A look at EdTech in 2019

Barely a month into the new year and 2019 already looks promising for all things Ed-Tech. With growth drivers churning away and showing no signs of slowing down, what can we expect from the sector in 2019?



The gamification of the learning process has reaped rewards across a wide range of platforms the world over. In 2019, gamification concepts are set to find even more applications (simulation of concepts, incentive-based learning etc.) and enhance all-round user engagement.


Combining traditional classroom methods and online learning materials, blended learning is the hybrid teaching methodology that is already showing results. It has even produced an offshoot – the flipped classroom – that has quickly become a distinct approach of its own.


In 2019, supply and demand in Ed-Tech will be witness to a host of technological innovations. For example, big data and AI (Artificial Intelligence) assisting in the design of customised content. Through wearable devices and virtual labs, even the consumption of content is set to evolve. On an equally pioneering note, anytime and any-device access is set to grow with the development of cloud data storage.


While personalised learning is by no means a new concept, 2019 could be a benchmark year. As new platforms emerge and older ones evolve, learning will get personalised to a greater degree while we continue to question the ‘one-size-fits-all’ method of teaching. The idea of tailor-made instruction and assessment for each student would gain more feasibility.


As a leader in India’s Ed-Tech landscape, Extramarks continues to push the envelope when it comes to innovations in technology. Such advancements hold the power to deliver deep, immersive learning – anytime and anywhere.

Looking back at 2018

“Beautiful beginnings from terrific ends”

2019 has begun and for all of us at Extramarks, there has been an incessant buzz of new activities, initiatives and vision setting that completely overwhelmed us. Two weeks into the New Year, now that I sit back and reflect, I realize 2018 was a magnificent year for us. There was much we could accomplish, bearing in mind the core values and missions of Extramarks. The transformative cause we had in mind was given the extra push by the gently guiding hand of the Universe. As a result, we saw ourselves reaching out to new learners, employees, partners and even, geographies. As we start cruising into 2019, I thought it would be a rewarding experience to reflect upon year 2018 and its many highlights.

Right now, our country is poised at a crucial juncture in technological advancement, which is the only thing which can balance out the needs and aspirations of a burgeoning population. Education, of course, takes a centre stage in ensuring personal fulfilment, professional advancement and holistic growth. Education integrated with the boons of technology is what we, here at Extramarks have immersed ourselves into. Technology enabled learning solutions are the gift which Extramarks has been serving students for close to a decade, and in 2018, this mission adopted an altogether new vigour.

Extramarks already had a wide network of school partners, but we were also reaching out to our learners directly through our personalized web and tab-based solutions, especially to make their after-school study seamless. Some time ago, the app-based market exploded and Extramarks remained a front runner with its K-12 and Kids Learning App. In 2018, however, we diversified our portfolio to include three new apps.

Two of these were for exciting the curious and enterprising learner in the K-12 segment – Interactive Learning App and the Science Experiments App. The former gives students a virtual journey of Science and Social Science concepts and the latter is like a pocket science laboratory. Both make learning a hands-on, stimulating experience – much the requirement of the 21st century learner.

Other than a strong foothold in the K-12 segment, Extramarks has also been helping nurture career aspirations through extensive products and services in the test prep domain. Here, we launched the CA Foundation prep app, which has already begun garnering stupendous response among users.

The way to progress is not just launching new things, but also continuously investigating the efficacy of our older products. In this regard, a crucial highlight of 2018 was the complete revamp of the IIT-JEE Test Prep App, which we remodeled into a robust testing platform – exactly what aspirants struggling with the changed online format of exam need. If we are not responsive to the evolving needs of our learners, we are not being true to our mission. This app, other than containing and exhaustive, specially curated question bank for prep, has also conceptualized a National Level Weekly Test Series, to keep students abreast with the level of their preparation, along with their updated national peer ranking. We’re helping students sitting in any corner of the country study and evaluate themselves at the national level – which is critical to JEE prep.

2018 also marked our expansion into international territories including Indonesia and Ghana, two geographies where education technology is poised to play a pivotal role in triggering significant and positive transformations.

