The advancements in education technology
EdTech, or education technology, uses the power and reach of the internet to deliver a completely new form of learning. The traditional textbook could become a thing of the past as students are already accessing course materials and producing homework online.
Digital technology has already dramatically altered the way individuals, businesses and economies function. Inevitably the way that education and professional training is accessed, absorbed and refined must also change.
Benefits for educators and students
Time-consuming processes such as record keeping, lesson planning and reporting, can all be streamlined and handled quickly and efficiently with the right software, giving teachers more time to focus on the needs of their students. For example, analytical software can assess a student’s response in tests and assignments, and identify where knowledge needs to be improved.
In addition, a pupil’s study record can be stored and carried with them throughout their educational career and beyond, providing permanent details of their progress and achievements. This provides educators with a clear overview of a student’s background and abilities. Further education and professional training programmes can then be more effectively tailored to individual needs.
Smart learning software creates an engaging, immersive experience through the use of video content, gamification and 3D animation. This creates an exciting and stimulating learning experience that couldn’t be more different than the traditional textbook approach. It’s also an essential introduction to a modern world where some degree of technical knowledge is absolutely essential, even for the smallest of tasks.
A global platform
The potential for EdTech goes way beyond school and university, as it enables educators to reach individuals and businesses on a global scale. The chance to extend education and ongoing training to deprived inner city areas, remote communities and emerging countries is undoubtedly something that needs to be developed.
As constant innovation is now the norm, there’s always something new to learn. Consequently, education is no longer something to be done in childhood and then left behind. It’s a necessary and ongoing requirement for everyday life, particularly in the workplace. The online format allows educators to easily reach busy professionals with the latest information, whilst keeping interruptions in the workplace to a minimum.
Is EdTech cost-effective?
Despite the potential, online learning is still costly. The initial setup plus software, training and running costs will make a considerable dent in anyone’s budget. In the commercial world regular updates and developments are integral to the business infrastructure. Educational establishments don’t always have the same financial resources. In addition, internet coverage and access to equipment is by no means worldwide and still comes at a cost. But these barriers are gradually receding as solutions become cheaper and connectivity improves.
A new approach for educational publishers
These issues can be solved over time but the implications for publishers are likely to be far reaching. A shift in mindset and methods of working is crucial, as technical experts don’t always have the necessary understanding of academic requirements. For example, textbooks are laid out in a precise way to facilitate the learning process. When transferred to a digital format the layout can vary greatly when viewed on different devices. Software exists to deal with this, but such is the range of devices on offer that keeping everything up to date requires continual adjustment, and hence, ongoing expense.
A new way of operating
A vital benefit of EdTech is that it allows students to learn and progress at their own pace. However this means that educational publishers must react quickly to make constant changes to their products – a state of affairs that’s completely novel for many traditional publishing houses.
New content may also require updated software and inevitably publishers will pass on the additional costs to the consumer. Developing countries could struggle to meet the extra expense, which would ironically put EdTech out of reach of the people it could benefit the most.
For high quality content to be delivered in a timely and cost effective way, relationships between publishers, educators and technical experts must be closer and more productive than they are at present. This requires a considerable shift in thinking and operating methods, and inevitably some traditional publishers will fall by the wayside.
Clearly there are challenges to overcome but the opportunity to dramatically enhance the way education is delivered is undeniable. Living in the modern world requires continual learning and the development of new skills on an ongoing basis. The potential for educators and publishers is huge, so they don’t want to get left behind.
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