From the old times to modern days, educational technology continues to evolve in exciting new ways — inspiring teachers and students alike. Technology is continually changing the way we work and play, create and communicate. So it’s only natural that advancements in digital technology are also creating game-changing opportunities in the world of education.
What started as an experiment in education delivery is now being transformed by a new breed of technology entrepreneurs. EdTech, a contraction of the phrase “education technology,” is the combination of IT tools and educational practices aimed at facilitating and enhancing learning.
In today’s schools, the internet and computers are as prevalent as textbooks and pencils. These devices, paired with EdTech, can enhance students’ performance. It can assist educators in determining every student’s needs and requirements and creating personalized solutions. Technology like auto-grading can lessen educators’ burden and provide a more engaging learning experience.
EdTech allows educators to connect with young minds and interactively educate them. Altogether, the current trends in educational technology help teachers keep up with their student’s interests.
Let us see how EdTech is helping students as well as teachers:
An influx of technology is opening up new avenues of learning for students of all ages, while also promoting collaboration and inclusivity in the classroom.
Cloud-enabled tools and tablets are fostering collaboration in the classroom. Tablets loaded with learning games and online lessons give children the tools to solve problems together. Meanwhile, cloud-based apps let students upload their homework and digitally converse with one another about their thought processes and any help they may need.
Preparation for the Future
Many industries incorporate the latest technologies in their workflow, and being comfortable with technology can make it easy for students to settle in. If students are used to working with technology in school, they can apply that familiarity to work-oriented software like PowerPoint. In this way, incorporating technology in the classroom can prepare students for future job success.
24/7 Access to Learning
IoT devices are making it easier for students to have full access to the classroom in a digital environment. Whether they’re at school, on the bus, or at home, connected devices are giving students Wi-Fi and cloud access to complete work at their own pace (and on their schedules) without being hampered by the restriction of needing to be present in a physical classroom. Various apps also help students and teachers stay in communication in case students have questions or need to alert teachers to an emergency. EdTech is also creating a stronger link between what happens in the classroom and outside the classroom (at home, in transit, etc.), making teacher-endorsed digital educational resources available at all times, such as assignments and test prep material, and creating a continuum of touchpoints in the learning experience for pupils.
This is changing the way pupils are consuming education in the same way Cloud technology has changed the way we consume music and television.
“Flipping” the Classroom
EdTech tools are flipping the traditional notion of classrooms and education. Traditionally, students have to listen to lectures or read in class and then work on projects and homework at home. With video lectures and learning apps, students can now watch lessons at home at their own pace, using class time to collaboratively work on projects as a group. This type of learning style helps foster self-learning, creativity, and a sense of collaboration among students.
Personalized Educational Experiences
EdTech opens up opportunities for educators to craft personalized learning plans for each of their students. This approach aims to customize learning based on a student’s strengths, skills, and interests. Video content tools help students learn at their own pace and because students can pause and rewind lectures, these videos can help students fully grasp lessons. With analytics, teachers can see which students had trouble with certain lessons and offer further help on the subject.
Instead of relying on stress-inducing testing to measure academic success, educators are now turning to apps that consistently measure overall aptitude. Constant measurements display learning trends that teachers can use to craft specialized learning plans based on each student’s strengths and weaknesses or, more importantly, find negative trends that can be proactively thwarted with intervention.
Do you remember sitting in class, half-listening, half-day dreaming? Now, with a seemingly infinite number of gadgets and outside influences vying for a student’s attention, it’s imperative to craft lesson plans that are both gripping and educational. EdTech proponents say technology is the answer. Some of the more innovative examples of students using tech to boost classroom participation include interacting with other classrooms around the world via video, having students submit homework assignments as videos or podcasts, and even gamifying problem-solving.
Students aren’t the only group benefitting from EdTech. Teachers are seeing educational technology as a means to develop efficient learning practices and save time in the classroom.
Incorporation of Different Learning Styles
Student needs are diverse, and adjusting the learning plan accordingly can be challenging. Technology can help educators modify their lessons. Incorporating technology can allow students to learn with a medium that interests them. For example, kids who like to draw can create infographics and demonstrate their understanding of the content. EdTech can help teachers determine and assess all students’ capabilities with a tailored experience.
EdTech helps teachers stay organized.
Using EdTech platforms, teachers can create digital repositories of teaching materials, videos, and slide decks used, then provide access to students and caregivers to review on their own time. It’s easy to see what material you have available to teach with and saves energy from having to look through piles of old paper resources. When all classes are being taught remotely they tend to bleed into one another. For teachers juggling multiple remote and hybrid classes, EdTech allows them to show up to each new class and lesson prepared and organized.
Artificially intelligent tools are making grading a breeze. These apps use machine learning to analyze and assess answers based on the specifications of the assignment. Using these tools, especially for objective assignments like true/false or fill-in-the-blank assessments, frees up hours that teachers usually spend grading assignments. Extra free time for teachers provides more flexibility for less prep and one-on-one time with both struggling and gifted students.
Classroom Management Tools
Let’s face it, trying to get a large group of kids to do anything can be challenging. Educational technology has the potential to make everything — from the way teachers communicate with their students to how students behave — a little easier. There are now apps that help send parents and students reminders about projects or homework assignments, as well as tools that allow students to self-monitor classroom noise levels. The addition of management tools in the classroom brings forth a less-chaotic, more collaborative environment.
Printing budgets, wasting paper and countless time spent at the copy machine is a thing of the past thanks to EdTech. Classrooms that have gone digital bring about an easier way to grade assignments, lessen the burden of having to safeguard hundreds of homework files, and promote overall greener policies in the classroom.
Teachers spend countless hours attempting to assess the skills or areas of improvement of their students. EdTech can change all of that. There are currently myriad tools, data platforms, and apps that constantly assess students’ skills and needs, and they relay the data to the teacher.
Sometimes harmful studying trends aren’t apparent to teachers for months, but some tools that use real-time data can help teachers discover a student’s strengths, weaknesses, and even signs of learning disabilities, setting in motion a proactive plan to help.
Teachers and students use technology in the classroom in a variety of ways to boost the learning experience and make education smarter than ever, and education technology, “EdTech,” is now an industry of its own.
Ed Tech as an industry is growing exponentially, valued at almost 90B in 2020 and rising at a projected rate of 20% year over year through 2028. Industry experts predict continued growth in Ed Tech tools and a boom in AI-powered, AR-enhanced, and VR-integrated educational technology products in the coming years. It has been found that students in schools with sufficient technology devices performed better than those without access to technology and high-speed internet. Ed Tech enables teachers to support hybrid learning, which creates an inclusive classroom environment that provides access to learners, no matter their location or ability to physically be present in class.