Our apps have helped us reach out to millions of users in a short span of time. Over 1.2 crore learners are dedicatedly using Extramarks as their learning companion. These numbers help reinforce the confidence that we are on the right track. In order to address the needs of this growing number, our own team is under constant expansion. We grew by almost 1000 employees last year, and this trend will continue in 2019 as well. We’re always on the lookout for smart, passionate, energetic and talented people, who can aid and expand the vision of Extramarks.

2018 has been a great year for us and we’re moving forward into 2019 with renewed vigor and purpose and we’re thankful to you for being a part of our ongoing journey.

This #NationalEducationDay Let’s Explore Why Integrating Technology in Education is Imperative for a Progressive India

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology identifies e-learning as one of the pivotal methods for imparting education to students in India. Up until the early 2000s, the traditional ways of teaching dominated the education sector. Physical presence of a teacher was mandatory for any kind of learning and without that being able to learn something new was nearly impossible. The internet revolution which took shape at an immeasurable pace, has now changed the entire game of teaching and learning. And it’s time we catch up!

Developing global competencies

With boundaries between countries dissolving, the new generation needs to be equipped with global competencies. The workforce needed for tomorrow needs to have global competencies in their armour. Tools and techniques used in e-learning platforms, that allow a certain degree of personalisation, ensure that students learn theory and their applications in a holistic fashion and are at par with their global peers. Use of E-learning tools has been widely prevalent in a lot of western countries and is now slowly being adopted by Indian educators as well. Tech-enabled learning is the first step for students to become truly competitive in a global future. The widespread reach of smartphones, tablets and on-the-go connectivity, presents tremendous possibilities and its time we tap into these possibilities.

Growth of Indian Economy fuelled by EdTech

The Indian education system is currently at the centre of several evolving trends. These include the emergence of hybrid teaching methods-combining traditional and technology-aided learning, use of big data in analysing patterns, video tutorials for audio-visual simulation and even artificial intelligence for personalisation of education delivery. A report by KPMG states, that with a student base of around 260 million, tech-based education is likely to become the largest category by 2021 to reach $773 million users. The online education industry in India is expected to become a $2 billion industry by this time. In addition to this, more students equipped with better and more comprehensive education are likely to become assets for India’s economy contributing furthermore to its growth.

Benefits of integrating technology with education

While for a student, the benefits of edtech platforms are numerous and have been listed and spoken about frequently, e-learning offers benefits for a diverse populace. It enables distance learning for those in remote areas, integrates accessibility models for the disabled and provides a personalized learning experience for those who struggle in traditional classroom learning setup. By adding more well-educated youth to the country’s future workforce, edtech will surely help to strengthen the economic backbone of the nation.

Inculcating e-learning in India’s education system is paving the way for a better yielding economy. This #NationalEducationDay, let’s all pledge to fulfil our first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s vision of providing quality education and making education accessible to all, by integrating technology in the existing education system.

Accepting Technology in Education to Trigger Real Transformation

As technology leaves its imprint on every aspect of our lives, can education be isolated from it? The education system in many developing countries has been repetitive, teaching the same things to students year after year following the same mechanism. With industry environments changing at such rapid speed, the education system needs to evolve itself in order to be able to truly support the industrial and corporate world. E-learning is the use of electronic media and communication technologies to enhance learning.

However, a big challenge that e-learning faces is its acceptance amongst educators and parents. Old beliefs are far too deep-rooted at times to make them realize the importance of adopting new ways of teaching. This transformative technology, while appreciated by many, still faces several issues when it comes to finding mass acceptance.

Openness Towards E-Learning

Some of the biggest barriers blocking the way of EdTech are attitudinal and psychological. Technology dares the educators and the parent to go beyond the conventional ways of teaching and to acquaint themselves with a completely new way of teaching. This calls for a radical shift for those who have considerable years of their life learning as well as teaching things a certain way. What society needs to understand is that educational technology is aimed at making teaching as well as learning more convenient and effective. The educators need to open themselves up to learn new skill sets and to be a part of this transformative change in the education space.


Scepticism persists about the cost-effectiveness of e-learning platforms. Many parents and teachers question if it is worthwhile to spend on such a platform. On the other hand, e-learning platforms are amazingly cost-friendly and help save a huge amount of infrastructural and manpower costs. Talking about the returns, e-modules help capture the attention of the students and makes learning much more impactful.

