Category Archives: Ed Tech Trends

trends in education technology

India’s Ed Tech Explosion – Question from Dr. Rod Berger PsyD

Dr. Rod Berger (Vice President of Education, RANDA Solutions – conducted an interview of my mentor, Prof. Marmar Mukhopadhyay ( on Jan 14, 2014.

You can view the recorded video of the entire interview at

Post that interview, Dr. Rod asked me these questions:

  1. How do you think India’s explosion in edtech development can impact the rest of the world?
  2. Can they now be considered as the leaders in this space?

This was my response to Dr. Rod: Continue reading


Is online classrooms for everyone or just the affordable few?

One of my friends Rathish Balakrishnan, co-founder of Sattva Media, asked for my feedback on one of the articles posted in his company website (The Alternative –

This is the article:

The article broadly covered the recent trends in education like Online Classrooms, MOOCs and Flipped Classrooms, and mentioned the various brands like Coursera, Khan Academy and edX which are pioneering in this space.

The overarching question that this article posed was:

Are online courses the next Napster movement or is it just a buzzword phase for alternative learning? Aparna Srivastava wonders whether this online movement will bridge the gap in learning in India where internet access still remains privileged. 

This was my response to this article:

“First off, this is a very good topic to write on. However, what is the actual question being asked here – will technology be accessible and affordable to all sections of people or will it be the Rolls Royce of sorts for a elite crowd? Or if technology is accessible, will online learning be helpful? Think the second question is a no-brainer.

As for the first question, great question! But the answer does not lie in what is happening in online learning, but what is happening in technology. Look at Project Loon from Google for example, or what other biggies are doing to make tech accessible in Africa. Or look at Serval Project. Look at Google Fiber. Actually blackboards and chalk were radical technology available to a select few many years back, look at them now. Cell phones are another example, a recent UN study said India has more cellphones than clean toilets! Or textbooks, if you want another example in education! So this is just a demand vs supply gap here. Is the demand there for Online Learning or anything else you want to do with technology? I assume you would say YES (It’s a separate discussion if you say NO) – Is the supply matching the demand? If not, any supplier will charge a premium as there is a market need – that is the way capitalism works! For the supply to reach demand raising from unaffordable sector, government and non-profits intervention is required. Is that happening? See Aakash for govt sector OR read about TFI (Srini Swaminathan), Deepam (Karthikeyan of Twenty19), Pratham or talk to Pragadish who uses technology to teach at orphanages or many other such orphanages!

As for the second question, online learning is definitely not a fad. It will definitely take over as the defacto standard, just as textbooks overtook scrolls or chalks overtook writing on sand! Talk to people like Devavrat RavetkarSaurabh MukhekarAditi ParekhShah Yasser Aziz – these are some self-learners or MOOCers or lifelong learners who can give you a great deal of input on online learning! Or better yet, talk to Prof. Sugata Mitra about online learning! :)”

So what do you think? Is online learning a Rolls Royce for a select few or will it be the “cyber-air” for the common man?

A background on The Alternative (, it is “a new media platform for sustainable living that strives to make social good an everyday conversation by highlighting choices we can make to positively impact the world around us.”
And you can read about the parent company to The Alternative, Sattva Media here:

Top 3 Ed Tech Trends Impacting Existing Ed Tech Landscape

As part of the HireArt Ed-Tech Challenge, I was asked to answer the following question:

Please name the top three education technology trends that you think we should be paying attention to in 2013 and explain how each trend will impact the existing ed-tech landscape. If you have data to validate your responses, please add it in your response. You can type out or attach your response.


Trend 1: Ed Tech becomes more B2C, as there are many communities of lifelong learners springing up across the globe. Currently Ed Tech is more B2B, in the sense that Ed Tech companies reach out to educational institutions to provide administrative services or technology integration into classrooms. As the learner community becomes more focused on continuous lifelong learning, and as the traditional format of classrooms continue to get challenged, learners will directly subscribe to new Ed Tech that cater to them. MOOC is a clear evidence of this phenomenon. We have also seen this phenomenon with iPad and Android apps for language learning, teaching mathematics, game based learning for kids, etc. We will continue to see MOOCs becoming the defacto informal learning platform, and in parts replacing formal learning in many countries. We already saw the explosion of MOOC providers in 2012 with Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, edX. We continue to see this with NovoEd, iVersity (Germany), FutureLearn (UK) and now even India trying to come out with its own MOOC. Flipping the classrooms is another phenomenon that has caught on well in late 2012. We can expect to see a steady growth in the adoption of MOOCs and Flipped Classrooms. Any services that helps interoperability or accreditation from these platforms will also naturally gain traction.

Trend 2: Paid Learning Services will replace Paid Content. Learning services or value-adds such as content curation, content delivery, access to experts, etc will gain traction. Courses from experts or crowdsourced curated content will continue to rise from the likes of Coursera, Udacity, YouTubeEdu, Khan Academy, Quora, LunrQ, CodeAcademy, Udemy, etc. A decade back, Google solved a big problem in education, namely Content Discovery. Now, as we become experts in discovering content, the real challenge we will face is content accuracy (spam info, fake Wikipedia pages), content curation (Common Core, Learning Registry) and content delivery / expert interactions (MOOCs). Adoption of free content platforms like Open Education Resources will also accelerate this phenomenon. So Ed Tech companies should gear up to offer more such services, and not mere content.

Trend 3: Internet is seeing a wave of changes with Web 2.0 and Mobile, which will also impact the Ed Tech landscape. As Adobe abandoned Flash and HTML5 grew in popularity, we see a plethora of content providers porting their content to the new internet. But replatforming just the content will not help these companies, as the delivery medium has also changed from static desktop for Flash content, to highly responsive UX delivered via today’s browsers and mobile devices. Content for today’s Ed Tech offerings should also focus on being contextual (geo-based, augmented reality), current (Twitter trends) and common experience across varied platforms and form factors. For example, Moodle suffered a setback because new age providers like Edmodo capitalized on Web 2.0 and Mobile early on. While Moodle has officially released its mobile app in beta, industry experts believe that it has come in too late.

My references: