Vadim Kovalev, Director of the Center for Educational Technologies in RVC:
With the resumption of the educational process in schools, the media spread information that distance learning systems could not withstand the load due to multiple increases in the number of users. Electronic diaries and educational sites stopped opening, being unable to cope with the influx of visitors. Users saw error pages or a white browser screen instead of training material or assignments.
The nascent sphere of Russian edtech today passes the “test of strength”. RVC conducted a situation analysis to assess the extent and possible consequences of what is happening. We requested basic metrics from two dozen of the most considerable educational resources in terms of visits. Among them are 1C, Algoritmika, Internet Lesson, Codewards, MEO, Obrazovarium, Open School, Plario, Uchi.ru, Foxford, and YaKlass.
Here are some simple but important conclusions that can be drawn from the analysis:
1. Over the past week, the load on considerable educational resources (the so-called “Million-plus”) increased by 3–5 times. Among them are Internet Lesson, Foxford, Yaklass. For example, two weeks ago, on one of the platforms, 340 thousand users were registered; last week — almost 750 thousand, and this week — about 2.3 million users per day. The burden on young growing projects has risen, ranging from 7 to 12 times a week.
2. In addition to the increase in the number of visitors, the “depth of use” has sharply increased. Previously, students performed fewer tasks on these resources, but now they use educational solutions longer and more actively. This is a hot topic for both young projects and industry leaders.
3. The share of non-governmental resources among all content educational sites today exceeds 85%. Millions of Russian schoolchildren receive learning materials as part of the primary school online curriculum precisely with their help.
4. Almost 100% of websites where schoolchildren work with simulators, in other words thay are practicing specific skills and solving problems are non-state resources. Among them are Yaklass, Yandex.Uchebnik, Uchi.ru.
Why is it important to pay attention to these figures of those who make decisions in the field of education? They clearly show that the main “quarantine strike” was taken mainly by commercial resources. Schools are massively connected to commercial educational services which today provide services for free or with significant discounts. Actually, Russian edtech companies unexpectedly provided a substantial part of the educational process of Russian schoolchildren at home.
Given the significantly increased costs and burdens on these companies, it is imperative to develop a mechanism for their balanced state support. Many projects have already begun to have growth problems. Such support will be appropriate even after quarantine, stimulating the introduction of the best practices of the “pandemic era” into the primary educational process. The development of specific support mechanisms is currently underway with the participation of leading research groups. We hope that such decisions will be made shortly.
RVC will continue to collect statistics on visits to educational resources. Based on it, we will soon prepare and present a new analytical product — “the pulse of distance education” to the edtech- community. Follow our news.