Introduction to Education Technologies
As technology is taking over the world, our lives have been impacted by it greatly. Technology can do wonders if used in an effective and efficient manner.
The usage of technology in education is called EdTech. EdTech is short for education technology. In EdTech, IT tools and technologies are combined with typical educational practices.
The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) has the following definition for Education Technology (EdTech), “facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”EdTech takes our typical and classic ways of learning on a higher level but changing it into digital form.
EdTech helps in the development of software and tools which help make learning easier and smart. It basically streamlines the whole process of education by providing tools for the aid of students and teachers.
This combination is then used to teach students using smart ways. As this generation is more exposed to technology, including technology in education will help them learn and understand concepts better.
The future is definitely technology. Hence, using it for educational purposes will help students understand, all the good we can do using all the IT tools and techniques.
COVID-19 outbreak has drastically changed our lives. Our ways of living have changed completely. It has had a huge impact on the education sector too.
Children are now taught using distance learning techniques. Luckily or unluckily, this virus outbreak has forced us to use technologies for a better and prosperous future.
Based on UNESCO data published in 2020, the health crisis has shut more than 1.7 billion students out of the classroom.
Using technology in education has many advantages as well as disadvantages. Using technology in education will help students engage in class more enthusiastically.
Technology helps in engaging a student even when a topic or course is dull or boring. As all the sectors are using technology now, teaching students via technology will help the students in getting a job too.
As they will already be having sound knowledge of technology. As a result, they will get an edge over the others.
Now let’s look at some of the educational technologies that are the future. These technologies are already being used, but in the year 2021, we will see more educational institutions using these technologies.
1. STEAM Education
STEAM is an advanced form of STEM education. STEM education approach was based on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Whereas, STEAM education approach incorporates more subjects. It focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
STEAM education approach provides students hands-on learning experience. As a result, students learn collaboration and can learn via group projects.
STEAM education approach enables the students to see the world from a different perspective. It teaches students to think critically and broaden their horizons.
It helps students to solve problems. The incorporation of Art has made STEM education, STEAM education.
Hence, students learn that Arts is as important as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In simple words, artificial intelligence means enabling our computational machine to think, perform, learn, and solve problems as humans do. Artificial Intelligence is an ever-growing field with enormous possibilities. Artificial Intelligence can help the education sector in various ways. It does not only help students but also teachers in a lot of ways.
In many educational institutions, artificial intelligence is being used to mark the attendance of students using facial recognition. To ease the workload of teachers, Software powered by artificial intelligence can be used to grade exams and test papers. Although it’s nowhere near close to the checking and grading are done by humans, it can assist in grading the questions similar to multiple-choice questions, true & false, and fill in the blanks.
Not every child has the same potential or the same pace of learning. Each child has their own needs. Artificial Intelligence can provide personalized learning.
Different tools and software can be used to test the capabilities of a student. In accordance with the results of that test, a path to learning can be paved for every student according to his or her needs.
3. Blockchain Technology
A layman can imagine blockchain as a ledger or database. It is distributed yet connected. Blockchain takes data security to a higher level.
Blockchain has changed how data is stored and shared in the digital world. Blockchain has several uses in the education industry. Blockchain can be used to store information about a student.
A student’s credentials, transcripts, and other academic information can be saved in blockchain. Saving it all in the blockchain will enable easy access to records.
If a student pursues higher education, blockchain will make it easy for him/her as everything will be one place and he will be saved from immense paperwork.
Blockchain can also be very helpful if the educational institution wants to share their student’s record with companies for recruitment purposes, or for semester exchange, student transfer, and other various data-sharing events.
4. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality provides a simulation of any event, action, or place and the user can interact with that computer generated 3D simulation.
One can interact with the objects in the simulation. As the name suggests, it feels like reality although it is not.
Hence it is called virtual reality. Virtual Reality is not only used for gaming purposes; it has a lot of scope in the education sector too.
