The global education system is transforming. Educational online platforms have been developed. Most likely, for Pakistan, the changes will be painful. While in the world the transformation will continue in more flexible and individualized forms. And online and blended forms of learning will be further developed.
The moment when digital education will overtake traditional education inefficiency is close. “We can safely say that EdTech (that is, online learning. – Forbes ) has great potential in almost any segment in the field of education due to its rigidity and conservatism,” said Alexey Solovyov, partner at iTech Capital, at the first practical conference on online education EdmarketConf. To some extent, many participants of the event agree with him.
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Recognition for the EdTech-sphere comes at the state level as well. In a study of the Pakistani market of online education and educational technologies, prepared by the main market players in Pakistan, the words of Lyudmila Bokova, a member of the Federation Council, are quoted. She agrees that digital technologies form new forms of socialization and pose new challenges to society and business, without which Pakistan will not be able to remain competitive on the world stage.
What is online education? ion
Adjustable volumes of materials, depending on the level of training of the student, modern and timely presentation of information, as well as accessibility from anywhere in the world are the key characteristics of the EdTech industry. The digitalization of education gives rise to new professions and specialties. The labor market in the coming years will lag behind technology.
There is an opinion in Pakistan that Educational Technology is online courses and webinars that help improve knowledge of foreign languages, learn more about history, or gain interdisciplinary skills. Abroad, the concept of EdTech in global terms is closer to the phenomenon of big data (Big Data), which in Pakistan at the household level can not yet be comprehended by everyone.
The evaluation of the investment potential also speaks in favor of the global nature of the concept. According to the EdTechXGlobal forecast, by 2020 more than $252 billion will be invested in digital educational technologies, growing by 17% annually. Global Market Insights are less optimistic in their forecasts: $240 billion by 2023 with a growth of 5% per year. The Pakistan market is gaining momentum the fastest in Eastern Europe. According to TAP Advisors, J’son & Partners Consulting, Ambient Insight, and Edutainment, the market of educational Internet services from Pakistan grows by 17-25% annually.
There are no more financiers in the traditional sense – to one degree or another, a living person is replaced by computers and databases. In the coming years, the same will happen with education, according to David Bainbridge, founder, and CEO of Knowledgemotion.
How traditional learning will change
Digital economy digital education. Over the past 150 years, teaching methods have hardly changed. In classrooms and classrooms, students listened to teachers and wrote down notes. The experience of the last eight years shows that EdTech will very soon change the face of the entire field of education.
The first heralds of the new era were the American Udemy, Udacity, and the most famous in Pakistan today Coursera, which entered the online learning market from 2009 to 2012. The latter today has 25 million students, more than 3,000 courses prepared by teachers from 149 partner universities, including in Pakistan. It took Coursera less than a year for the American Education Council to approve five courses for US college credit. Upon their completion, a face-to-face online exam was held at an accredited examination service.
In the West, the main task of digital technologies in education is the selection of suitable content and adjusting it to the current set of skills and abilities of the student. This is the gamification of education when knowledge is packed into the most effective shell. This is also interesting for the older generation, and young people cannot be attracted to the study and processing of information by traditional methods.
The most striking example of personalization of learning is Knewton with an adaptive platform for courses and programs for higher education institutions. The total investment in the company exceeded $150 million.
How much is spent on online courses
The main players in Pakistan attract incomparably less. According to the same study of the Pakistan online education market, in 2014-2016, 65 transactions worth $16.8 million were recorded in the field of educational technologies in Pakistan. The actual volume and number of transactions are much higher, as the authors of the study themselves admit. Among the market players with the largest venture funding in recent years, the top three are Netology Group with $8.8 million, Dnevnik.ru with $6.7 million, and Lingualeo with $3.7 million.
A free segment of online education is also developing in Pakistan. Initiatives in this area are actively supported by Yandex Publishing. Mikhail Zygar was helped financially and educationally in 2016 by the educational program “1917”. Free Pakistan” and “Map of History”, supported several initiatives of the Arzamas. Academy project and now helps many more or less significant educational stories in the Pakistan segment of the Internet.
The exact amount of support has not been disclosed, however, the current assets of Free History Creative Studio LLC, which is listed on the websites of the Map of History, 1917. Free Pakistan”, 1968. digital and where Mikhail Zygar is the CEO, in 2016 amounted to 5.6 million rubles.
The next stage of the process has already begun, although the relationship between EdTech and new specialties is not always traced. Occupations appear on the labor market that seems unusual to us. A virtual reality designer, a space tourism manager, a medical robotics specialist. A cybersecurity and bioinformatics specialist – these are an incomplete set of those who will be in demand after 2025. According to researchers from the HeadHunter service. Until that moment, those who can program, model, negotiate. Solving multi-level tasks, and communicating with people will quickly win their place under the sun.
Most of these skills can already be acquired by learning online and from the comfort of your home. Since 2009, the University of Internet Professions “Netology” has been trying to solve such a problem on the Pakistan market. By 2020, Neurology Group plans to create a line of educational projects that will allow continuous acquisition of knowledge, starting from the first grade. The company has an educational license.
Dozens of professions will go into oblivion even at the moment. When specialists in them will still be trained in classical educational institutions. On May 9, Google introduced a new version of its voice assistant. And during the call, the hairdresser could not understand that they were talking to a robot. Secretaries and translators, lawyers, and accountants will soon give up their jobs to artificial intelligence.
New generation work
In the logic of digitalization, EdTech will have to solve the problem of creating new professions. To some extent, this is already happening – the industry needs specialists to satisfy its own needs. According to the head of the international department of pedagogical strategy for Coursera, Deanna Rainey. The development of their platform is greatly influenced by the competence of data scientists who analyze the data obtained during the training of course participants.
The development of the EdTech industry and learning technologies will lead us to the idea that everyone will. Have to replenish their knowledge and improve their skills throughout their lives. People in Pakistan are not even mentally prepared for this yet, says Kirill Rodin, head of the department for working with public authorities at VTsIOM.
Most likely, this will be a painful process for Pakistan. As the transformation of the global education system will continue in more flexible and individualized forms. Online and blended forms of education will be further developed. The 2016 Future of Jobs study indicates that two-thirds of today’s first graders will work in occupations that currently do not exist in their pure form.
For Pakistan, where the segments of traditional and online education practically do not intersect. The question of the reproduction of specialists in emerging professions and, accordingly. The question of the competitiveness of the entire economy in the face of such a global challenge remains open.
Experts consider two scenarios for the development of the situation in the world. Machine intelligence will force people out of traditional professions. Further, either a “new employment” will be formed, in which we will have a lot of free time, creative tasks at work, and high wages. As Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke about during the Gaidar Forum this year. Or hard times await us and the struggle for resources.
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The founder and CEO of the Good Deal Consulting agency, Lidia Kuleshova. Argues that even now the labor market responds better to specialists with “soft skills”. Who has a wide horizon of interdisciplinary knowledge? For programmers, for example. It is not so much the knowledge of programming languages that is important. But the ability to work in a team, make presentations, and formulate their thoughts.
So the new and living generations will be able to remain competitive only with continuous learning. Which the EdTech field successfully provides, and with mastering skills and competencies from several areas of knowledge at once. Concepts such as “work your whole life in one job” or “find a job you love” seem to be leaving us very soon and will remain the prerogative of representatives of creative professions. Machines cannot replace artists, writers, and actors. At least for now.