India is Where You Can Make an Impact on Education Using Technology
Hello, I’m Shabnam Aggarwal and I’m now a co-editor at Educational Technology Debate.
A bit about me
Over the past few years, I’ve honed in on a niche market that I’m relatively obsessed with: disrupting education in classrooms over mobile devices. I’ve worked on a couple of different companies to this end, in India and the US, namely MILLEE and HobNob, and I’ve worked with various professors, researchers, businesses, organizations, and change-makers to try and discover what has worked and what has failed in bringing high-quality education to the masses of classrooms who have little access today.
I believe that technology is not the end-all, be-all solution but an incredible tool we can capitalize upon to truly begin to level the playing field. I believe all children can and will learn, it is simply a matter of the opportunities they have to learn and how their learning connects with their lives and experiences today. I also believe most of the sexiest, easily funded educational tools out there have nothing to do with actual classroom disruption. They simply capitalize upon quick fixes rather than address deeper more systemic issues. If you want to disrupt a classroom, figure out how to help the teacher.
Let’s talk about India
Over the past 20 years, India has had an annual average GDP growth rate of 5.8% – which makes her one of the top emerging economies in the world today. Furthermore, the mobile industry in India is slated to be the third largest market by 2016. India houses 1.2 Billion people today. This means, in the most practical of terms, if you want to make an impact on the world, India is the smartest place to be. If you want to make an impact on education using technology, India is ripe for the picking.
The education technology sector has not only become one of the top trending topics for investors across the country, but entrepreneurs by the hundreds are coming out of colleges, corporations, various sectors, developed nations (ie. me), and the proverbial woodworks to build edtech for the students of India. India’s very own edtech darling TutorVista just saw the largest education acquisition by a multinational corporation recently.
Incubators and foundations are being formed as we speak to solely support and empower all the young innovators trying to build edtech companies on Desi soil. This isn’t to say that everyone’s got the right innovation, the right plan, the right team, or the right execution- in fact most will fail- but what’s astounding are all the perfect ingredients simmering in the boiling water. Now, we can either sit around and watch the water evaporate or we can get up and stir things up a bit.
What’s it gonna be?