Education Technology, or EdTech, introduces information and communication technology tools into the classroom to create more engaging, inclusive, and individualised learning experiences. With the COVID-19 pandemic transforming the world in unimaginable ways, the past two years have seen some extraordinary educational innovations and experimentations. Since learning had to shift to online platforms, EdTech was exactly what students required. By 2025, the overall online education market is expected to reach $350 billion, compared to $18.66 billion in 2019.
What sets EdTech apart
The influx of EdTech tools has changed classrooms in various ways. For instance, edtech robots, virtual reality lessons and gamified classroom activities make it easier for students to stay engaged through fun forms of learning. EdTech also facilitates automating and individualising the learning process, allowing teachers to be the facilitators. However, what makes EdTech stand out is its inclusivity. It is highly flexible to students’ needs and can be customised accordingly. These customisations include timely group sessions conducted by teachers for discussions, clarifications, and workshops.
Through MOOCs (massive open online courses), EdTech also has enabled people from all age groups to acquire skills and enhance their capabilities. In addition, these courses benefit employees who need to level up their skills once in a while to keep up with the work requirements. Thus, the benefits of EdTech are boundless.
EdTech innovations in the post-pandemic world
The pandemic took the entire landscape of EdTech to a new level as more and more people started online learning. Therefore, the innovations had to be equally accommodating and inclusive due to the high demand.
1. Learning-focused vertical search engines
Excess information available on the internet has the potential to overwhelm learners. So here comes a more intelligent way of dealing with this problem—vertical search engines. This EdTech software are especially helpful because they provide more precise information due to a much narrower scope that makes learning quicker and more organised.
2. Intelligent curation
With EdTech’s popularity, intelligent curation may be a game-changer, delivering only the most important morsels of information based on personalisation. In addition, education-centred apps (similar to news-curation apps, providing bite-sized information) will make learning more appealing.
3. Pop-up schools
Live-streamed schools are now commonplace on the internet, enabling learners to access classes delivered by teachers and trainers worldwide. Without intermediaries such as school boards, these teachers are more independent and creative in designing curricula. In addition, these pop-up schools ensure a form of decentralisation in education.
4. Virtual campuses in the metaverse
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been instrumental in developing virtual campuses. Moreover, the ever-improving technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), etc., are also enhancing the learning procedure with the metaverse as the classic example.
Gamification of learning makes it fun, engaging and compelling, improving performance and encouraging healthy competition. Many educational apps already use this innovation of EdTech.
6. Use of wearable technology
In his article titled “PE Lessons of the Future”, Niall Statham highlighted how wearable technology could help deliver real-time data for teachers to use while teaching. 360-degree views of classrooms and audio technology are a few other experiments that could give viewers the optimum experience.
Education technology’s significant challenges are the availability of a stable internet connection, digital literacy, and accessibility to low-income students. Not to forget the “zoom fatigue” students experience from sitting at the same place and staring at a screen for long hours. There are also scepticisms around the reliability of the information online and the very ‘distracting’ nature of the virtual world.
Nevertheless, one cannot deny the many advantages of education technology. EdTech companies like Coursera, Almentor, Coded Minds, QiDZ, and Duolingo, are already on the rise. Keeping in mind all these advancements in the EdTech industry, we can expect a more holistic approach towards learning, which will be revolutionary, accommodative, and inclusive.