The global education industry has witnessed massive transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. As quarantine and stay-at-home orders became mandatory, educational institutions were forced to adopt new ways to ensure continued learning for students.
Schools, colleges, and universities across the globe started looking for tech-driven solutions to help students study at home. In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few tech innovations that are shaping the educational landscape during the pandemic. Also, we’ll discuss the roadblocks to the digitization of education. Let’s get started.
Technology in Education: The Pre-Pandemic Scenario
The rise of digital education has already started before the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, global EdTech investments had crossed $18 billion in 2019. That isn’t surprising considering many school districts had already been exploring solutions to facilitate remote learning.
Also, the prevalence of high-speed internet connectivity made it possible to deploy online learning solutions. Similarly, the demand for e-learning platforms and apps was experiencing a steady surge.
Nevertheless, tech-based solutions were always considered as an alternative to traditional classroom-based learning. It was only after the pandemic hit that educational institutions realized the importance of modern technology.
Key Tech Innovations Fueling Today’s Education Industry
Apart from widespread internet penetration, there are several other technologies that have propelled the rise of e-learning in the past year. To begin with, there’s the growing use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
The affordability and accessibility of these devices make it easier for students to learn from the comfort of their homes, even if they don’t own personal computers. Modern smartphones and tablets are equipped to support a wide array of apps and come with excellent battery backup.
The development of affordable mobile internet, particularly 4G and 5G, makes it even more convenient for students to attend classes and revise lectures using their phones.
The growth of online learning platforms is further propelling the digitization of education. Whether you want to learn digital marketing or need psychology homework help, you’ll find various user-friendly apps and websites.
E-learning apps are ideal for students looking to hone and diversify their skills. They’re just as useful for students who need additional help with their homework assignments, essays, and projects. They even come to your rescue when you need a better understanding of complex topics taught in class.
In addition to online learning portals, another major technological breakthrough that facilitates remote learning is the rise of video conferencing tools.
Today, it’s possible for students to attend live lectures, ask questions to teachers, and interact with their peers using video conferencing apps, such as Skype and Zoom. The applications let teachers simulate the ambiance of a real-life classroom to improve student engagement and participation.
Also, students can use these apps to create virtual study groups with their classmates. It’s a great way for students to collaborate on projects, get help with homework essays, and clarify queries about new concepts taught in class.
Additionally, educational institutions are starting to deploy advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) to improve the learning process. For instance, teachers can use AI-powered learning management systems (LMS) to provide students with a personalized learning experience.
It’ll help them better understand the needs and challenges of individual students, as well as tailor assignments and tests based on the information.
Similarly, online educators can use AR-based teaching aids to create a more immersive learning experience. It’ll help eliminate the risk of students becoming passive learners during online classes.
What’s Stopping the Digital Revolution in Education?
The increased dependence of education on technology offers many benefits for both students and teachers. But it also creates a set of new challenges. Firstly, the abrupt transition to online education means teachers don’t have adequate training to utilize various tools. They’re often struggling to get a hang of online teaching apps and tools.
Then there’s the issue of the digital divide, particularly in developing and underdeveloped countries. Students in remote and rural areas don’t have access to smartphones, internet connectivity, and other resources that facilitate online learning.
Technology and Education: The Road Ahead
Cutting-edge tech innovations have been a gamechanger for the educational landscape. Their benefits have become more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the onus is on both policymakers and educational institutions to make online education accessible to everyone.
Educational agencies must provide teachers with adequate training to help them become tech-savvy. Similarly, they need to work alongside policymakers to ensure that students can access online lessons, irrespective of their location and social status.