Edtech startups are changing the way the world perceives education. Technology is fast becoming an intrinsic part of training and education. This blog summarizes how modern technology is used in education and what advantages it offers to the students, teachers, and administrators alike.
Remember how we were taught at school on a black/ green board and textbooks? The Internet was limited for research work, that too with the first preference given to the books at the library. But today, kids attend online classes. They learn from apps, search for everything on the internet, and pretty much have access to unlimited information.
To say technology has changed the outlook of the educational sector wouldn’t be wrong. The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the subsequent lockdowns/restrictions have boosted the use of technology for education. Edtech makes it possible for students from rural and remote regions to continue their education using eLearning apps. Edtech startups play a crucial role in revolutionizing education.
The global Edtech market was estimated at $89.49 billion in 2020. It’s expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 19.9% from 2021 to 2028. With AI, ML, gamification, etc. making rapid advances in education, we can expect new developments to be rolled out regularly in the near future.
What is EdTech?
Simply put, Edtech is educational technology, the process of using technology to provide education and help educators streamline their work. Concepts like artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, and augmented reality are used in teaching and non-teaching processes.
How is Modern Technology Used in Education?
Modern technology is in the educational sector in various ways. The following are some of the most used technologies.
Personalization of courses to help students, using NLP-based question generation platform to prepare assessments, automating recurring work for teachers and the administrative staff, etc., are some ways AI is used in educational institutions.
Learning analytics is more of a future trend in education. However, we can already see the traces in online certification programs where courses are recommended based on the student’s syllabus at school/ college, their learning abilities, and interest areas.
Augmented Reality in STEM
The use of affordable AR tools makes it easier to teach STEM subjects and helps students understand the concepts clearly. The aim is to strengthen the basics for students to build upon later.
Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs) are now using blockchain technology to increase data security and verify the skill level of the students.
How Does Edtech Transform Education?
The main purpose of Edtech has been to simplify the learning process, facilitate inclusive learning and make the educational system more efficient. It helps bridge the gap between teaching and understanding and creates a cohesive learning environment.
Online Learning of Arts
Be it the BandBlast free app by Music Lifeboat or the CreatorUp Company that’s teaching people how to become a videographer, online learning is taking over the art facilities as well. Many freelance dance and music teachers provide online classes to students from other locations.
Edtech startups provide students with an opportunity to access resources that’ll help them excel at studies and develop their personalities. The combination of high-quality education and personality development will give them equal opportunities in the competitive world and become successful in their choice of careers.
Gamification is not a new trend but is fast becoming a popular one in the market. Microlearning is possible through gamification. The process of using the concepts behind games to promote user engagement is known as gamification. It’s used in digital marketing and education to retain the user’s interest and explain things attractively and uniquely. While gamification is currently used to teach kids aged 5-8 years, it’s also used to train teens and adults. eLearning apps such as Duolingo and Babbel are perfect examples of gamification in education.
Complete Learning Experience
Education is not limited to a subject or a class. It encompasses a whole lot of attributes that inspire students to become better and successful individuals. Technology helps teachers instill a range of skills in students and help them give back to the community. For example, LA Makerspace teaches rubric STEM skills to disadvantaged youth and helps them with holistic development, which is not possible with regular teaching facilities.
Why is EdTech Beneficial?
Edtech startups provide various advantages to educators and training institutions by showing ways to use technology in imparting education and training students.
1. Customization for Students
Digital learning enables students to learn at their own pace. eLearning platforms collect user information based on how students work on the assignments and use this data to make changes to the teaching module. Students can watch a tutorial video multiple times and ask questions directly through the app.
2. AI Question Generator
One of the biggest advantages of Edtech startups is the development of platforms like PrepAI, an AI-based question-answer generator solution. The platform utilizes machine learning and natural language processing to read the input data and convert it into a set of questions in varying formats. Teachers can decide which questions to retain, edit the questions, add new ones, change the order, and save the test paper.
PrepAI has been helping teachers, educational professionals, and trainers to test their pupils more often and understand their strengths and weaknesses. With multiple input and output formats, the AI-based platform is a perfect example of how Edtech startups are helping educators and educational institutions by reducing their workload without compromising the quality.
3. Resources in Abundance
Technology has brought a lot of resources closer to the teachers and students. It takes less time for teachers to look up extra material and add to their classes. Students are also making the most of the internet to know more and ensure that their assignments stand out. Research papers, online magazines, guest blogs, webinars, online lectures, etc., are helping educators and students to expand their knowledge.
4. Immersive Learning
How do teachers ensure that students are paying attention in the class? Though it’s still not extensively used, immersive learning is fast gaining fame for providing students with a greater learning experience. By using AR and VR technology, students can feel themselves in the scenarios and virtually experience the topic at hand.
For example, teachers use 3D stimulators to create 3D images of molecules to ‘show’ how a chemical is formed. Students can ‘touch’ and ‘feel’ the molecules as they learn. This helps them stay attentive in class and retain more information.