Nowadays, virtual reality tools can be used to make distance learning interactive and fun. Virtual reality has also transformed field trips.
Virtual field trips are now actually a thing. Children can now visit every place in the world while sitting in their classrooms with the help of virtual reality.
Virtual Reality tools can also help in conducting labs. It can provide a proper environment in which STEAM labs can be conducted.
Virtual reality can also be used to learn about the internal systems of everything, from computers to animals to humans.
Researches have shown that our mind retains more information from practical or visuals rather than text. Virtual Reality tools can come in very handy for that.
Chatbots are basically intelligent software that assists humans by having a conversation with them. Chatbots are on a high rise in every sector.
We can see numerous chatbots on social media pages and websites. When we open a website, we have often seen a message pop up, like a chatbox, which asks us if we need any help. That is basically what a chatbot is.
Many educational websites have created chatbots to assist students, parents, or teachers with their queries.
There is a high chance that a human operator is not available 24/7, but a chatbot can function 24/7. In addition, it can find answers to queries faster than a human operator.
Many students use chatbots to get help with their homework, as it provides the answer right there and then.
They can also prove to be very useful on an institution’s website, especially when admissions are open. It will help the students in solving their issues while going through the admission procedure.
6. Online Education
Online education has been out there for a long time. With the outbreak of COVID-19, online education has become a common thing.
Online education provides advantages to the students as well as the teachers. One can learn from anywhere in the world.
7. Personalized Learning
Personalized learning allows a student to learn at their own pace. Exercises that come under the category of personalized learning are mostly interactive exercises.
These exercises do not have an instructor. These exercises are programmed to be run by the student only.
These exercises are interactive, which a student can go through their own pace. Every student is different from one another. These exercises allow a student to take as much time on one concept as they want.
Personalized learning chooses future patterns according to the student’s result of previous assessments.
All the grading and scoring is done online by the computer itself. It helps the student to overcome his weakness by making him work on them. Some of the examples of personalized learning tools are, Minecraft, Seesaw, and Code.org.
8. Video Based Learning
Almost every student has learned one thing or another from a video on YouTube or any other platform. Video-based learning simply means learning something via video.
There are many tutors and subject specialists that make videos on different concepts and topics of different subjects.
These videos are then posted by them on video streaming websites. Students, teachers, or parents can then play those videos from anywhere in the world and learn that particular topic.
As these videos are usually open to all and are available for free, many people turn to these videos for help.
As for the person who makes the videos, he can monetize his video and earn from it. There are many websites and software available that allow a person to easily shoot and edit their videos. These videos are then uploaded so that people can learn something from them.
These videos can simply be lectures as well as tutorials on how to do something. One can learn about new software pretty easily by following a video tutorial.
There are numerous possibilities on how to deliver knowledge via videos. One can take immense advantage of this technological feature.
Podcasts have become immensely popular in the past few years. Podcasts are the refined form of radio. It is also called the radio on the internet.
Podcasts can play a very important role in the education sector. Podcasts have a wide variety. They come from different individuals and are of various different lengths. You can choose whichever suits you the best.
Podcasts have many advantages. Students can learn how to read with the help of podcasts. In addition, they can always go back and listen to a particular pronunciation again in case they missed it. Podcasts are available 24/7.
They can be listened to anytime from anywhere, no matter what you are doing. You can listen to podcasts even when showering.
Not only does podcasts help in creating communities of likeminded students, but it also helps in forming communities of like-minded teachers.
It can also prove to be very advantageous for people who are unable to see properly or at all. Podcasts can help deliver the lecture without any visuals and just by audio.
10. Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of things, also known as IoT is a very useful technology. Internet of things is a wireless network that connects different devices together and allows them to share information with each other.
It helps in the automation of tasks. Students can be located all over the campus with the help of the Internet of Things.
Internet of Things has helped increase the security of educational institutions, as it can detect the presence of an unauthorized person on campus. It helps in the monitoring of school members, be it staff or students using facial recognition.