The introduction of digital education in rural India came with its own set of infrastructural issues. The erratic electricity supply and lack of access to educational facilities made the penetration of technology-based education tough. The incursion of cable television eventually changed the prevalent indolent way of thinking. The rural population is now welcoming the idea of using mobile devices and is equally comfortable in handling technology devices.
Online learning or Live Virtual Classrooms (LVC) has paved the way for modern education in rural India. Moreover, the integration of technologies such as Cloud, Data Centers & Virtualization into the education industry is making information available to the students from far-flung areas in just one click.
At present, the country has over 200 million people connected to the internet and the numbers are expected to reach 550 million by 2018. In such a scenario, the number of competitive exam aspirants is going to increase every year. These learners will not only increase the demand for good content but also easily accessible content, be it through smartphones or tablets.
The advent of low-cost smartphones coupled with low mobile tariffs is empowering students from the small cities to go beyond making just phone calls and instead reap the benefits of data connectivity. The further expansion of the data service network in the country, alongside push on 3G & introduction of 4G technologies, is adding to the data usage in rural areas that demand speedier connections.
International startups like Khan Academy, Udacity, Coursera, and StraighterLine have already tasted success in this category owing to their role in reforming the educational process with the use of video and advanced web platforms to make learning more affordable and effective. Taking a cue from their international counterparts, Indian online education platforms are following a similar path.
Students from rural India value good education and are eagerly waiting to excel in the field. Technology intervention allows them access to the best possible learning resources from across the world, at a very affordable price. Moreover, for a country that depends on the development of its educational sector for its economic and social growth, a surge in switching to technology-driven education will amply propel rural India towards empowerment.