The educational landscape has changed drastically over the last few years. With growing connectivity and easy-to-access technology, educators are promoting out-of-the-box thinking and innovation in students.
Moreover, classrooms at all levels are also evolving to meet the Covid induced curriculum’s new normal.
Recent studies reveal that 81% of teachers agree that digital learning tools add more value to classroom lessons. Another 57% believe digital learning tools can offer a personalized learning experience.
A large majority of educators, evidently, think that technology-backed education is more effective.
And to your surprise, 90% of students also believe the same. Growing alongside technology, the students today are more comfortable learning lessons online.
In fact, a majority of them are already using digital tools at school.
It is noteworthy that there are still challenges that need to be overcome.
Inequality in Accessibility to Digital Tools
Although studies support that many students and educators are using digital learning tools, the exact picture is far from these reports.
Most of these studies are conducted on the economic classes that have easy access to these resources.
While, in contrast, a large population lacks access to these EdTech opportunities. Access to high-speed internet and hardware (laptops or tablets) is the most widespread reason for this inequality.
The growing dependence on technology, both in and out of the classroom, further adds to the problems. The inaccessibility is proving to be a roadblock that needs to be addressed.
Training Educators to Personalize Learning
Suppose something goes wrong with the streaming application during a class. In that case, it might not be feasible to get a technician to resolve the issue.
Typically, the teachers would need to troubleshoot the issues themselves. And this, indeed, requires some training on using and maintaining digital tools.
Besides, a significant number of educators are not even familiarized with the basics of digital tools. Meaning – they might struggle to put together the learning material, frame a proper structure for online lessons, and deploy it online.
So, there’s a need to immediately train educators about these digital tools. On top of this, as a spokesperson from an online school UK says, the educators will need to learn to personalize the lessons for classes or groups of students. Of course, there’s no physical connection between the educators and students, which further adds up to the equation.
Keeping aside the challenges for once, the education sector is still somehow making strides. Of course, the studies and general surveys reveal the same.
Thanks to the innovations that are making it to the mainstream EdTech industry.
It’s not just the students or the educators that need to upgrade their skills. Perhaps, institutional growth is also on the cards for the development of these new educational curricula.
Notably, VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) are becoming widely accessible. More and more institutions are using these technologies for both in-class and out-of-the-class lessons.
The technology is already stimulating creativity among students and helping them retain the lessons for longer. Not to mention, these technologies have also proved to increase engagement in students.
Technology can also help limit the need for physical tours in subject matters like zoology, biology, and ecology. A virtual tour or lesson can help the students gain the same level of experience but without risking their health in travelling and contracting pathogens.
With the strides with virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Dot, people of all ages are already accessing information more conveniently.
Not to mention, virtual assistants, or more commonly called voice assistants, are also making their way into the classroom.
Notably, the technology is enabling students to search through the institutional archives and study material. And did we mention, students can even make voice notes using the same technology?
In short, virtual assistants are simplifying the search part for both educators and students.
Another innovation that is making its way into the EdTech sector is artificial intelligence.
A NYTimes report highlights the Sandbox ColLABorative, an arm of Southern New Hampshire University. Following the initiative, theories around multilingual learning and AI teaching assistants are being positively tested.
Some EdTech platforms are already using AI-backed curriculum to help organize classes for convenient learning.
Some reports also suggest that AI assistants might soon replace the conventional tasks for teachers and educators. As a result, it would help speed up students’ learning process and reduce workload for the teachers.
Online Learning during Covid-19
We’ve all seen schools, colleges, and universities close their facilities for in-person activities. Perhaps, it has been the most significant point for the EdTech sector.
The demand for online learning exploded within a matter of days as the lessons needed to be delivered, but in-class activities were not allowed.
Besides, the best thing is that it’s not just the education sector enjoying these technologies. Several industries have also been deploying their training materials over the internet since March 2020.
For example, healthcare professionals are taking up virtual consultations. Likewise, manufacturers are training their corporate personnel online with the help of the same technologies.
In short, the pandemic triggered an outburst of online training and learning practices.
Navigating through the post-Covid life, we might probably see continuous growth in online learning. Perhaps, there could be many innovations emerging in the coming years that could integrate with the education sector as a whole.
It is exciting to explore the future of technology in education and the impact these techs could have on educators and students.
From pre-schooling to higher education and even master or doctorate studies, the effects are already being felt.
Consequently, the professionals in the technology sector have a critical role to play in this growth. They’d be pushing the limits to ensure that education is accessible to everyone at any cost.
But, at the same time, they’d also need to ensure that the challenges mentioned earlier are overcome to increase accessibility. And also eradicate inequality.
In short, the sector that initially was the ground for learning technology, is now using it to grow and expand.