How are schools partnering with EdTech startups as new normal sets in?

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By: Nishant Agarwal, Founder, Proctur

Pune, 16 September 2021: More than 4,000 EdTech startups were launched in India between 2014 and 2019. Educational institutions, especially schools and universities, were still apprehensive about digital learning until the global pandemic derailed the conventional education system. The learning landscape in India has changed since March 2020. Schools are still shut in many states, while other institutions struggle to keep up with shifting norms and regulations. Amidst the chaotic circumstances, schools are now partnering with EdTech startups to enhance the learning experience for students.

The evolving landscape 

Online learning has been a choice for years now, but it is the much-needed normal with the ongoing Covid-19 situation. As students could not attend physical classes, mainstream institutions were forced to go the digital way. There were many blips and bumps initially, especially because comprehensive technologically-backed educational solutions were limited. EdTech startups have changed the landscape since then. Many of these companies have partnered with educational institutions, including schools, universities, and coaching centers, to bring customized solutions.

Digitized schooling – The new experience

As India recovers from the outcomes of the 2nd wave, schools are gearing up for a possible reopening. However, this may not change the digital learning landscape, especially when parents are still worried about sending children back to schools. This is where EdTech startups have empowered schools to accept the new normal, especially when news of a possible 3rd wave is looming over us. While students in higher classes may attend schools intermittently, a significant focus would be on online learning.

Partnering with EdTech startups

Schools have already recognized a fundamental fact – It is no more a question about whether education can be imparted online, but more about how it is done. For most schools, the bigger challenge is finding the right blend of technologically-backed educational solutions, and that’s where EdTech startups can help. Just like schools had software platforms to handle payroll, attendance, and other administrative requirements, these institutions will now need a dedicated platform to streamline digital learning.

Simplifying the digital journey

Despite the emphasis and need for online learning, many schools still don’t have a comprehensive system to bring inclusivity to the learning process. EdTech startups have the investments, financial backing, and tech resources to handle most of the current concerns related to the digitization of schools. With bespoke solutions and ideas, it is much simpler for schools to implement a learning system that connects students and teachers in a format that’s closer to physical classes.

The obvious advantages for schools

Partnering with EdTech startups will benefit schools and colleges in a big way. With such collaborative ventures, it is possible for schools to –

  • Deliver a platform that not only simplifies education but makes it more accessible and interactive.
  • Get tech support without delay or an in-house team of IT experts.
  • Reducing costs and expenses related to running a physical school.
  • Adding innovative features that can transform how students and teachers interact with one another.
  • Make parents a part of the digital learning process, where they can check their children’s progress in a transparent format.
  • Encourage mass digitization, which will be the new norm for years to come.
  • Monetize on online learning resources, as applicable for respective needs
  • Get features that will help in further scaling the work of the institution.
  • Offer adequate support to teachers who are adapting to the age of digital learning.

Bespoke solutions, fair pricing

For educational institutions in India, cost-effectiveness is a key factor for implementing digital learning solutions. EdTech startups bring ready and bespoke solutions for quick deployment, and given that these companies are working with thousands of schools, coaching centers, and colleges, they can offer a fair price point. Schools are using these platforms to bring a more enhanced experience for Indian students, who are still grappling with the change in a learning format. These institutions don’t need to invest extensively in developing their digital platforms, making the shift more practical for everyone involved, including stakeholders.

The new normal – Balance between online & offline classes

Despite the surge in online education, it will be rather far-fetched to believe that schools, colleges, and other institutions would not reopen at all. Like eCommerce needs retail, online learning will need offline classes, especially to engage interaction and social activities among students. The new normal will be more focused on digital education, but tech solutions will drive the learning process as and when schools reopen. Schools will have more learning devices, equipped classrooms, and a well-implemented platform, encouraging online learning from homes as and when needed.

A collaborative undertaking for futuristic education

The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has made it mandatory for schools to adopt tech without delay, and with EdTech startups, the shift is much easier. It would also allow these institutions to reap from further advancements in the sector, in which these EdTech startups would be investing in a big way considering the demand. It is still a relatively new experience for students and teachers. With the right platform, this could pave the way for comprehensive digitization of education while adhering to the standard schooling practices. Schools need a reliable tech partner, specifically a company specializing in EdTech that can offer a tailored solution to meet precise demands and challenges.