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Why Coronavirus Will Cause an EdTech Boom

Why Coronavirus Will Cause an EdTech Boom main image

Experts predict an entire generation of learners will be forced into online learning as countries shut down schools to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

With the negative effects of the virus set to impact global economies well into 2021, the EdTech industry is now under pressure to deliver efficient online solutions for learning and development, particularly in China where students and workers have been under lockdown conditions for almost two months.

While schools and universities might struggle to adapt to this change, experts believe private EdTech companies will benefit from the mass adoption of online learning.

Here at TopMBA.com, we spoke to Robert Hsiung, MBA grad and China CEO of the online educational company EMERITUS, to find out more.

EdTech in coronavirus China

Robert said: “Given our experience in working in online consumption, I believe online platforms are well positioned for a future where more and more schools go online.”

He’s not wrong.

Chinese schools are under huge amounts of pressure as the government demands for them to keep educational prospects afloat.

Teachers have had to learn how to use online platforms, adapt their teaching methods, maintain student engagement and find new ways to evaluate students in just three weeks.

 

With over 8m Chinese students expected to graduate by the end of year, expectations for the upcoming months are even higher.

So far, the transition has progressed well despite the fact that a vast majority of faculty didn’t have any significant online teaching experience before the outbreak – a surprisingly positive outcome considering how quickly the shift to digital learning occurred.

But if the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread, there is a strong possibility that online learning may soon be more than just a temporary measure, forcing schools to turn to EdTech providers for help in a required big shift to online teaching platforms and methods.

The EdTech boom

To counteract the downturn in the economy and education, the Chinese government has issued various subsidies for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the country.

Robert, who has already collaborated with Chinese universities to take their programs online, believes this will create a “boom” for online education and EdTech platforms like EMERITUS.

He said: “The massive move to online is forcing the education system to figure out how to drive engagement at scale in their courses. This has created a special window for us to leverage our experience in supporting these schools.

“I believe that the coronavirus will force educators to revolutionize the way they teach, moving from a lecture-listen model to an interactive, learn-by-doing model. We are well suited to capture the wave.”

Students can benefit from the EdTech boom too. Aside from gaining obvious perks, like not having to commute, being able to study at their own pace, and utilizing a quieter working environment, they can gain extremely useful skills, such as IT, adaptability, and a greater sense of working within a digital space.

For this reason, Robert believes online education will last long after the end of the coronavirus outbreak and be implemented in higher education worldwide.

He said: “Despite all the tragedy caused by the coronavirus and the short-term pain it is causing to our business, I believe that this black swan event will serve to propel our business faster than we had previously projected.

“If this drives widespread change, this will place China’s education system at the forefront of the world and ahead of other countries less affected by the outbreak.”

Written by Linda Mohamed

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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