The Impact of Technology on Education: A Perspective
Once considered to be an impossibility, technology runs the online classroom in the world of education today. While some may argue that the global pandemic may have acted as a catalyst in driving tech adoption in the field education, its wide-spread use in this space is not new. And its impact on education has only just started taking shape.
At this point, you might be wondering about how technology can aid in student-centric learning and assist the faculty in reaching their goals? A fair question. To start with, here’s an interesting fun-fact.
Research claims that online learning increases retention power while reducing study time for students and teachers alike. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the over-arching impact of technology on education from a data perspective:
- A digital shift: According to a survey by Deloitte, “75% of teachers believe that digital learning content will totally replace printed
textbooks within the next 10 years.”
- E-learning gaining momentum: As per research,“The e-learning market worldwide will surpass $243 billion by 2022.”
- Remote learning is the new normal: Further research indicates that the global pandemic has changed the face of education – with language apps, virtual tutoring, and remote learning witnessing a significant surge in usage.
With 1.2 billion children out of the classroom – owing to the global pandemic – technology is acting as the saving grace in driving qualitative education.
Top 7 Ways in which the Impact of Technology on Education is Coming to the Fore
1. The Role of AI Chatbots in Education
“Artificial intelligence in U.S. education will grow by 47.5% from 2017-2021.”
AI-powered chatbots have mostly been in use in the eCommerce sector – until now. Even in the Education field, the benefits of chatbots are aplenty:
Offers instant, real-time support:
Conversational chatbots offer instant support and can act as a teacher’s personal assistant as is the case with ‘Ed’ – an educational chatbot used by a professor to teach 1200+ Business School students:
Image Source: LinkedIn
The chatbot can also be used to send out alerts and notifications relating to assignments, deadlines, and changes in event schedules in addition to answering general queries about lesson plans, course modules, among other things. Finally, chatbots can drive efficiency and streamline admin tasks, freeing up the faculty to focus on their students and tackle issues that require human capabilities.
Boosts student engagement:
It is a cost-effective tool that streamlines the study process and makes learning fun as well as more interactive (by including a variety of formats such as images, videos, audios, and document files).
Monitors student performance and provide smart feedback:
It can analyze each student’s level of understanding and provide tailor-made content as well as personalized feedback based on their progress and learning curve. Additionally, it can offer relevant learning content based on the student’s learning skills and capabilities.
Acts as a teacher’s assistant:
Chatbots can assist teachers in grading routine quizzes and assessments in a speedy, non-biased, and effective capacity.
Key takeaway: AI chatbots may not be able to replace human teachers altogether, but they can double up as an effective assistant for teachers and a virtual tutor for students. In short, they are filling the gap between teaching and learning – all at the click of a button!
2. Digital Tools & Devices: Learn Anytime, Anywhere
Image Source: Deloitte
Deloitte’s survey reveals that 42% of teachers use at least one digital device every day.
Digital technology of any sort is second-nature to the tech-savvy students of today. This is why teachers are no longer shying away from using handy digital tool kits (for lack of a better term) to drive student-paced learning. These ‘tool kits’ include digital textbooks that can be accessed 24×7, laptops, and tablets, smartphones, e-books, interactive whiteboards, etc.:
Image Source: OECD
Here’s an example of an interactive whiteboard being used in a primary classroom to capture the student’s attention and boost their enthusiasm.
Research by Ed Technology paints a positive picture in this regard. Here are its findings:
- 49% of teachers attribute technology to performing lessons in an easier manner.
- 53% state that digital devices make the classroom fun and vibrant.
- 56% claim that students are noticeably more engaged when technology was present in the curriculum.
Key takeaway: The use of digital devices for learning acts as a centralized and accessible tool to offer quality education to one-and-all. Plus, it helps cater to a more global audience of students who may be studying remotely. That’s not all. Content is regularly updated on these devices eliminating the need to buy new book editions every couple of years.
3. 3D Printing is Finding its Way into a Classroom
Here’s another interesting example of the impact of technology in education. 3D printing is an innovative technology that’s making rapid strides in the medical field with professionals printing 3D artificial organs. However, this disruptive technology is also being used in classrooms to build a ‘hands-on model’ that allows students to learn about concepts from practical demonstrations instead of theoretical rote-learning:
Image Source: Medium
As you can imagine, this also hones their problem-solving capabilities, intuitive and creative-thinking – especially for subjects such as Mathematics, Chemistry, and History. Students learn to ‘innovate’ and view problems from a real-world perspective.
Handy tip: This type of teaching model works wonderfully for students who are visual and kinesthetic learners.