Integration with Tradition

Many educators worry about whether they will need to completely shun the traditional model to adopt a new one. This thought is not very appealing as there are certain traditional methods that still hold good and would be needed for years to come. E-learning calls for establishing a sync between classical methods and the new technology-aided methods for teaching. To promote optimum learning, one needs to gather and retain the best of both worlds.

Extramarks as a Contributor to the Transformation

Change is inevitable. If society needs to evolve, it needs to transform. To contribute to this transformation, Extramarks has developed its e-learning platform with the utmost care and thorough research. Our self-paced learning modules with rich graphics and audio make both learning as well as teaching a better experience for everyone involved. E-learning helps create a more informed, data-driven and engaging ecosystem for students, teachers as well as the parents, and we at Extramarks are working towards building such ecosystems across the country.

Driving the Tech Revolution – Millennials of Today

Millennials – Harbingers of the Technological Revolution

Yes, it is the millennial population that is driving the demand for all industries to embrace the use of technology. They are a population who have not just grown up with technology but were born into it. Hence, they are comfortable learning and adapting to changes and upgradations in it. Changes in app interfaces, new digital products and updates to software they regularly use – these are a matter of daily engagements for the millennials, who don’t mind these changes. Whatever helps make digital transactions simpler, they are up for it. This is the generation that operates from the comfort of the laptop screens and smartphones, carrying their entire world with themselves.

Statistics have revealed that in less than a decade, millennials will make up about 75% of our workforce. And hence, not just workplaces, but even education set-ups need to wake up to the needs and demands of the millennials.

How Education Needs to Evolve to Answer Millennial Demands

There is a need to better understand the digital natives and redesign our pedagogy basis their needs and the dynamic demands of the landscape they traverse. Here are some points on how education needs to evolve to meet the millennial demands:

  • Tech Integration

Millennials require classrooms that are buzzing with visual, interactive and stimulating learning experiences. Tech integration in the classrooms can lead these changes, along with creating an opportunity for further innovation, and of course, fun.

  • Gamify the E-Learning Experience

Millennials grew up immersed in a gaming culture. Gaming consoles, such as Nintendo, PlayStation, and have been the rage. Theirs is a competitive group who are particularly fond of leaderboards and constantly crushing opponents in an aggressive gaming zone. Gamification will surely help them learn and retain information in a better way. Hence, the emphasis should be on designing learning modules which bring some kind of play in everyday education.

  • Challenging Assignments

Further, to tap into their bent, it is vital to offer students meaningful and challenging assignments. The millennial generation is quick to ‘switch off’ if they do not feel engaged. Those assignments should be intriguing enough to stir up their cognitive abilities. Therefore, it’s essential to offer them a challenge, an obstacle that they must overcome. It can come in form of an interactive story that evokes emotion and ties into a real-world problem. The main goal is to make learning compelling and unusual so that they can put their problem-solving skills to work.

  • Drive Learning with a Purpose

Above all else, the millennial group needs a purpose to learn. They will become active participants if they know that their learning ties into a real-world purpose. Learning, when driven from their context, and used to bring about social impacts through creative problem solving and critical thinking, excites students. As they go on to explore the world on their own terms, it is good to give these global citizens a purpose early on in life, one they can tie their future aspirations too.

Thus, transforming education boils down to developing products and tools that when integrated with the conventional classroom answer the individual needs and demands of each millennial.

How Gamification is Reshaping the Landscape of Learning

Given a choice between a textbook and a video game, what would most children prefer? Much to the dismay of parents, the latter is an obvious choice for most. But is there a way to integrate games with academic learning? Academicians and educators across the world are realizing the power of games when it comes to accelerating learning. Gamification is a learning approach that introduces game elements to educational or traditionally non-game environments.

One of the primary reasons why children prefer games is because they are more interactive in nature. Games help establish a conversation between the student and the interface rather than just being a drab monologue. Game-based learning can be transformational for any student and for the education system as a whole. It hence makes sense to understand some of the key benefits of this approach.

Providing a Better Learning Experience

Academic learning, when clubbed with games, can provide an enriching and fun experience for students. It turns ‘I have to study’ to ‘I want to study’. The aim here is to build a more positive attitude towards learning. An enthusiastic learner has the capability to achieve much more than a forced learner. And that’s where gamification helps enormously in changing the perception of the students towards various subjects and topics.

