How Education Ecosystem is Changing the Online Education Landscape Photo: Education Ecosystem
The online learning industry is expected to grow over the next few years due to a variety of factors. A research report published by Research and Markets in December 2019 estimates that the industry will swell to $350 billion in 2025, up from $107 billion in 2015. Education Ecosystem, a startup in the online education landscape is planning to revolutionize the sector by targeting intermediate tech professionals and college students.
Online learning involves the offering of courses and learning materials through the internet by virtual institutions, with the aim of equipping students with the knowledge that they can or cannot find from brick-and-mortar institutions. Online education as it exists today is purely supplemental to primary traditional education and does not replace the latter completely. Online education was pioneered by universities that provided course material to students who couldn’t attend campuses. However, new startups and institutions were founded to serve this purpose and provide services that universities and colleges cannot provide alone.
The biggest online companies in the world are based in Asia with China and India respectively taking the lead in online education. The industry is growing due to practical and effective education, internet penetration, a growing base of smartphone users, and flexibility that the online learning model offers to students and those who want to further their careers. Unexpected events such as disease outbreaks can potentially shape the future of the industry. The ongoing coronavirus epidemic that broke out in Wuhan, China, could play a huge role in promoting the growth of online education. Some parents have signed online classes for their children so that the students forced to remain at home can keep up with their peers. Although this is a temporary measure, it could potentially make online learning acceptable to parents who may have been against online education.
Education Ecosystem and project-based learning
Education Ecosystem (LEDU) is a project-based learning platform that teaches professional developers and students how to build real products in areas such as programming, game development, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data science, and blockchain. The platform’s ecosystem is powered by content creators who produce practical projects that teach intermediate level professionals and students how to build real-world products. The startup’s goal is to build the world’s biggest project-based learning platform.
Breaking down what makes Education Ecosystem unique
Education Ecosystem does not have direct competitors but has indirect competitors such as Lynda and Pluralsight. The differences between Education Ecosystem and its competitors include:
Education Ecosystem is a career-focused learning platform whose target audience are intermediates or experts. This is unlike its competitors that focus on beginners and intermediates. Beginners should start with other online learning platforms so that they master the basics. They can then switch to Education Ecosystem when they are ready to put their knowledge into practice through project-based learning. This makes Education Ecosystem’s platform ideal for professionals or students who have completed beginner studies.
The majority of online learning platforms use courses as a method of teaching. This works for them because their goal is to teach beginners step-by-step until they have a good grip on what they are learning. This is good though it is a generic approach. Education Ecosystem uses a project-based model that allows intermediate level professionals to work on a project. It gives intermediates a feel of what it’s like to build industry-grade products and also help professionals to hone their skills so that they can find success in their careers. This sentiment is shared by Education Ecosystem’s project creation manager Dusan Kolic who said, “Project-based learning seeks to better prepare students for solving real-life problems and issues while teaching them what they need to know to succeed in their careers.”
What makes Education Ecosystem unique Photo: Education Ecosystem
Education Ecosystem uses a practical, production-level work approach instead of theoretical learning preferred by other platforms. This is partly due to the audience that these platforms are targeting. Other learning platforms lay the foundation while Education Ecosystem translates the theoretical knowledge into practice.
Decentralized peer-to-peer model
Education Ecosystem employs a decentralized technology as the bedrock of its platform. Education Ecosystem has built an ecosystem that incentivizes learners, project creators, API developers, other online companies, colleges, and nonprofits.
The main idea behind Education Ecosystem’s teaching is the end result. It focuses on complete projects that offer value to intermediates and professionals rather than teaching theory.
Content creation cost
Creating content on Education Ecosystem is fast and cost-effective because it is based on user-generated peer to peer projects. This allows a wider pool of project creators to create projects that benefit learners.
Content creation speed
Due to the project-based nature of the learning material, less time is required to create quality practical learning resources for the target audience. Ryan Schuetz was attracted to the platform due to the speed of creating content. “All I had to do was create a tutorial on something that I have experience in. I completed the project Python Data Analytics and Visualization in only four days.
Benefits of project-based learning
Project-based learning is a great teaching method that provides benefits to both learners and project creators. Learners focus on one project at a time, giving them enough time to analyze the problem and how best they can approach it.
Students gain invaluable experience on how to handle a project from start to finish. This includes analyzing the problem from a practical point of view to developing a solution that works for that problem. Project-based learning prepares students for their professional careers by learning from instructors who have vast practical knowledge in specific areas. UK-based project creator and software engineer Elliott Minns says that students are more engaged as the idea of building a real product acts as an incentive. “Students see the completion of a real product as an incentive for learning. This motivates them and gives them enough reason to sharpen their skills,” said Timms.
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