Edtech’s impact on education continues to grow, and it is revolutionising the sector. However, education is still late to the party, as other sectors are much more technologically advanced. So, what does the edtech revolution look like and why does the education sector still need to keep up?
Edtech offers a great opportunity for student development in a more exciting and engaging environment. Edtech has come a long way since the introduction of interactive whiteboards and projectors. Now, tablets – and even virtual reality devices – are commonplace in classrooms and this has revolutionised teaching. Edtech has allowed students to access on-demand courses and virtual learning environments at the click of a button.
This explosion of edtech in the classroom isn’t expected to slow down any time soon, in fact, it is likely that it will continue to grow at an increasing rate. Traditional teaching methods can no longer compete with the convenience, availability and engagement rate that edtech brings to the classroom.
Experts from Forbes Technology Council have formed a list of ten advancements which they believe to be the most compelling recent advances in edtech.
Online learning platforms
“Digital transformations are now letting students ditch the physical classroom. You can learn everything from coding skills to personal finance basics. You learn more valuable and relevant skills in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional education,” says Marc Fischer of Dogtown Media LLC.
Live online tutoring
Arnie Gordon, of Arlyn Scales, adds, “It also allows parents to be more selective in their tutors instead of going with whoever can accommodate their schedule.”
Educational ‘phone apps
“Instead of fighting with students to keep them away from their beloved ‘phones, how about using smartphones to help them learn? The more interactive the content is, the higher the learning will be. Edtech is fun with these apps,” comments Vikram Joshi of pulsd.
Virtual, augmented and contextual tools
“Augmented reality, along with contextually relevant, on-the-job learning systems, have brought an exponentially differentiated experience to students,” Florian Quarré, of Exponential AI, says in relation to the importance of virtual, augmented and contextual tools. “They have also demonstrated a greater ability for students to commit new concepts to memory and recall concepts faster when the knowledge and skill is required.”
Extended reality technology
“Extended reality (XR) moves students away from traditional lectures toward more engaging, immersive learning experiences within a simulated real-world space. Other benefits include increased comprehension levels and long-term memory retention among students,” says Christopher Yang, Corporate Travel Management.
“There’s a huge trend in primary and higher education systems using new technology to track and monitor their strategic and operational plans.” Christy Johnson, AchieveIt points out.
Mihir Shinde, from B&H Photo Video Pro Audio, says, “Screencasting has changed the dynamics of the classroom as it offers both teachers and students the freedom to actively engage with the lessons.”
Marcus Turner, of Enola Labs, is a big fan of gamification. “This enables greater student interaction in the classroom and in place of traditional homework. I am a big fan of gamification in education as it gets students more excited about learning,” he explains.
“Giving students professional-grade tools means they have the ability to produce amazing things. Schools that deploy these tools are more likely to have students that enter the workforce with experience and familiarity with enterprise offerings,” Tom Roberto, of Core Technology Solutions, adds.
Finally, Tyler Shaddix, of GoGuardian, finishes by saying, “I’ve seen some great edtech tools come and go, but one tool that has stuck out is Flipgrid. It effectively combines the preferred way students like to share with the way educators set instructional goals.”
Get ready to get techy!
Despite all these advances in the use of technology in the education sector, it is a sector still in need of implementing technology initiatives that are considered the norm in other industries.
For example, big data is used frequently in many sectors, but not as much in education despite the benefits it can provide. Big data can help schools improve operations and have a more intelligent understanding of the data they already have stored including financial data, pupil data and teacher data.
By continuing to prioritise the use of technology in education, schools can streamline their processes resulting in less administration and wasted time. For example, digital assignments enable students to receive ongoing feedback from tutors, making the learning process much smoother. Projects, course updates and assessments can also be digitally sent to students, and feedback given is more direct, immediate and personalised.
Furthermore, digital learning through electronic devices, like tablets, reduces the need for stacks of books and paperwork. Apps and programs can digitally send updates to students regarding their courses and lectures, and multiple projects can easily be viewed from the same device.
The edtech revolution isn’t going to slow down any time soon, so embrace it and reap the benefits that it can bring. Get ready to get techy!