Cloud News & Insights

E-Learning and the Asian Market

Two students looking at a laptop

Experts predict that the Asian e-leaning market will grow tremendously before the decade is over. This poses a significant opportunity for cloud technology, often an essential component in providing e-learning services. While the worldwide market for e-learning platforms and related products are increasing globally, trends indicate the the majority of growth in this sector will occur in the Asian market. In 2011 the industry reached a historical high of $35 billion dollars and predictions indicate that it will grow ten billion more in the next three years, and further still in the next decade.

The Asian market is especially attractive for companies providing e-learning products

E-learning can be applied to all educational levels and demands, ranging from training in a corporate environment to kindergarten to graduate school. Asia in particular has embraced e-learning, especially for its potential in language acquisition.

The initial adoption of e-learning in the region can be attributed to the high demand for native English speaking teachers. However, as the technology has advanced, e-learning has been adapted for all kinds of uses. Surprisingly, even though Japan is one of the most technologically developed nations in the Asian region, there is little demand for e-learning outside of language courses.

Where in Asia has e-learning been most successful?

There is no question that South Korea is the regional leader (and arguably, the worldwide leader) when it comes to e-learning programs. This is because the technology sector in South Korea is particularly well-developed and the nation enjoys some of the world’s fasted Internet connection speeds. Most colleges in the country have courses that are taught online and there are nearly two dozen colleges that have their whole curriculum online.

India and China have also been major factors in the growth of the e-learning market in the region, mainly due to the development of world-class universities and efforts to make education accessible to every citizen.  Meanwhile, Thailand has been an important driving force behind e-learning programs for K–9 levels and made the news recently as a government plan to give five million children in elementary schools throughout the country tablet computers has kindled interest in e-learning methods there.

Technological development does not necessarily translate into more e-learning initiatives

While it is true that a lack of the technological infrastructure necessary for these kinds of programs makes it impossible to develop effective e-learning projects, some of the most developed countries in the world like the United States and Japan lag behind countries with a bigger need for these products when it comes to e-learning. It is important to keep this in mind when viewing the potential growth of the e-learning market. While studies predict a growth of about ten percent in the American market, Asian countries are expected to increase their demand for e-learning services by about 25%.

E-learning and the cloud

The development of cloud technology is one of the main drivers behind the e-learning boom of recent years. As VoIP and video conferencing technologies improve, the demand for the cloud will also increase. The e-learning market is a significant opportunity for the growth of cloud adoption in the region. It is important to note that the main drivers for growth in Asia in the next few years will be centered on academia and on English teaching services.

Economic development and globalization could lead to an increase in corporate training programs. Some experts have also predicted many educational institutions shifting completely to the web as technology develops, although that is probably still at least a decade away.

One of the most obvious and yet most important elements of cloud technology that enables e-learning is the multi-location feature of cloud providers, allowing fast and easy access from wherever you are in the world. To give you an example, GMO Cloud has data centers in the United States and Asia Pacific that will allow users to access data easily in these areas; the same areas where we see some of the fastest growing e-learning activities in the whole world.

About the Guest Author:

Nida Rasheed

Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed.

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