Technology has changed society. Science and its myriad applications have changed the way we live and interact. Healthcare, economy, utilities, education- science and technology has touched & transformed every aspect of our lives. The invention of the wheel, the airplane, the printing press, the Internet, online software utilities like word counters, AI writing assistants, etc.- every kind of technology helped us humans achieve some complex &, in some cases, seemingly impossible tasks.
Education has always had an intricate relationship with technology. Research and development conducted by leading educational institutions worldwide paved the way for different kinds of revolutionary technologies, like the computer, the Internet, software applications & the like. And, it all comes back full circle with technology enhancing learning & education to a considerable extent.
Education Technology is the umbrella term that defines all the myriad applications of science & learning theory, which are augmenting & driving education forward in the 21st century, ushering in the ‘new normal education’.
New Normal Education (Source: www.sti.edu)
Let’s take a closer look at today’s EdTech.
Education Technology: Definition and Importance
The vitality of education in the holistic development of our society cannot and need not be over-emphasized. It is the best answer to inequality, ignorance, poverty and many other severe societal ills. And, educational technology offers the tools and techniques to help spread quality education to all, despite all odds. EdTech’s benefits are numerous and exceedingly significant in light of the current scenario.
According to the Department of Higher Education, any sort of technology that aids in learning allows enhanced access to diverse knowledge resources and enables both students & instructors to is considered educational technology. From a simple abacus & blackboard to calculators and projectors, every tool, instrument and object that has aided in the dispensing of knowledge & eased a typical learning process is EdTech.
An alternate explanation of education technology, or EdTech, cites it as the umbrella term for the multitude of hardware & software technologies for facilitating learning and education. The term is also being used to refer to the industries developing these technologies. Also read – 10 Ways Technology Has Been Useful For Students
The importance of educational technology lies in its ability to make different sorts of information available instantaneously in various formats, helping teachers implement varied pedagogical approaches effectively and facilitating students to learn & develop their cognitive skills with better efficacy.
- EdTech paves the way for self-paced & personalized learning experiences, which are more engaging & effective to a learner.
- Educational technology saves time, makes learning easier & more enjoyable and allows teachers to employ variant tactics in their teaching approaches.
- Technologies like the Internet bridges all spatial & digital divides and allows instantaneous communication & information exchange. Distance education and online learning have made remote education feasible and affordable to millions across the world.
For example, students from India can access expert term paper help from professional academic writers from the USA, thanks to the all-pervasive nature of the Internet.
- E-learning, blended learning, project-based learning- educational technologies have led to the rise of diverse learning techniques, which employ the latest technologies, influential educational philosophies, and learning theories to help students understand better & faster.
- EdTech, such as simulations, AR and VR, interactive classrooms, and the like, arouse student’s interest faster, stirs their imagination, and engages them deeply. This helps them grasp concepts better, quicker and encourages active learning.
AI and data analytics are supplementing teachers & educators today. They are helping them analyze student performances and gauging individual capabilities better.
The above points highlight the undeniable importance of educational technology in today’s world. A deeper look into the latest educational techs, revolutionizing modern education is necessary to understand the critical importance of technology in education.
Examples and Advantages of Four Ground-breaking Educational Technologies
The implementation of the Internet and different digital technologies in education have paved the way for e-learning & blended learning. Several governments & educational policymakers are implementing these methods with an increased emphasis on integrating advanced interactive learning technologies across institutions & platforms.
Blended learning is a highly effective support mechanism for tutors and professors at any level. Combining the best features of the classroom & e-learning, blended learning brings knowledge from around the world right into the class. Projectors, 3D images, documentaries, game-based learning are teaching & training formats that fit seamlessly into the blended instructional model.
AI and Data Science
The education sector has fast adopted these two bleeding-edge techs that have seen rapid development in the past decade. AI and machine learning are ushering in the era of automated education, where a dedicated system evaluates, analyzes, and recommends appropriate learning materials & methods to pupils.
Adapting AI can pave the way for creating better learning environments. For example, AI-based Learning Management Systems can deliver better & personalized access to lessons, presentations, training programs, courses, lectures, tests and much more. Learning management systems allow tutors and trainers to assign tasks, determine course structure and assess their level of competence.
Massively Open Online Courses
One of the latest technologies that are disrupting educational systems worldwide is the MOOC platform. edX, Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, Khan Academy are some well-renowned MOOC platforms, which have garnered global attention with an array of courses & collaboration with reputed universities across the world, such as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, and the like.
MOOC platforms do not just limit themselves to offering upskilling opportunities but are also a medium to upgrade qualifications & pivot to different domains. Low costs, easy access, and constant availability are attracting millions to these platforms. From simple essay writing courses from freelance essay writers to advanced micro-masters programs, MOOCs offer many learning opportunities.
Interactive Education: Learning Simulations, Gamification & Game-Based Learning
Astounding developments in software engineering applications have made interactive education a reality. AR, VR, training simulators, game-based learning- different forms of interactive education have made learning more immersive and engaging for learners of all ages.
- Through K-12 and beyond, game-based learning is being implemented worldwide. Teachers and professors cite the increased engagement and better learning outcomes of game-based learning activities as enormous benefits.
- Gamification of learning procedures offers a different breed of educational experience. Using game elements such as points, badges, leader boards, competition, achievements, etc., gamification tech can make learning experiences more interactive, exciting, and intriguing.
- Simulation programs, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality are the three major proponents of interactive and immersive learning. These technologies allow learners to grasp concepts and understand things better using the auspices of technology. VR and AR are used in medical training, pilot training, architecture, design engineering, and more for an immersive learning experience.
Education in the 21st century is and will be revolutionized by & coming technologies. Rapid tech advancements will carve the path to better education and a brighter future, and it is up to us to determine how well we implement & utilize them for personal & the greater good.
And, with that, we wrap up this write-up. Hope it was informative and enlightening enough for those curious & exploratory minds out there.