5. Easy Collaboration
Group studies and assignments have been a part of training for a long time. Technology has made it simple for students from even far-off locations to collaborate and form teams to work together on an assignment. They don’t have to travel from one place to another to meet and complete the project. The information is exchanged online, and the project is completed within the deadline.
6. Better Equipped to Deal with Digital Life
While technology is a useful tool, it has its share of disadvantages. Overexposure to social media, access to unlimited content, and the lack of proper data security policies are a matter of concern for many parents. By introducing technology in classrooms, teachers can provide a safe environment for students to learn their ways of navigating the World Wide Web. Teachers can explain the way to maintain digital privacy and stay safe when using the internet. Technology in the classroom prepares students to tackle the use of the internet and social media in real life and distinguish between what’s good and what’s not.
7. Learning is Fun
With technology becoming a part of our lives, kids find it boring to attend classes the traditional way. They want to use their smartphones, laptops, etc., even for studying. Edtech startups provide educational institutions with the relevant technology to make this possible. By creating competitive classes, virtual tours, and online quiz sessions, learning can be a lot more fun and engaging for students and teachers.
8. Prepare Students for Future
Even entry-level jobs use technology these days. By including the same in education, teachers can prepare students for their future. This is specifically useful for students from rural and remote areas with limited access to devices and technology. Such students need not end up with a skill gap as they apply for jobs. They’ll have enough training at school to be eligible for technology-based jobs.
9. Saves Time and Resources
Educational institutions wouldn’t be investing in Edtech if it didn’t give them monetary benefits. Automation, AI tools, etc., help streamline the day-to-day activities at school/ college/ university. The technology optimizes the use of valuable resources, thereby reducing the working capital. Teachers can double the work done at the same time when they use technology. Maintaining records and managing classes becomes easier when an application is involved in planning and execution.
How does Technology Impact Education?
The standard methods of teaching emphasized more on passiveness from the student and activeness from the teacher. Though things have undergone changes over the years, the true meaning of interactivity is being explored using technology. With different interactive tools available in the market, students can learn and retain additional information. These tools also spark an interest in the subject and urge students to research more. An example is Seterra, a tool that helps memorize countries from around the world.
It’s not easy for the teacher to alter the teaching process to suit tens of students at once. It’s too stressful and doesn’t guarantee results in classroom teaching. However, technology has made it possible. Teachers can customize the lessons for students based on their learning abilities, that too without feeling the pressure of it.
Using AI software that can generate questions from text for assessments and conducting online tests have become common, thanks to technology. It has made it possible to conduct assessments at any time and from any location. Platforms like PrepAI assist teachers in ensuring that students become successful in learning the subjects and retaining vital information.
How Technology Expanded Opportunities for Education
24*7 Access to Learning
Earlier, students studied at school as per the schedule planned by the school authorities. There was restricted access to the library and study material. But now, students can study anytime they want (unless it’s a live session). They can find most information on the internet. They can contact faculty using technology and get a reply in minutes.
Breaking Geographical Barriers
Without technology, the only way for students to learn from a professor or a renowned subject matter expert in another state/ country was when the professor visited their campus or when the students could themselves go and attend the classes. Today, webinars, online classes, and learning apps have made it possible for students and faculty from any part of the world to interact with one another.
Individual Assessment and Training
A tailored training program does wonders for a student. The data doesn’t need to be shared with other students or compared in front of the class. Teachers can individually work with each student, that too from their existing locations. The AI-based tools make it easy to analyze students’ past data and create a teaching program for each of them.
Is EdTech the Future of Education?
Experts claim that 2021 and the coming years will see technology in education as the new normal. Edtech startups will continue to play a vital role in revolutionizing the educational sector.
EdTech is indeed the future of education as new trends emerge in the industry to make high-quality education possible through technology. Some trends to look out for are as follows:
Virtual parents’ evening
Expected to be used from 2022, virtual parents’ evenings will be a regular phenomenon where parents and teachers interact online at their convenience instead of visiting the school during the morning hours.
Prisma is offering a combination of in-person and online learning experiences as a part of its homeschooling solutions. Outschool is another homeschooling startup that matches students with teachers to provide a quality homeschooling solution to parents and students.
eLearning in all streams
eLearning will not be limited to certain subjects or courses. Edtech startups plan to add an array of courses from various branches to provide an online learning facility to everyone.
More investments in VR, AR, and XR
With an increase in the popularity of VR and AR technology in education, we can expect more investment to take VR and AR deeper into the learning environment. Immersive learning is set to get better in the future.
Increased use of technology in K-12 classrooms
Teachers have realized the advantages of using technology in classrooms. Educational institutions are working on making the latest technology a part of K-12 classrooms as soon as possible.
Educational institutions have a lot to gain by collaborating with Edtech startups. There’s no need to have heavy investments and build a software application from scratch. Many schools and colleges are using ready-made applications and customizing them to suit their requirements.
Edtech companies are playing an active role in helping institutions/ training centers bridge the gap between their teaching methodologies and advancements in technology. Educators can include technology in stages by starting with smaller and easier applications. Edtech is the future of education, and it’s better to be prepared to make the most of it.