Over the past few decades, things have changed in unprecedented ways. Science advances every day, and so does everything else. The education sector has also come a long way since our parents went to school. To make learning more interesting and interactive, innovative methods have been implemented, and all of these new approaches indicate that in this particular field, too, certain progress has transpired.
The purpose of this article is to examine how education has changed and what it is called, as well as how we can play a role in its advancement. Let’s have a look.
What is Edtech
EdTech is a brief name for Educational Technology. It consists of the use of technical techniques to aid education and learning in academics. This topic has already been discussed in the previous article. Edtech takes the form of hardware and other technological instruments to enhance teaching at all stages.
Some Examples of EdTech
1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Every day, AI and machine learning demonstrate their effectiveness and efficiency in other sectors and continue to dominate the education industry. In every classroom, every teacher faces the challenge of students not paying attention or inability to teach in a way that appeals to all the students’ intellect. To be honest, no one can be blamed.
Everything in the world has evolved so rapidly that, although it is an advancement, most of these things have proved to be a distraction to the learning process and off-late, everyone has realized that every individual has their grasping phase, and their way of learning that makes them unique. It’s not possible for one teacher to be able to do this for a classroom full of students. This is where AI and ML become significant. The teachers use AI as a tool to help them gain an understanding of the pattern of learning of the particular student and helps the teacher come up with ways to make the learning experience fun, as the teacher hits the maximum effectiveness by devising a personalized way of teaching the student. This applicability of artificial intelligence and machine learning enables them to develop a personalized approach that will further enhance their cognitive knowledge by creating specific, particularly unique teaching methodologies into consideration.
The name of these technologies refers to the way artificial reality and virtual reality can close the gap between reality and gaming. Imagine a biology class with a picture of a human body so that the students could better understand the parts of the body. Even though AR/VR is still growing in the field of application and usage, many businesses remain unaware; education is an area where it is a major breakthrough. In contrast to reading, the course takes place in the classroom with AR/VR presentations, giving you a visual experience that will last longer in your mind.
3. Cloud Technology
Cloud technology has really taken off in the last few years; almost anything can be stored in it, from pictures to videos to music; it is an inexpensive and secure way to store your files. It is used in abundance by all industries. This generation of students adores a flexible option like the cloud. With everything that is happening online every day, you as a teacher can surely not expect students to use the traditional pen and paper to make notes. For instance, if you were to be a student, would you rather have written notes that are scattered and hard to find before exams or an organized file where you can find everything you need, from pdfs to video lectures? Cloud Technology gives the students the flexibility to store their material without fear of losing or misplacing notes or forgetting them at home. Because they always remember to carry their phones.
4. Mobile Learning
As the name suggests, this can be conceived in two ways- Learning through a mobile phone and also mobile as in remote learning. We believe Mobile learning facilitates remote learning, which means access to video lectures, reading material, and test series from anywhere using a mobile phone with an internet connection. This alternative gives the students the freedom to learn whatever it is that they want to learn apart from what is taught in a classroom and allows them to do so at their discretion.
How to Use Edtech
We discussed in detail the examples of Educational Technology. Now let us dive into how to use it. This section is mainly for the teachers. It discusses various methods through which they can combine technology with education.
Let us see how:
1. Using Digital Classrooms
There has been an increase in the use of digital classrooms such as Google Classroom; this helps teachers organize resources such as lesson plans, material or assignments with deadlines and also grade the students. It comes with inbuilt features where a student can attach a word document, a presentation, a PDF or an image, and even a link. This makes life for students hassle-free as they can use the cloud linked to the email id that is linked to the google classroom and also helps them keep their stuff organized. Google Classroom is only one example of a Digital Classroom, as there are many more than you can find, like moodle.
2. Creating Diverse Learning Atmosphere
The technology has improved to a level where it can help the instructors to create personalized learning experiences for the students or an interactive learning session. Using presentations or videos for explaining a hard concept can help the students remember better because the visual aids have been proven to have a greater impact on the remembrance level of anyone, for that matter. To make videos and presentations for students to grasp the concept better, try out platforms like Prezi, Canva, etc.
