10-Minute Guide To Education Technology
Five years ago, had we told you that providing quality education to students would mean going beyond the confines of classrooms, you would’ve mocked us! However, it is the reality of the modern-age educational industry. From in-classroom tablets and interactive displays and Augmented Reality-based sessions to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), education has come a long way, thanks to innovative emerging technologies!\
Education Technology, popularly known as Ed Tech, is what makes this possible. The Education technology market is worth over $10 billion! Not just students, this industry is making its mark on various aspects of education – from schools and colleges to training institutes and corporate workplaces for upskilling.
This article will cover what led to the inception of Education Technology, its different types, the applications of EdTech, how they can benefit you as well as its future trends. Yes, the class is in session!Let’s learn, shall we?
Let’s talk about Netflix, 3D Printing technology and Cryptocurrency – how do they relate, you must be wondering. Well, they were all disruptors of their respective industries. People didn’t understand how much Netflix or crypto was going to change the landscape – till it did. It is the same with EdTech. It has helped easily widen the students' learning curve across ages and skill sets.
People always believed that learning could happen only in the conventional format, i.e., in a classroom with blackboards, notebooks and white chalk. Yet, Education Technology has stepped up to challenge this trend. It has taught us (pun intended!) a new way of imparting learning by leveraging technology.
What’s not to love about Ed Tech? Learners can learn anywhere and anytime through online portals; they can be in a classroom or at home or at their desks in the office. Moreover, EdTech makes traditional learning more fun and interactive. Moreover, businesses are integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI), AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality) and other technologies to offer interactive, personalized and engaging learning solutions. That’s what modern education needs!
What Is Education Technology Really?
Educational Technology uses computer hardware, software, educational philosophy and strategies to improve learning outcomes. The ultimate purpose of Educational Technology, commonly known as Ed Tech, is to provide a better learning environment by integrating new technologies, which will improve results. It has also been shown to boost students' involvement and participation in class because of its distinctive, innovative and equitable approaches. Instructors can also broaden their network and connect with other teachers and educators nationally and worldwide. For large businesses, it can enable standardized training for all trainees and employees.
Now that you know what Education Technology brings to the study table, let’s explore how it came into existence.
A Brief History Of Education Technology
Today, Education Technology relies on digital applications and emerging tech to provide learners with the best resources instantly. However, the oldest educational revolution happened over 2000 years ago!
In 389 BC, Plato founded his Athens Academy to impart students’ knowledge. It changed the way education was looked at for over 200 years before it was destroyed.
Then, in 1635, the first public school was founded in the United States. Back then, pen and paper ruled the classrooms, with very few technological inventions in the field of EdTech. Finally, In the 1800s, as the paper was too expensive for families and school administrations, personal slates and chalk were introduced to solve that problem. It was among the first revolution in EdTech.
Another major milestone came in 1905 through the Stereoscope. It was a 3D viewing tool made by the Keystone Viewing Company, that helped teachers use images to illustrate their points during lectures.
Through the 1900s, we saw the invention of the calculator, overhead projector, ballpoint pen, mimeographs, headphones and other tools that enabled a better learning experience. It was in 1998 that smartboards were introduced in classrooms and then, in 1999, the invention of the World Wide Web took EdTech to the next level. With access to information from around the world, it helped change the world of education as anyone could ask a question and get an answer.
Soon, online learning was augmented with social tools, interactive displays, AR, VR and other technologies. In the late 2010s, predictive learning algorithms were developed to assess each student’s learning pace and adjust the course accordingly. #PersonalizedLearning
Today, mobile apps are making strides in both teaching and training through online tutoring, as well as enabling real-time outreach to learners. All course materials can be housed on the cloud and accessed via these apps, allowing students to learn at their own speed. Moreover, gamification and VR are making learning fun and more interactive.
We’re sure if you walk into the closest school, you will find some form of Education Technology deployed there. However, it extends to workplaces and other institutions, where employees need to be trained or mentored. Depending on the type of learner, online or offline mode and other factors, there can be varying types of technologies. Let’s see the different types of Education Technology.
What Are The Different Types Of Education Technology?
