Edtech is now a $6 trillion industry, with British schools alone investing an estimated £900m annually. Since the global pandemic, these investments have proven even more worthwhile
CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appered on TechRound
Schools across the world are relying more and more on edtech services and remote learning. But what does this mean for teachers and pupils? Is the edtech revolution sustainable in the long run, or are teachers and pupils getting left behind?
The internet has been a blessing in relation to the range of resources available for students. Internet-connected devices in classrooms give access to many interactive resources, from the most basic audio and video materials to creative tools and online quizzes. However, these resources cannot be treated as a ‘one-size-fits-all‘ solution; it should still be tailored to suit each individual child’s ability.
Gamification can be a hugely powerful learning tool, especially when accompanied by a clear learning objective. ‘Game mechanics’, such as rules and rewards for learning, can enhance teaching, and increase student motivation. Studies have shown that 67% of students say that gamified courses motivate them more than traditional ones – but the surplus of games available in the current market makes finding a game with genuine educational value challenging for teachers.
In a recent poll conducted by YouGov, 61% of parents felt that artificial intelligence will be an important addition to classrooms by the year 2035. However, given the backlash over this year’s A-Level results, there are still significant obstacles when it comes to assessing student performance using AI and algorithms.
Social and emotional learning
Whilst edtech brings many positives, the impact it has on emotional wellbeing it must be noted. Children are highly capable of understanding the functionality of their tech, without appreciating the toll it may take on their mental health; 90% of school leaders reported an increased number of students experiencing anxiety or stress in the last five years. They indicated exam stress, and maintaining a ‘perfect lifestyle‘ on social media, as key stressors. More worryingly, 30% of pupils claim their school would not know how to help them with an online problem.
The future of edtech
Educators dream of a future in which technology can streamline administration and revolutionise learning – and this is not such a distant future since 87% of primary school children across the UK regularly use the internet for photo-sharing, playing games and connecting with family and friends.
So, as we venture further into this tech-dependent world of education, we must consider best practice and, as well as becoming tech savvy, we need to make sure we teach children kindness, empathy and resilience, in order to combat the darker side of edtech.