Catching and Holding the Attention

Today’s generation cannot be expected to learn the same way people learnt a generation ago. Kids today are native to technology. They are surrounded and bombarded with all kinds of distraction and it’s not always easy to hold their attention – in fact holding the attention of students is one of the biggest challenges for any educator. Gamification has proven to be one of the most effective ways of increasing attentiveness when it comes to learning.

Channelizing Disruptive Energy

They say, “Energy flows where the attention goes”. Children are brimming balls of energy and one cannot put a leash on them while teaching something. When a game-based interface starts engaging the child, the chances of the learner displaying disruptive behaviour lessens to a large extent. Heightened attention helps to channelize the time and energy of students towards fruitful activities and they are less likely to engage in any disruptive behaviour or distraction. When combined with scientific psychological principles, gamification can drive strong behavioural changes.

Improving Retention

Gamifying learning is more than just fun. Visual aids and graphic linkages help in making concepts much more memorable for students. In order to achieve a new level in the game, a student might need to repeat certain facts or modules. This introduces repetition and practice in a more favourable way to a learner which in turn improves memory and creates better connections in the learner’s brain.

Extramarks as a Gamification Partner

Extramarks puts the student at the centre of all action. This means, we create not just the learning modules, but instead, build personalized experiences for students. Extramarks provides a refreshing interface which is interactive and a testing mechanism which encourages a feeling of achievement the same way people experience while playing games. By stitching gaming technology into academic learning, our experts have carefully designed various tools keeping in mind the needs of the evolving generation. We create an immersive experience which increases a child’s desire to learn better and achieve new goals.

Gamification is one of the best ways to encourage one’s natural desire to be curious, to discover, to be rewarded and to eventually progress. And we, at Extramarks, understand that.

The Many Possibilities That Come with E-learning

Research says that India’s working population is set to increase to 115 million by 2025. This figure is both, an asset, as well as a massive responsibility. If apt training is provided and the talent is harnessed, then it will be a major step towards solving the many hindrances that lie in the path of a rapidly growing India.

Bearing this in mind, the applicability of e-learning increases monumentally, since it has a far wider reach and more benefits compared to traditional training and educational structures. It can be used as a critical tool for helping enhance the skills of India’s workforce. An e-learning based skilling system will not only help a greater number of people get lucrative jobs but also lead to a better, more informed and satisfied populace, thus impacting the society too.

How E-Learning is Creating More Jobs

The advantage of e-learning is unfolding in two ways – one for the student and another for the educator. While e-learning gets a segment of population job ready, it also creates job opportunities for another segment, for educators and developers are constantly required to create a dynamic system of updated learning. Domain skills and soft skills – e-learning can cater to both. It is also an efficient set-up to close any gaps of knowledge between what the institutions are teaching, and the industry is demanding, through a focus on what is the latest

E-Learning is Beneficial in Workplaces

Progress, growth, adaptation and efficiency are extremely important to organizations of the day, and hence businesses are turning to digital training for its benefits overshadow traditional face-to-face, classroom style set-ups. Not all employees have the bandwidth to be available at a pre-stipulated time for a certain training; e-learning gives them the flexibility to learn at self-appointed times. Revisiting key information points becomes easy and the same can be applied in day to day tasks for efficiency. Employees with motor disabilities, irregular work hours or those working out of multiple locations are also given the required flexibility through e-trainings.
Web-based learning is also cheaper, thus being employer-friendly too. Costs are also saved because the staff is less likely to spend time outside the office for training. Research has revealed that retention of information is more in digital learning set-ups, along with being time-efficient.

E-learning is the Hope of Rural and Remote Areas

That rural areas suffer neglect and apathy in terms of infrastructure and skilled resources are popular knowledge. This is evident in rural schools, and opportunities for skilling the young into becoming industry and job-ready are far and few in between. But thanks to e-learning, there is an opportunity to bridge this great chasm. The quality of learning definitely goes up, along with the chance to disseminate information to a larger mass with digitization. As e-learning permeates more geographies, the experience is becoming more affordable with access to world-class resources, thus helping create a level playing field.

