Updated: Feb 8, 2021
"Ed-Tech" OR "Edu-Tech", is the use of technology in the education sector to enhance the learning experience of students.
It involves the use of various tools, apps and services used inside the classroom or in & around the campus. For example, learning through virtual classrooms or e-learning is one of the most widely adopted applications of Ed-Tech. Other useful applications of Ed-Tech would be language-based apps, attendance management systems, video conferencing tools, library management platforms, GPS tracking of school buses and so on.
Consider a Restaurant Management System, where tools and software are used to keep a tab on the orders and occupancy of the tables along with billing. When technology is used to automate businesses, it results in enhanced user experience.
Similarly technology is revolutionizing education across the world .It is changing the way we live, work and learn. And this is having a profound impact on how we teach, where we teach and what we teach. An Ed-Tech platform/service is a tool that allows educators to magnify their impact & reach. In words of well renowned educator ,David Warlick "We need technology in every classroom because it is the pen and paper of our time"
Noticeably, Ed-Tech has been a boon in maintaining learning continuity in the wake of school closures due to COVID-19. According to UNESCO as on 31st August 2020, over 700 MN learners across the globe were affected due to school closures, which is almost 40% of the total enrolled learners. For these students, having access to online learning has been the only way of keeping in touch with the curriculum. The overall online education market is projected to reach $350 BN by 2025.
Here is how Ed-Tech is transforming the education sector-
1. Bridging Geographical Boundaries
With technology as its enabler, a subject matter expert can create educational content which can reach students all over the world. Online classes have crossed boundaries and reached students sitting just about anywhere in the world, in the comfort of their homes. The increasing penetration of smartphones has definitely been a booster for Ed-Techs. Technology introduces a certain dynamism in the teaching methodology that is sometimes amiss in classroom interactions. Of course, there is no replacing the physical learning experience, but the convenience of reach is also valuable.
2. Maintaining focus on core teaching activities
Reports suggest that teachers in India spend only ~19% of their time teaching while the rest of the time is unfortunately spent in administrative and non-teaching activities. However, by embracing technology there is an opportunity to change this considerably . Apt use of technology can allow teachers to focus more on the process of teaching as they have more time to strategize their lessons and personalize the teaching content, thus making it more effective.
3. Keep an eye on security of students
There is a constant concern about the safety of students in the times that we live in. As a result several schools have deployed GPS tracking solutions in the school vehicles and are graduating to hi-tech Access Management Systems within the campuses by using facial recognition or near field frequencies to determine identity. Such solutions have helped significantly allay these fears for both the school administration and parents,
4. Upskilling of teachers and school staff
Consider this. By 2021, United Kingdom will need 2.3 MN people with digital skills. World Economic Forum has said that by 2022 more than 50% of the employees will require to upskill in order to continue their jobs. The definitions and requirements of employment are changing drastically. Ed-Tech helps in making educators and students future-ready. With Digital Transformation becoming inevitable in any industry, the flair of using technologies especially in a way that one harnesses the real potential, is cardinal.
5. Making learning more immersive
In a conventional teaching methodology students with varying learning aptitudes and abilities are expected to keep pace with the class’s progress. Ed-Tech enables a personalized learning experience at a pace and medium that best suits the student. e.g. Virtual Reality can be used to create real-life situations and enhance the learning experience.
Globally, there has been a massive surge in the demand for education apps after the world was struck with the pandemic. In March 2020 alone there was a 90% surge in download of education apps. Adopting Ed-Tech is not optional anymore. The catch is to find a technology provider who not just provides a platform but guides through the entire transition.
We are on the right path; adopting disruptions is the way forward.