Education Technology can be delivered using different content types such as audio, video, live sessions or simulated environments – heck, imagine learning about the Moon landing and being able to visualize it through VR goggles from a first-person perspective! With the multitude of content types and communication channels, Education Technology can broadly be categorized into four types:
It involves in-person teaching where instructors share feedback in real time. Since students and teachers interact in the same environment, synchronous learning helps students learn social skills, teamwork and interaction skills. It also gives them a chance to learn from their peers and be more aware of their situation.
It is self-paced learning involving emails, blogs, discussion boards, eBooks, courses, etc. Students get their study material which they can read or listen to at their pace. Asynchronous learning is suitable for students who are unable to devote specific time to learning, such as working professionals. Besides, it also helps them to pursue a course without ignoring their current priorities. #BestOfBothWorlds
Linear learning involves self-paced remote learning delivered via a computer or smartphone. It is mainly used to teach software skills and procedures. It involves animations, tutorials and videos that go beyond the traditional textbook-based instructions. It also quickens the work of teachers as they can easily take assessments using online multiple-choice questions, showcase simulations to help students understand concepts and record their sessions for future use.
Collaborative learning involves students and teachers working in a collaborative environment, promoting an exchange of ideas and increasing the awareness of both parties. The best part of collaborative learning is that it creates a network of people who can help each other upskill especially in workplaces that demand niche skills. That’s cool, right?
No matter which type of Education Technology strategy you deploy, there are bound to be some benefits. Read on to know more!
The Benefits Of Education Technology
Traditional pen-and-paper education had a lot of drawbacks – it limited what could be taught and how. Yet, as we introduced new technologies, education could be imparted across the globe in interactive, engaging and unique ways. Here’s how that has benefited learners:
Makes Education Fun And Engaging
Today's students must not only learn, but they must also have an interest while doing so. Students may have fun while learning thanks to educational technology, which helps them stay motivated and interested in their academics. This promotes active engagement in the classroom by transforming normally boring subjects into interesting and enjoyable activities.
Access To The Internet Leads To Better Experience
Using Education Technology benefits students since they have access to a wealth of knowledge and resources. It enables students to connect to the Internet even when in class or at work, enhancing research skills and access to information.
Prepares Learners To Be Technology-Friendly
Students who can keep up with the newest technologies in classrooms can have a better understanding of several subjects and develop new skills. Such learners distinguish themselves from competitors and can assist organizations in being more efficient by understanding how to apply new technologies to specific difficulties.
Better Teacher-Learner Interactions
Teachers can use technology to improve their relationships with their students, co-workers and mentees. For example, 84% of teachers say they use the Internet at least regularly to discover engaging content for their students. Integrating Education Technology enables teachers to search for examples over the Internet in real-time, making a big difference in the classroom.
Better Collaboration Skills
Among the many benefits, Education Technology encourages collaboration among learners. Ideas and opinions can be communicated using the Internet just as easily as information. Remote students who are outside of the classroom can use social applications to interact and share their learning experiences. Introducing Education Technology into the classroom will result in more collaboration.
Phew, we’re sure you learned a lot (pun intended!). Now it’s time for the quiz called “What’s the future of EdTech?” - are you ready? Read on!
What Does The Future Hold For Education Technology?
The Education Technology industry is getting bigger and better each day. It will play a crucial role in providing quality education to the students from schools to trainees in businesses, regardless of their geographical locations, socio-economic strata and external conditions. Many start-ups are working on incorporating emerging technologies such as Extended Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics to bring something different to learners.
Another EdTech trend is blockchain application as it creates a learning ecosystem that is decentralized, secure and transparent. Ed Tech platforms can use the blockchain so that when specified conditions are met, courses and lessons can be created and delivered automatically and progress can be tracked in real-time. Edutainment is also a new concept that has been making its way into the market. We're sure it will become ubiquitous in the days to come. Gamifying education makes it more engaging and the worldwide education gamification market is predicted to expand by 29% to $234.41 billion by 2027.
Hence, the future of the EdTech industry looks bright.
It is just amazing to see how much Education Technology connects learners, teachers and educational resources. To offer your learners quality education without any gaps, you need to deploy Education Technology – be it for school students or your new interns.
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