The recent thrust on digitizing the Indian economy and the challenging demands posed by the rapidly growing businesses are driving the momentum in the learning and skilling domain, and stand to benefit greatly if digital training were to be made available across the length and breadth of the country. According to research, the size of the e-learning market is predicted to evolve globally from USD 165 in 2016 to USD 240 Billion in 2023. India must find a way to benefit from these statistics along with its huge workforce potential, not only to deal with the problem of joblessness, but also to help India gain a greater international poise as an economic power to reckon with.

A Look Back at Teaching-Learning Systems

A little stroll down the memory lane inevitably lands one in school days – that wonderful time of fun, friends and life-altering learnings. When the pleasant sense of nostalgia subsides, one can see how long the teaching-learning ecosystem has travelled, evolving at a rapid pace especially in the past few years. The rapid transformation of the past few years has been led by changes in technology and pedagogy, based upon a deeper understanding of a child’s psyche, learning styles and needs. Classrooms are now re-designed with digitization, visual learning aids and a change in approach towards a more practical, experiential and application-oriented pedagogy has taken place. Above all, institutions are laying more stress on holistic development, unlike the case some decades ago, where academic excellence, that too biased towards the Sciences and Math, was the norm, leading to a stunted learning curve.

Classroom teaching had its charm but suffered many ills. The focus was on scoring high; whether a concept had been deeply understood or not. There was no context or real-life application stressed in the class. Theory overruled practical study, the latter forming a small part of the evaluation mechanism. Also, each subject was being taught in a silo.

To fill these many gaps, the passionate educators remained on task to evolve newer, child-centric systems of learning. Other than them, technology enthusiasts entered the research party to evaluate how the new-age tools may be employed to make studies more relevant, real, decomplexified and fun.

Today’s students demand a lot, and as educators and mentors, we are duty-bound to cater to their fast-changing needs and surroundings. The child needs to be prepared for all kinds of life situations, as well as be groomed into a conscientious citizen of tomorrow. This will be possible only if we teach critical thinking and creativity with as much passion as we teach math and science. And then how do we ensure students across the country gain access to uniform, quality resources – by getting technology to intervene again and harnessing the power of internet connectivity.

The generation today also requires stimulating environments of study, with innovative ways to grasp different subjects. Learning needs to be engrossing, not staid like the earlier time. If a child is bored owing to the dull delivery of concepts, they are least likely to benefit from education. Learning needs to be made lively and fun! Visual aids in learning are indispensable today. In fact, visuals are now not just a supporting tool for textual learning, but they are spearheading the teaching-learning process making use of AR, VR along with gamified pedagogy.

The digital aspect of learning has also been harnessed to plug gaps of delivery and ensure continuity of learning from home to school. At Extramarks itself, we couldn’t purely remain technology evangelists till we also came up with a robust pedagogy. Thereafter, having been products of the education system we were trying to help evolve, it wasn’t difficult to weed out the problems.

Yesteryears brilliance was depicted through books, but, the present generation’s brilliance is depicted through their ability on how well they use technology. These students are self-sufficient, finding their own way through web-based tools. Giving them a personalized experience of study, suited to their personalities, inclinations and styles of learning is what we have successfully attempted at Extramarks. Any potential cause which hampers the experience of learning can be banished, thanks to technology – the great equalizer of our times. This is so different from the yesteryears, where you were stuck in the system you were given. However, pacing ahead with the times, I am excited to observe how does the digital landscape of learning evolve further.

Teaching-Learning Ecosystem in the 21st Century

Rapid globalization, the interconnectedness of diverse populations and swiftly changing technology landscape is bringing forth an emphatic demand for new competencies. This has also had an impact on the learning requirements of students, as well as the kind of skills we are looking to instil in them. To satiate the evolving demands and to ensure the continued relevance of formal education, learning systems across the world are relooking at themselves, and evolving a framework with more emphasis on skills and attitudes necessary for a child’s success in the 21st century. These frameworks have redefined the traditional classrooms, teaching methods, infrastructure and technology to focus on creativity, critical thinking, effective communications, collaborations and a spirit of citizenship in each child.

Redefining the Framework of Mentorship in Digital Era
Mentorship opportunities have evolved significantly over the past some time. E-learning portals depend on harnessing technology to meet the needs of effective mentorship. Digitization, in no way, has subdued mentorship. It has, in fact, allowed for greater efficacy in mentorship to match up to the contemporary learning curve. Also, mentorship is now being made available breaking barriers of geography and time zones, making the experience more inclusive and interactive. Technology, itself, is a great mentor, for tracking, recording and evaluating progress, thus generating a predictive course for students to take in order to excel.