3. Student Interactions
Like we discussed earlier, something more difficult than explaining a hard concept to a student is to hold the attention and keep them engaged; the attention span of a student is already less, and if you use regular methods of teaching on a GEN Z kid, they are most likely to drift away into their wonderland. Now the question remains: How do you capture their full attention and keep their minds from straying away? It is simple. Appeal to the intellect of the students and revamp your teaching style accordingly. Try to make the class as interactive as possible. You could use online platforms like Kahoot to generate quizzes on the topics they are learning or have polls in the middle of the class to keep their attention and add fun or rather surprise elements to the class.
4. Spruce Up the Syllabus
Kids, or anyone for that matter, have no interest in learning what happened during the Before Christ Era, so it becomes essential after a certain point to add relevant things to their curriculum. Something that they would appreciate, that they could use in the future and is linked to technology. Teach them how to give a presentation, email instead of writing letters today, type faster or create a card online. Provide assignments relating to how to make websites, how to blog, or how to make an application; this will enhance their skills, make the class engaging, and teach them the skills they need to succeed.
5. Go Beyond Classrooms
We talked about incorporating VR/AR, AI, and machine learning in the classroom. Try implementing new ways to teach a class by combining all these methods and make each student experience what you are talking about through a VR device. By doing this, the information reaches the student and the experience sticks in the student’s head, making it easier for them to remember the experience.
Ways AI and ML are Influencing Education
We have already been discussing how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be used in the area of Education. Still, there are many ways that AI and ML have already been used to influence Education. Let us look at what they are:
1. Scheduling Meetings
With online classes happening in full swing, one thing to notice is how the google calendar automatically syncs any meetings or classes that have been scheduled for a particular day and reminds you 5 or 10 mins ago about it, this way you know what it is that you have to do and do not miss it.
2. Chat Bots
Over the past couple of years, We must have observed how the websites of a university or a school have developed. They have a virtual assistant or a chatbot that helps us with our queries and generates feedback forms to be filled by students and parents.
Over Time, How has Edtech Changed?
EdTech has changed a lot and has brought with it a significant amount of change for the Educational Sector as well; thus, it is time to discuss what are the benefits that incorporating AI in education is having on a student’s studies.
Benefits of Technology in Education
Students of this generation have transformed the way an individual grasps knowledge and the whole approach far from what they were once, but they are most certainly adaptive and have a lot of benefits:
- The modern realm is packed with tools that can enhance any lesson, intensify student involvement, and immersive interactions that can provide a fresh perspective to their comprehension of many fields. For instance, picture an instructor of geography taking students on a virtual tour of the Amazon basin using Google Earth on a digital screen or showing the effects of various forces on a given item by a physics instructor using a three-dimensional simulator; all this facilitates technologically driven learning.
- The present generation of students seeks out ways to learn and utilize technology in fun ways, which undoubtedly adds to the classroom experience.s. Students often get distracted during lectures, especially mainstream lectures. It’s because technology is an integral part of their daily lives, and the absence of it throws them off instantly. The use of technology will only encourage their involvement in classrooms. Yet, technology in the classroom can do a lot more than simply entertain someone inside.
- We often see memes like “wonder how (a+b)^2 is going to help me write my resume.” To an extent, it is true, conventional teaching methods and courses are very informative, but they prove rather irrelevant to the needs of the current generation. Traditional schooling can be outstanding for offering basic values, but it is much more removed from the experience of the workforce. Most careers today require differing levels of technical skills. All jobs probably require a certain digital literacy, which is what most students today would learn for themselves, and that being said, technology may support educational institutions.
What does Edtech hold for Education and Startups?
The field of EdTech is a major opening for not just educational institutions but also Startups. There have been several advances made by many startups whose business model was based and developed on EdTech; the target market for this business is huge as the students are not the only ones you target with these apps that facilitate mobile learning, young adults and working professionals looking for skill enhancements through certificate courses are also a huge target and this is now a billion-dollar industry.
This education system has a business model behind it, so institutions can expect crazy advancements in the coming years, mostly as a result of competition between companies in this industry, which is great for schools as they have new ways to enhance their teaching and learning experience.
6 Edtech Tools to Try
Now that we have exhaustively discussed various ways EdTech has evolved, what it is, and how to use it, let us see 4 EdTech tools to try today if you are a teacher:
- Google Classroom
- Common Sense
Try these ones today and let us know your experience.
The purpose of this article is not to undermine traditional methods of teaching. Yet a teacher’s ultimate goal is for a student to understand everything they learn in a class and use the knowledge they gain at some point in their lives, and technology is just one method to accomplish this. Have a great time learning.