4. All Hail ‘Online Schooling
In educational circles, online tutoring has always been a ‘failed’ concept. However, the pandemic has changed how the education system views technology and its wide-spread use. Online courses are being viewed as a ‘treasure trove of rich information’ to up-skill, gather knowledge, and use time more effectively. These courses are now easily available owing to great internet penetration and smartphone usage.
For instance, the online learning platform BYJU’s is offering free live classes on its Think and Learn app. Ever since the lockdown, the platform has witnessed a “200% increase in the number of new students using its product.”
Another instance worth considering is the ‘Carnegie Learning‘ platform, which offers one-on-one coaching to students on Maths from pre-K to the college level. The course is instructional and flexible in nature:
Image Source: A Snapshot of the MyCL Portal
Let’s take yet another example. In the first few weeks of the lockdown, prestigious Ivy-League institutions such as Yale, Harvard, etc. started rolling out free online courses on e-learning platforms such as Coursera and LinkedIn Learning. These courses allowed participants to complete their learning from the comfort of their homes – that too, at their own convenience.
Such was its success that Yale’s most popular course –“The Science of Well-Being” – gained over a million new subscribers during the start of the pandemic. Here’s what the professor had to say about the sky-rocketing rate of subscribers (and we couldn’t agree more):
“Everyone knows how to protect their physical health — washing hands and keeping six feet apart — but I think people want similarly actionable tips to improve their mood and well-being during this challenging time.” – Laura Santos, professor of Psychology and Head of Silliman College.
Handy tip: Here’s a list of “500 free Ivy League courses you can take for free during the quarantine period.”
Key takeaway: With the help of online classrooms, students are graduating from colleges and completing their education – without ever having stepped into a classroom! Plus, geographical boundaries and time constraints no longer seem to be a hindrance to providing top-notch education to students worldwide.
5. How ‘AR’ & ‘VR’ are Driving Demonstrative Learning
Image Source: Classcraft
“70%of students report higher grades and better attendance in active-learning environments that use technology than traditional ones.”
All things said and done, there’s a fundamental shift in the way students and teachers are seen interacting in class – thanks to Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. These emerging technologies are driving classroom engagement by focusing on practical learning and using real-world examples to complement the text. For example, students can undertake a virtual field trip to the Great Wall of China – an otherwise impossible proposition – and study it visually instead of simply reading about it. In fact, studies reveal that virtual reality can enhance student test scores and aid in knowledge retention.
6. Gamification of the Curriculum is EVERYTHING
Image Source: Classcraft
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that gamification appeals to students of all age groups in a classroom. And why not? It makes learning more fun, interactive, and interesting while optimizing their learning. Plus, the feedback is immediate, and the student engagement is higher as opposed to traditional methods.
Apart from this, video games can be used to mimic real-life problems and analyze how a student reacts to the problem at hand – while having fun!
7. Build an E-Learning Enabled Environment with Softwares
“The role of education technology is to support learning and support the classroom, and as access gets more ubiquitous, that really becomes much more possible.” – Karen Cator
Modern technologies such as Asana and Trello are making life easier for the students as well as the teachers, allowing them to stay on top of things. Here’s a quick low-down of the wide variety of Asana features students and the teachers can use to their advantage:
Getting organized and managing workload by tracking tasks, projects, and calendars. In addition, teachers can use workflows and templates for routine processes and work smart. That’s not all. They can also conduct study groups, assign homework, and connect with students seamlessly.
Image Source: Asana
The Writing is on the Wall: The Impact of Digital Technology on Education Can No Longer be Ignored
“88% of parents and 84% of teachers are very or somewhat interested in having more at-home digital content available to supplement what’s being taught in school.” – Deloitte Report
Be it customized learning experiences or the increased use of data to enhance student outcomes – technological adoption in the education sector is slowly and steadily gaining traction. Digital tools and online learning techniques are redefining the ‘classroom’ and stretching the student’s minds as well as expanding their imaginations like never before. Plus, technology is being used to drive educational best-practices and promoting healthy student-teacher collaboration.
To wrap up, here are the top-7 EdTech trends that are revolutionizing the way students and teachers are communicating with – and learning from – each other:
- The increased use of AI-led chatbots in education.
- The upsurge in the usage of digital tools and study materials.
- 3D printing is driving global innovation amidst the four walls of a classroom.
- Online tutoring is gaining traction.
- AR and VR technologies are encouraging demonstrative learning.
- Video games are empowering students to learn in a fun-centric way.
- Project management software is helping build an e-learning environment with greater ease.
Clearly, the impact of technology on the education ecosystem can no longer be ignored; technology has emerged as an integral element in fostering a culture of quality, interactive, and value-driven education.