On 9th Dec, 2020, Shunya hosted a webinar on “Too much focus on schools - Here’s what the coaching classes went by in the meanwhile during COVID“.
The aim of this webinar was to have a discussion around the challenges that the coaching classes are going through during the pandemic and the growth areas because of the new patterns. We had five accompanied panelists across the education sector, in particular in the preparatory Coaching segment.
The panel was moderated by Navneesh Bansal.
The webinar focused on the coaching classes during this COVID, the themes & changes to expect in coming years and what it means for the industry and its evolution as a whole.
Ongoing Changes in the Coaching World
The discussion started with a backdrop that the coaching classes are going through owing to the pandemic, and the rise of EdTech as an industry.
According to the panelists this was a transformative time for institutes, educators, as well as students. Institutes had to cut back on their employees leading to loss of jobs for many teachers. Educators had a harder time when it came to setting the question paper in terms of the number of papers that needed to be set because of the students being subdivided into smaller batches. Students, however, have taken to the online structure which makes it easier for them to sit for competitive exams, which are generally held online.
Problems Being Faced by Educators
When prompted about the problems being faced by educators, all panelists seemed to connect personally to this question. While one panelist highlighted the loss of emotional connect with students as the transition from the connected to the online with a set of tools that takes away the serendipity of the in person experience.
We also discussed the frustration of constantly having to switch between apps which decreases their efficiency and the overall teaching experience. Some other relevant issues that came to light included teachers having a tough time with technology, either because of network issues or because they’ve never used such platforms before.
The conversation took a turn towards the trends that educators see will be making a mark in the EdTech industry. The panelists seemed in agreement that online education is the trend to look out for, as well as the marriage of education and technology is being projected as being the future. What used to be plan A, now needs a plan B as we will need different infras to support the foundation of the future.
EdTech Tools & Content consumption trends
A conversation about education in this Covid world would remain incomplete without the mention of the tools being used by educators to impart education. The panelists mentioned their usage of YouTube, Zoom, etc in the absence of a physical classroom. But while these platforms are allowing these educators to hold classes for now, there are gaps that they don’t address. As the fundamental limitations of internet access, technical knowhow and user centricity are limitation functions to scaling a good classroom experience.
A high functioning singular platform that helps to create a live class situation similar to that of a physical classroom may be the need of the hour. Another panelist talked about the slow, but sure transformation of education from a purely offline or online form to a hybrid form of education, which incorporates both.
We also discussed the need for a hybrid brand, as content relevance is hyper local activity and the student connects better with a Educator he sees as a part of a long term learning relationship, which incentivizes her to push beyond the content consumption mindset to outcome mindset.
Hybrid education was an important part of the discussion with the panelists coming to a consensus that hybrid education is the way forward for educational development. For successful hybrid education, technology needs to partner with education in a way that it can reach a lot of people and impart more personalized education. Since technology has become such an integral part of education since the pandemic, what is required is quick adoption of technology to make education more accessible.
There was a unanimous agreement that technology has been and will be continue to define the offline experience, not overpowering it, but complementing it. Education, like we at Shunya also believe will be an offline first experience, the serenity of which will continue to be amplified by futuristic technology such as Spontaneous social experiences will become the new norm and AI will be the co-creator.
To power a hybrid learning experience , technology will need to push the bar, look from the perspective of the educator, as co-creators, rather than as consumers of technology. Only then can the serenity, connected experiences, better learning outcomes that scale beyond the isolating online classroom experience can scale.
And to do that, we need to relook at how we came here in the first place. Like, we at Shunya say - Let’s start over from a fresh perspective, keeping the legacy of the traditional education system that we know is time tested and hardened for effective learning outcomes, but also push that experience into the future with the tools we now have, and give an uncommon edge to both, educators and students, alike.
Here’s to hybrid learning!