessments, etc. It was a boost to any K-12 eLearning company that started to revamp their resources and went into remote work mode to provide supporting content.

In many respects, the pandemic has provided K-12 eLearning companies with another lease on life as the education industry moves to remote instruction. Teachers, as well as students, require a whole lot of handholding and training to effectively utilize the content that they had been ignoring all these years. The industry’s move to remote K-12 learning gelled perfectly with enterprise’s work-from-home policies. Video conferencing through third-party platforms, like WebEx and Zoom, extensively uses learning platforms. Technology provided well-researched and already available solutions, software, and browser extensions to schools. Schools now opened up to technology for tasks that at one time were utterly taboo, like video monitoring students in an online examination.

The Near Future

This giant education experiment in education, made possible only through the forces of nature, is going to accelerate further changes, with some of them already in play. Some of the ripple effects from this grand experiment forced upon K-12 learning in India on technology has evolved its reach to even remote places. Although K-12 eLearning companies have developed technology during this time, they need further improvements to stay viable. Corona is not going to be around forever, and unless technology integrates itself with education, it shall be shunned once schools and colleges reopen.

Necessary Technology Upgrades

Some of the better-known platforms in K-12 learning, like Google Classroom, are used by teachers who are familiar with it, but it is difficult to find a topic of your choice and quality on it. Canvas has a reliable workflow as well as a massive ecosystem of add-ons, but it needs a cleaner User Interface. Blackboard is very similar to Canvas. Any K-12 eLearning company that needs to make a dent in this market should focus on video conferencing. Zoom has already captured a significant base for itself in the form of corporate professionals.

Necessary Upskilling

The education process is going to be recast soon and on an accelerated timetable thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Any K-12 eLearning company that wants to survive in the post-pandemic world needs to start preparing for questions like: Is education only for gaining knowledge, getting a degree, or finding a suitable career? Is teaching in a physical environment viable and even required? And what are the returns on such an expensive education in terms of the debt load on a family? K-12 learning can help in this regard immensely, and past years of intense discussions on the same has many questions already answered if one only sifts through them.

Necessary Content Upgrades

The big three: Google, Microsoft, and Apple have picked up different parts of this education stack, but the enabling component of any education is its teachers. In the end, any K-12 Learning Management System is an ERP that can help a K-12 eLearning company bring students to their platform. But without quality teachers and content, this technology stack will be kicked away soon. Indian schools are warming up to using technology, but their inherent resistance will come to the fore. It can only be tackled with quality content to support technology.

Any K-12 eLearning company that has already invested heavily in upskilling as well as reskilling may at present be wondering if they have made the right choice. There are companies in the market as we speak who provide K-12 learning in areas like robotics and electronics to young children. We may expect more such enterprises to provide upskilling options for the population soon. But there is a mental hurdle that has always surrounded digital learning in India. Learning platforms have been around for decades, yet even professionals from the eLearning industry do not prefer a degree or certificate from such media. It may require more than technology and content.

Necessary Social Change

Parents and their wards shall also have to find ways to develop the discipline required for any kind of online learning. Online does not provide for handholding; and, our Indian education system heavily relies on a strict system of "follow the leader." Some might invest more in different types of tuitions which will be provided by a different K-12 eLearning company than the platform and content provider. It too will be beset with teething issues like any other K-12 learning initiatives from past decades. But this time the "hope percentage" of it being successful is much higher than at any other time in the past.

Conclusion

The biggest challenge will be to bridge the digital divide that is evident between two types of teachers: one from a high-grade public school and the other from a poor government school. Opportunities for K-12 eLearning companies are enormous in this field at present, from technology, content, education providers, hardware suppliers, data providers, and more. If upskilling through K-12 learning initiatives turns into a mainstream concept, then probably the idea of spending a family fortune on a four-year degree may start to sound like a crazy and ancient idea for many. Education is an industry that is waiting to be disrupted in India for many decades now. The question is not how but when, and corona has only fast-forwarded this need to change. Are we ready to change, or will we settle back into our old ways?

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