A recent report shared by Google and KPMG reveals that the education tech industry would cater to about 9.6 million users and record a market share of $1.96 billion in 2021, according to Analytic Insight.
Despite claims that technology is negatively affecting learning schedules, edtech is a valuable tool for students. Today’s students can utilize the time they invest in studying in the best way possible to achieve their academic goals. That’s because edtech solutions, advanced research, practical assessments, and improved communication give them maximum control over their learning.
Even more appealing is that edtech has the potential to get education back on track in a post-pandemic world.
As the education sector reflects on the last months of the school curriculum, it’s clear e-learning is key to providing disaster-proof education. Online learning gives proactive measures that make learning continue amidst calamities.
By leveraging e-learning and other strategies, edtech can help teachers and students get back to the classroom without facing many difficulties. Below are three ways edtech can make a difference in the education sector.
1. Prioritize PD to support remote, hybrid, and in-person learning
Last year, teachers worldwide were doubtful about the effectiveness of online learning, and it’s understandable. As much as teachers provided online lessons throughout the pandemic, it wasn’t online learning but emergency remote teaching.
Nonetheless, teachers adopted digitization within days and weeks due to their high level of professionalism and commitment. Typically, organizations take years to undergo digital transformation.
With this understanding, the edtech industry should ensure that technology and remote learning are essential aspects of PD (professional development). However, instead of focusing only on edtech products used in the classroom and online learning, PD programs should pay attention to the broader subjects of technology.
Investing time and resources in PD is crucial in providing genuine, timely, and continuous support to teachers. Failure to help teachers navigate online teaching tools and understand how to maximize them to boost positive learning outcomes, edtech products won’t be successful. Additionally, technology should be more significant in the classroom rather than a substitute in times of disaster.
2. Address new education challenges and changing needs
The pandemic highlighted several challenges in the education system, including educational inequalities and performance gaps in countries. The digital divide in accessing learning and teaching tools and large gaps in teacher’s access to digital training are other areas of concern.
Therefore, the edtech industry should be ready to address these issues to ensure schools get back on track faster. For the best outcomes, education technology providers should remain agile. Most importantly, they must embrace current and new products to meet the changing needs of users.
Understanding challenges that may arise in the education sector is key to developing practical solutions to streamline teaching and learning. There are several ways edtech providers can get insights into potential problems in learning institutions. These include social media interaction, collecting first-hand data during a one-on-one discussion at events, and engaging in customer focus groups online and in person.
Surveys are an excellent option, as they help gauge the feeling and thoughts on various subjects. For instance, in higher learning institutions, surveys conducted monthly or quarterly can help get a clear picture of how underrepresented groups feel about MBAs. For decades, students from minority groups feel that business school is out of reach. Currently, most schools are tackling elitism associated with MBA programs by making diversity practical and listening to minority groups. Edtech can also address equity and inclusion in business schools by providing affordable online MBA courses.
3. Provide technology for effective teaching and learning
Another important consideration for the edtech industry is to provide tech tools that guarantee efficacy in the classroom. To achieve this goal, edtech providers should ensure technologies available in the market and those in the pipeline work effectively in different learning environments.
The products should also have the capabilities needed to address challenges affecting students, teachers, and schools in general. The best edtech tools possess unique characteristics, like engagement, assessment, accessibility, and effectiveness.
Effective education tools blend into the classroom workflow seamlessly regardless of location. They also augment the teacher and enable a smooth transition from one classroom environment to another.
The ability to solve problems teachers and students face is a critical factor edtech providers should consider when investing in digital learning tools. If the current education technologies or those still in development don’t meet these criteria, they’ll most likely add more challenges to the learning system.
Read more: How to get started with hybrid teaching
In addition to personalizing learning and teaching, education technology is a valuable tool in getting education back on track in the post-pandemic era. However, edtech companies must do much more than relying on the technological aspect of education technology. This step entails providing ongoing support to teachers through professional development programs. Edtech providers also need to address challenges affecting education systems, meet changing needs, and provide effective technologies for teaching and learning.
Besides being a mother, Jackie writes full time on topics ranging from health and wellness, right through to news and current affairs. In her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support adults and children with autism as she herself is on the spectrum.