Technology – An Essential Intervention
In the 21st century, where children are tech savvy, they can’t be left bored. They look forward to creativity and interactions, their brains need stimulation, challenge, and engagement – an area where technology can intervene. Sensory stimulation through rich graphics and audio, along with gamification of learning experience satiates them. Also, students at all age groups cannot be served with the same modules. There must be variation! In that case, smartphones are of great help. They aid in flexible learning, based on the child’s own schedules, pace, and space. Even if the child is travelling, their modules are a click away, and even free time can become an opportunity for learning.

Custom Learning Solutions – Personalisation
Each child has her own manner of learning, his own pace of evolving, her own style of grasping. Owing to that, e-learning modules are designed as per each child’s individual calibre and skills. This kind of learning solution is helping them to be independent. It helps them become able, independent and even responsible learners. Better absorption and retention, along with a lifelong love for learning is the aim of digital learning solutions of the 21st century. Thereby, this kind of personalisation is the need of the hour and hope for the future!

Extramarks as a Contemporary Mentor
Here, at Extramarks, we understand and realise the unique needs of each child. We regularly interact with them to comprehend their pace of evolving. We track the individual progress of each child and create extensive reports which clearly define areas of strength and possible enhancement. Extramarks has also developed a robust and adaptive testing system, implying that as our tests progress in levels of difficulty so does the student’s progress in the understanding of a certain concept. These smart algorithms help prompt users to either learn more rigorously or to jump on to the next level of testing.

The learning ecosystems of today require a careful analysis of the present, a deep understanding of children’s evolving needs and a vision which can cater to the future of this evolution. The 21st century will demand much from our children, and we are here to ensure our students live up to the challenge.

Personalised Learning – Need of the Hour

The world has woken up now to understanding and realizing the unique needs of each child. Traditional institutions are remodelling themselves into child-centric learning ecosystems, where each child will compete on against his/her own competitive best. When we think deeply about it, we realize that it makes sense. Each child has her own manner of learning, his own pace of evolving, her own style of grasping. It is great then that traditional learning is waking up to realise the necessity of personalisation in education.

However, a cursory glance at the classrooms will reveal the near impossibility of credible personalisation owing to lack of quality teaching resources, adverse teacher-student ratios and the pressure of syllabus completion and high scores. This is where technology can enter and provide respite.

In a classroom full of students, a teacher can have an intuitive sense of how much is being understood. This understanding can further be quantified through test and scores. This methodology, however, is not comprehensive. The way technology solves this problem is by creating a platform through which students can study, submit assignments and undergo tests, which are then detailed into reports and trends using the power of data analytics. These detailed reports are there to be understood either by students on their personal devices, or to be used by teachers and parents for informed interventions.

The child of today also is technologically savvy, and here is an opportunity to use this characteristic for furthering the cause of education. Smartphone devices forever carried along with the user are an able tool for flexible learning, based on the child’s own schedules, pace, and space. When modules are a click away, even free time can become a chance for learning. Also, who knows if a child can follow the speed of teaching in the class. On his own learning device, however, he can slow-down, rewind, revisit, or even pace ahead. Personalisation, again, emphasizes its importance here.

You cannot leave the student of today bored. Their brains need stimulation, challenge, and engagement – again an area where technology can intervene. Sensory stimulation through rich graphics and audio, along with gamification of learning experience help. Also, students at all age groups cannot be served the same platter. Education needs to evolve and adapt along with age-groups, understanding what all needs to be embedded within the text for a holistic learning experience. For example, cognitive skills at an early age, and a higher focus on critical thinking in the middle and later years of schooling.

Personalisation of the learning process lends more autonomy to students. It helps them become able, independent and even responsible learners. Better absorption and retention, along with a lifelong love for learning are other aims we are keeping in mind while creating custom learning solutions, whether for institutions or individuals.

Suffice to say then, personalisation is not just the need of the hour, but the hope of the future. This is what our students need. This is what our students deserve.

By Atul Kulshrestha
CMD, Extramarks Education